More than half of the average human body is made up of water. When your body is so dependent on something, it is important to make sure that the water you are taking in is clean and healthy. Whether you are drawing your drinking water from a public water supply or a private well, it is at risk of contamination. Luckily, water filtration systems can help you combat that. Here’s what you need to know about identifying contaminants and choosing a filter for your home’s water supply.
The very first step to determining what’s in your water is finding its source. If your home uses a private well on your property, that part is easy. But, if you are on a city water line, it can be more difficult. Talk with your local water department to find out about your water supply’s origin.
Testing Your Water Quality
If you are on a public water supply, you may be able to obtain some testing information from the water department or the company that regulates the aquifer. But, it is always best to conduct your own testing whenever possible. The same holds true for well water, because there will be no public testing available for your home’s private water source.
Work with a private testing company to find out what is in your home’s water. The testing company will come out to your house at least once, draw water samples, and then assess them in a lab. Talk with the lab representatives about any particular contaminants you may be worried about or anything they suggest you test for. Depending on what borders your property, there may be some specific testing to conduct.
For example, if you have a factory or a mining operation near your home, you should have your well water tested for any potential contaminants that may be caused as part of the daily operations of these facilities. Sometimes, they can seep into ground water, which can be cause for concern.
Once the testing is finished, you’ll get a full report that will detail any contaminants present in the water. If you have well water, it is important that you have this testing done every year, because conditions inside your well can change with no warning or obvious indications.
Dealing with Contaminants
The right course of action to address contaminants will vary based on the type of contaminant and the source of the problem. For example, if the testing indicates the presence of rust in the water due to corroded water lines in your house, you can correct that problem by replacing the water lines.
Bacteria in well water can be treated with a disinfectant, or you can cap the well and drill a new one in hopes of finding water that has not been affected. For other contaminants, such as pesticides, minerals or heavy metals, you may want to explore your water filtration options.
Choosing a Water Filter
The right filter for your water system will depend on what you are trying to clear out. For example, an activated carbon filter will eliminate most heavy metals as well as a variety of parasites and chemicals. You can find activated carbon filters in countertop, under-sink and faucet-mounted filters.
Distilling filters boil the water, condensing the steam once it’s been purified. You can find distillers in countertop systems and whole-house filters. They are ideal for eliminating heavy metals and chemicals such as barium and arsenic.
Conditioners will help reduce some of the mineral content, but will not eliminate any of the other chemicals and contaminants. For the best end result, you may want to work with a water quality specialist to implement several different filters.
Water is a vital resource, and one that needs to be as clean as it can be to protect your health. If you find that your water is contaminated, you may want to consider bringing in bottled water until you can implement a filter system. With these tips, you can find out what’s in your water and decide how best to deal with it.