Water Testing and Water Analysis
Homestead can perform several different water treatment services, including water testing and analysis, water filtration, and water softeners. We also service and install water pumps and water tanks.
Probably the most common question we hear from customers is, “Should I have my water tested?” The answer depends on several factors. It concerns your health and the health of your family, so you need to know some basic facts. In addition to illness, a variety of less serious problems such as taste, color, odor and staining of clothes or fixtures are signs of possible water quality problems. Other things to think about include the nearness of your water well to septic systems and the composition of your home’s plumbing materials.
Where does your water come from?
Public water systems
If you pay a water bill, you are purchasing water from a public water system, where your water is monitored, tested and the results reported to the federal, state or tribal drinking water agencies responsible for making sure it meets the National Primary Drinking Water Standards. Your water company must notify you when contaminants are in the water they provide that may cause illness or other problems.
Most people in the United States receive water from a community water system that supplies its customers with an annual water quality report, also known as a Consumer Confidence Report. Normally, you will receive it with your water bill once a year in July. The report contains information on contaminants found, possible health effects, and the water’s source. If you do not receive a report, contact your water company for this information.
Private water supplies
If your drinking water does not come from a public water system, or you get your drinking water from a household well, you alone are responsible for ensuring that it is safe. For this reason, routine testing for a few of the most common contaminants is highly recommended. Even if you currently have a safe, pure water supply, regular testing can be valuable because it establishes a record of water quality. This record is helpful in solving any future problems and in obtaining compensation if someone damages your water supply.
Common questions about water testing and analysis:
How frequently should I test?
Test water every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids and pH levels, especially if you have a new well, or have replaced or repaired pipes, pumps or the well casing.
Are there special considerations if someone in the household is pregnant or nursing an infant? What if there are unexplained illnesses in the family?
In these situations, you may need to test your water more than once a year. Test for nitrate in the early months of a pregnancy (before bringing an infant home), and again during the first six months of the baby’s life. It is best to test for nitrate during the spring or summer following a rainy period.
What should we do about water taste, odor, and staining issues?
Test for sulfate, chloride, iron, manganese, hardness and corrosion every three years. If you suspect other contaminants, test for these also.
What should we do in the event of a chemical or fuel spill or leak near our water supply?
Test your well for chemical contaminants, such as volatile organic compounds. Tests can be expensive; limit them to possible problems specific to your situation. Local experts can tell you about possible impurities in your area.
What should we do if we suspect lead may be in some of our household plumbing materials and water service lines?
Most water systems test for lead as a regular part of water monitoring. These tests give a system-wide picture, but do not reflect conditions at a specific household faucet. If you want to know if your home’s drinking water contains unsafe levels of lead, have your water tested. Testing is the only way to confirm if lead is present or absent.
For more information, visit the EPA website, or call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
By installing a proper water filtration system, Homestead can help you and your family enjoy cleaner, fresher, and better tasting water. A new home water filtration system provides a number of additional benefits, including:
- Greatly reducing corrosion. If you see any blue-green staining in your tub, sinks or toilet, this is generally an indication that your water contains corrosive elements.
- Improving your water's pH levels, which helps to extend the life of fixtures and any copper piping within major appliances and water heating systems.
- Preventing rust stains in sinks, tubs, dishwashers, and toilets. Signs of rust may also be present on concrete walkways, patios, home siding, and wherever you water your lawn and garden.
- Eliminating sediment particles from well water.
- Removing foul odors and tastes, including chlorine and the common “rotten egg” odor caused by hydrogen sulfide gas.
How do I select the proper filtration media?
The choice of filtration media depends upon a variety of factors including the types of contaminants, water usage habits and water pressure levels at your home. Homestead has the experience and resources to design the best filtration plan for your specific water system. Contact us today to get started.
Why do I need a water softener?
In addition to leaving highly unpleasant residue on your plumbing fixtures and dishes, hard water presents a number of hidden problems and added costs to the affected homeowner.
- Calcium and magnesium deposits clog pipes, restricting water flow and reducing the efficiency of water heating systems.
- Lime scale deposits can significantly decrease the lifespan of household pipes and appliances by up to 30%*, leading to increased replacement costs of appliances and more frequent plumbing repairs.
- Dissolved minerals interfere with everyday cleaning tasks such as laundry, dish washing, bathing and personal grooming; clothes may look dingy and feel rough, dishes may be spotted and hair may feel unmanageable and lack a shine.
- Since extra soap, shampoo and detergents are required in hard water, softening your water could significantly reduce the amount of phosphates leaving your home.
How do water softeners work?
Ion exchange water softeners consist of a pressure tank filled with sulfonated polystyrene beads, and a brine tank, filled with salt. These units are connected in order to allow the removal of hardness ions from water to be replaced with softer ions, or sodium.
The brine unit’s beads attract and hold the calcium and magnesium ions as water passes through. Once the beads are saturated with minerals ions, the system automatically regenerates, and replaces the hard mineral ions with those of the sodium ions from the brine tank. Salt is periodically added to the brine tank to provide additional sodium ions. For people concerned about sodium intake, non-sodium agents are available.
If you would like Homestead to install a water softener system in your home, or have any other questions, contact us today.
* Source: Water Quality Association (WQA) www.wqa.org
Content provided by Blake Water Solutions.