We are fortunate in that we don't usually have to worry about the quality of the drinking water in our homes. However, contamination can still occur from issues in and around your home, disasters, or the failure of treatment systems. You might not even be aware of it, since most of the common water contaminants found in our homes are colorless, tasteless, and odorless.
If you're looking to buy a new home, then that is a great time to test the quality of that home's water supply. Significant contamination may be a problem for the whole neighborhood, or it could be an issue with the home or the well itself — which might be expensive to correct. If the quality of the water is good, then you'll have peace of mind knowing that the water you're drinking is safe can clean.
Coliform Bacteria: This is the most important test to determine if the water is safe to drink. It detects contamination from sewage, surface water, and other sources that may contain disease-causing bacteria. Coliforms should never be present in drinking water. The test also includes the detection of E. coli.
Nitrates/Nitrites: Elevated levels of nitrates and nitrites are often caused by fertilizers used on farmland, lawns, golf courses, and parks, among other sources. More than 10 mg/L of Nitrates is dangerous to infants and pregnant women, causing a condition commonly known as "blue baby syndrome."
Lead: Lead is a toxic element and should not be present in drinking water at levels greater than 15 µg/L. Contamination from Lead solder is fairly common, and some older homes may even have lead pipes. Lead in paint is also a concern, especially in households where children are present.
Iron: Like hardness, Iron is not a health hazard, but can be a nuisance if high levels are present in water. Concentrations higher than 0.3 mg/L may cause staining and a bitter taste.
Turbidity: This is a measure of the clarity, or cloudiness, of your drinking water. Cloudy water is caused by a large number of particles suspended in the liquid. The World Health Organization (WHO) specifies that turbidity should be no higher than 5 NTU, and ideally below 1 NTU.
pH: The pH level is an indication of how acidic or alkaline the water is. Ideally, water should have a neutral pH of 7.0, and anywhere between 6.5 and 8.5 is acceptable.
MAG Home Inspections provides water quality testing in Elkton and surrounding areas including North East, Perryville, Rising Sun, Chestertown, Centreville, Cecil County, Harford County, Kent County, and Queen Anne's County in Maryland as well as Chester County and Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. Not sure if that's you? Give us a call at (410) 398-3260 or send us an email.