Ways to Find Out If Your Drinking Water is Safe
Know Where Your Water Comes From
If you live in a city or county where water is provided by a local water system, you can contact your water provider or visit their website to see where your water comes from, which can help you better understand the risks in your area.
Know Common Water Contaminants
There are over 150,000 public water systems in the United States, and more than 286 million people get their tap water from a community system. According to the CDC, these are the top ten most common public outbreaks in water systems.
Know How Your Water is Tested
The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the right to establish safety levels for contaminants in public water supplies. The CDC and EPA require your local water agency to regularly test water for safety. The frequency and type of testing depends on the size of the population using the system.
Drinking Water Testing Kits – Testing Evaluation Program
Quick Bacteria Test (Presence/Absence) – This is a quick test for the presence or absence of Coliform and E. Coli Bacteria in your drinking water or well water. Coliform is an indicator bacteria that public water supplies are required to monitor. The presence of Coliform could indicate the presence of other infection disease causing organisms. If Coliform is present, then we look for E. Coli. which is a known pathogen
First Flush and Flush Lead – The dual lead test will test for the lead contect in the water and includes sample containers and testing for a “first draw” and a “flushed” sample is perfect for public water systems or private water sources were you suspect corrosion or high levels of copper and lead may be impacting your drinking water
Water Check 1 & 2- This testing package covers 22 heavy metals and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, lead, arsenic, and mercury in your city or well drinking water. Additionally, analyzes other inorganic compounds and physical characteristics including nitrate, nitrite, chloride, fluoride, sulfate, alkalinity, pH and hardness.
Corrosion Check -An informational testing package that was developed for people who are experiencing signs of corrosion in their plumbing fixtures in city or well drinking water sources. This test analyzes contaminants that can specifically affect corrosion. This package can be used for well water and city water.
Quantification and Screening for PFAS Analysis
PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, and Gen-X. Recent estimates suggest that there are at least 6,000 variants of polyfluorinated, linear and branched compounds. Concern for perfluorinated organic compounds (PFCs) and PFAS have increased dramatically in recent years. The health risks are becoming well known across the globe. PFAS compounds have been linked to low infant birth weights, effects on the immune system, cancer (for PFOA), and thyroid hormone disruption (for PFOS). Also under investigation are chemical precursors and telomers developed by industry. Human exposure to PFAS compounds comes from a wide variety of sources, including food packaging materials, commercial household products, workplace environments such as the electronics industry, drinking water sources and living organisms in which these substances have been shown to accumulate and persist over time.
Thermo Fisher Scientific has the products and applications experience to help you achieve optimal analysis for PFAS compounds. Though analyzed for many years, recent developments have resulted in the need to quantify PFAS compounds for potential compliance monitoring in public water bodies to protect human consumption. Examples of methods developed by the U.S. EPA for drinking water are 537, and 537.1. Validated methods developed for additional water matrices include EPA 8327 and ASTM 7979. Due to the large number of possible PFAS compounds and lack of standards, PFAS analysis often involves screening unknowns. In such cases HRAM methods are the tool of choice. For example, the Thermo Scientific Orbitrap mass analyzer technology delivers a total possible maximum resolution (FWHM) of 1,000,000 at m/z 200 and a sub-1 ppm mass accuracy in a single, compact and easy-to-use instrument. These systems detect a wide range of compounds and small molecules during both targeted and untargeted analyses, without losing selectivity or sensitivity.
Smart tips for testing water
Using a handheld instrument is great for easy spot-testing with instant results.
Handheld equipment also comes in handy when in the field as a single meter can be used for multiple locations.
A total dissolved solids (TDS) meter first tests electrical conductivity (EC) and then converts the EC to the best estimate of TDS.
This type of device incorporates three non-linear conversion factor options for the best possible measurements.
Frequent resting, particularly of the TDS levels, will determine if and when a filter or membrane needs to be changed, ensuring optimum performance.
Tips for testing the quality of water from your tap
Reports of lead in drinking water have sounded alarm bells in several communities across the U.S. Maybe that’s got you wondering what’s in your tap water, and how safe it is. The answer isn’t always easy to find out. Consumer Reports reveals some tips for how to test the water from your tap.
Most municipal water in the U.S. appears to be safe to drink and free from harmful contaminants, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But how do you know if water passing through your pipes into your tap is safe?
If you’re connected to a community water system and pay your own bill, you should receive an annual water-quality report called a CCR, or Consumer Confidence Report. If you haven’t been getting one, call your local water supplier. And if you rent, contact your landlord.