April 30, 2013 : Why test your tap water

Why test your tap water

It is quite natural to assume that our tap water is safe to drink, especially if the water supply is a public one. Indeed, the United States does enjoy a relatively clean and safe water supply, yet threats to drinking water quality do exist. Ensuring safe drinking water is essential for all of us. This is especially true for those who are suffering from immune deficiencies, people undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant recipients, those suffering with a viral illness, children and the elderly.

There are a variety of contaminants that can impact the quality of your drinking water and ultimately your health.


Chlorine is used in municipal water treatments to kill bacteria and viruses. However, when combined with organic waste (like leaves), chlorine produces Trihalomethanes or THMS (common form chloroform). This is a suspected human carcinogen. Chlorinated drinking water has been linked to a variety of illness and for many people chlorine is an irritant which can cause respiratory distress.

Lead/Heavy Metals

Lead is dissolved in water by corrosion of lead pipes or lead soldered pipe joints commonly found in the water distribution system. Some studies have shown that we receive as much as 20 percent of our total lead intake from drinking water. Metal pipes can also leach lead, copper, zinc, iron, and cadmium into the water supply.

Manmade pollutants:
Herbicides, pesticides, petroleum products and chemicals are all pesticides from agricultural use. When combined with the continued dumping of industrial chemical waste, these pollutants have undoubtedly contaminated surface and ground water. Our water treatment systems are not set up to flush out industrial chemicals and pesticides.

Volatile organic chemicals (VOC's):
Solvents, paint, cleaning compounds can also violate our water supplies.

Giaridia and Cryptosporidium: These parasites can and do show up in our drinking water; it can happen anywhere and anytime. Chlorine will not remove all parasites.

To find out more about what's in your drinking water supply make sure to test your water using water testing kits, chlorine test strips, and microorganism tests on a regular basis.