What's In My Water?
January 31, 2018 at 7:00 AM
What’s In My Water?
The high lead content in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan captured the eyes of the nation as we watched families struggling to control a situation they felt was out of their hands. They entrusted the safety of their water to local officials who failed to do their job. While most of us are hundreds or thousands of miles away from this situation it should make each of us question, what’s in our water and how can we best ensure it is safe?
The first question to answer is, where does your water come from? Maybe it originates as ground water, or it comes directly from a body of water such as a river or a lake. To find out, go to the EPA website, type in your zip code then view the source. The EPA is responsible for setting the standards of water safety and it is up to the local officials to ensure the guidelines are followed. From this part of the website you can also view the safety of your water, as well as many other pieces of related information. Follow the link to learn more about the water in your area; https://geopub.epa.gov/DWWidgetApp/ The EPA also offers a wide variety of related water information on their Ground Water and Drinking Water page; https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water For more specific questions concerning the water in your area contact your local water producer.
If your water source is from a private well, there are recommendations you can follow to ensure the safety of your well water. You can visit the Center for Disease Control website and learn more on well water; https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/. The CDC website offers a wealth of information on well testing, maintenance, and more.
Looking to do your own in-home testing? Many products are available to do your own analysis. A simple search on the internet will turn up many available testing products or, you can visit your local hardware or home improvement store for nearby, quick options. Keep in mind that testing involves more than just lead. Water needs to be free of or, have safe levels of bacteria, chemicals, VOC’s, nitrates, etc. If you’re near an area where the land has changed significantly, i.e. from farming to housing development, and your water source is a well, you may benefit greatly from testing since this repurposing of land use can significantly affect the water.
While talking about water sources, it’s also a great time to remember what we dump into storm sewers or on the ground can end up back in our tap water. Help yourself and your community by keeping your water clean and, by conserving this precious resource.
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