Congratulations on moving into your new place! But wait, don’t drink that tap water without testing it!
That’s right— whether you’re renting or if you just bought your new home, it’s highly important that you test the drinking water before you use it. Even if you plan to filter your water before drinking, many basic home water filter systems cannot filter out all toxins.
Fortunately, testing your home’s water is a fairly simple process that can save you time, money and your health in the long run. Here’s what you need to know:
Dangerous Toxins Found in Drinking Water
We all like to believe that the plumbing in our homes is up to date and not bringing any harmful substances in. However, the only way to be sure of this is to actually test the water for contaminants. Common toxins found in drinking water include:
Ongoing exposure to these contaminants cause them to build up in the body and can lead to health issues, including brain and nerve damage, digestive issues and more. Children are particularly vulnerable, as are pregnant women. Keep in mind that while older homes may be more susceptible to plumbing issues and contaminated water, these issues can occur in any home.
Understanding PH Balance
In a nutshell, the “PH balance” of your water refers to its acidity levels. In addition to testing for toxins, it is also important that you check the PH level in order to make sure your water is safe for drinking. The EPA recommends your drinking water’s PH levels fall between 6.5 and 8.5.
How to Use a Water Test Kit
Water test kits used to only be readily available to medical, science and industrial professionals. But thanks to simple test strip technology, they are now more available and easy to use. Individual strips are designed to test for different types of contaminants, so pay close attention to the directions for each and follow carefully.
In most cases, you will hold the strip in the water (or under a steady stream) for a full second and then, without shaking it, let it sit dry for 10 seconds. You will then compare the developed color to the provided color chart to determine the level (if any) of contamination.
What if There Are Toxins in My Drinking Water?
The good news is that it’s not the end of the world if you do discover there are contaminants in your drinking water. Depending on what they are, you should consider switching to a high tech, advanced filtration system (this will be the solution in most cases). Other options include having a plumber investigate the system or even just switching to bottled water. In extreme cases with exceptionally high toxin levels, you may want to consider consulting with a lawyer over what your options are.