Most of us take the water that comes from the taps in our homes for granted. For people connected to municipal water supplies, it’s often easier to just assume that the city takes care of any relevant contamination. While, by law, public water supplies are treated to remove many harmful contaminants, the water you actually drink may not be as pure as you think it is. Water quality testing can give you a clear, accurate picture of exactly what your home’s tap water contains and whether or not you could benefit from extra filtration.
Why Water Quality Testing Matters
While tap water in the United States is generally considered to be among some of the safest in the world, water contamination is always a valid consideration. Depending on your local water sources and home plumbing, there are many possible sources of contamination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note the role of water quality testing as a valuable part of preventing a variety of illnesses.
Sewage releases, naturally occurring chemicals (such as arsenic, radon, uranium), local groundwater pollution from industrial manufacturing or fertilizers, pesticides and livestock, and even your own home’s pipes can all be sources of harmful water contaminants.
Even if you’re not worried about dangerous bacteria or chemicals, unpleasant odors, colors, and tastes are all common issues that can affect your water quality. Testing can help you pinpoint the cause of the issue and address it directly.
Types of Water Quality Testing
Today, anyone wanting to get the water quality in their homes tested is faced with a variety of options. Each type of test has strengths and weaknesses. The best option depends on your needs and what contaminants are commonly found in your area.
Perhaps the simplest form of water quality testing, test strips can be bought in stores or ordered online for delivery to your home. Compounds in the strips change color in response to the presence of certain chemicals, indicating elevated levels. For instance, chlorine content and pH balance are both common things to test for with strips.
As the cheapest and most basic of water testing methods, these strips have somewhat limited uses. This is because they tend to be basic in both their scope and accuracy, making more thorough testing necessary for an accurate understanding of your home’s water quality.
Color Disk Kits
Color disk tests are fundamentally similar to testing strips, but they have a much greater range of chemicals they can test for. For these tests, a small amount of water is added to either a liquid or powder reagent that reacts with elements found in the water. The colors in the blended water sample are then compared with a gradient disc (hence the name) to determine which substances are present. Chemicals and elements can usually be detected immediately, while microbes and other more sophisticated contaminants usually require 24 to 48 hours of incubation for an accurate reading.
Digital Instrument Testing
While the above two methods are good to have on hand for do-it-yourself testing, more comprehensive results require more sophisticated equipment. When used correctly, digital water testing equipment can quickly and accurately determine which minerals, elements, bacteria, and other contaminants may be present in your water supply.
At-home digital testing equipment can be purchased for private use, but it is often expensive to purchase and operate. Professional water testing is often inexpensive (or free with The Science of Water) and can give you the best results.
The Best Type of Water Testing for Gainesville
Tap water in Florida comes primarily from surface water (such as rivers and lakes) and groundwater sources. While Gainesville and the surrounding areas treat their water in accordance with local and federal regulations, there are a number of concerns to bear in mind. According to the EPA, “surface waters are highly vulnerable to contamination from stormwater runoff, agricultural runoff, leaking septic tanks, and other sources.”
All of these can introduce potentially harmful contaminants into drinking water supplies. Groundwater, Florida’s other primary water source, is generally clearer, but a number of factors, including agriculture and landfills, can still cause issues. Elevated levels of arsenic and radium are also common in Florida’s geological features, making these dangerous elements a serious concern for Floridians.
Due to these concerns, if you’re in Gainesville (or anywhere else in northern Florida), it’s highly recommended that you get your home’s water supply professionally tested. While it’s vital to take water contamination seriously, keeping your water clear is very doable. Local experts can give you a complete, free list of all potential contaminants in your water, as well as suggest the most effective methods of ensuring that your home or office has clean, delicious water.
Depending on your test results, experts may recommend various filtration options like whole-home water filtration systems, which can keep all of the water coming from the taps in your home free of any harmful or unpleasant substances. This means that your water can be not only safe to drink but optimal for showering, laundry, and any other purposes.
Trust the Professionals
At The Science of Water, we assess and install water filtration systems to meet your unique needs. Using filtration technology backed by NASA and the EPA, our advanced water systems purify your water supply to the highest standard. Whatever you’re looking for in a water filtration system, we can help you enjoy tap water in your home that’s clear of contaminants and safe to drink.
We even offer free water quality testing and consultations. When you need answers about the safety of your local water supply, our technicians can assess your situation for waterborne threats and recommend the perfect filtration system to suit your needs and budget.
Don’t settle for dirty tap water that tastes terrible and puts your health at risk. Get your water tested today to protect your household with pure, clean water that can be relied on. For more information about The Science of Water or to book your free water test, just get in touch with our team today!