What’s In Your Water?
By Samantha Peters
Just about every water supply has contaminants in it. Some of them have been put there by human beings, like PCBs. Other contaminants, like arsenic and radon, occur naturally. Though most contaminants are actually harmless, some of them can make a homeowner and their family quite ill. How do they get rid of contaminates and leave their water clean and sparkling?
EPA Standards – The Environmental Protection Agency has standards for what constitutes safe drinking water for municipalities across the country, but they don’t perform the same service for people who have their own private water supply. This means these homeowners will have to gauge the quality of their water themselves. A homeowner who believes their water is unhealthy can call their public water company in their area for a Consumer Confidence Report, which they must provide by law.
The homeowner should be warned, though, that some contaminants aren’t regulated by the EPA and so won’t appear in the report. If the homeowner wants to know the exact levels of contaminants, they should give a sample of the water that comes out of their tap to a lab.
To do this they should first call their state or local department of health and get a list of labs that are certified to test their water. The lab will send them a bottle for a water sample and tell them how to collect their water. The homeowner will have to pay for the test, which can be expensive depending on how many contaminants they want tested for. To cut down on the cost they can ask the lab what contaminants they’ve already found in the water in the homeowner’s area.
Filters – If a homeowner gets a report back that shows their water harbors dangerous contaminants like pesticides, bacteria or formaldehyde or contaminants that simply make their water smell and taste bad they have several options. They can install a reverse osmosis filter, which is a great way to get clean water. In reverse osmosis the water is pumped through a filter that traps the contaminants and allows the cleaned water to go through. They can also install an activated carbon filter. The carbon absorbs impurities and is very good for pesticides, organic chemicals and some pathogens.
The homeowner can also install an ion exchange unit. This unit is used to remove hard water, but some types can also be used to remove radon.
A homeowner doesn’t have to live with contaminated water. There are many ways to make sure that the water they and their family drink is pure and healthy.
About this Author:
Samantha Peters is an avid blogger who enjoys writing about various career and job related topics. Sam manages The Education Update and lives in beautiful San Diego, California.