What’s in Your Water? Water Quality Assessment Done Right

What’s in Your Water? Water Quality Assessment Done Right

We often assume that the water we drink is safe and free from contaminants. The reality can be far from this. Clean water is a privilege we all take for granted. The lead contamination crisis in Flint has caused many to wonder if they’re even getting drinkable water. Unfortunately, the water we presume to be safe is often riddled with contaminants.

Therefore, anytime you move to a new place, we’d recommend checking the water first. Otherwise, you’ll realize how bad it is only when it is too late – oftentimes when the community starts to catch illnesses.

You’d be surprised at the harmful effects of drinking contaminated water, which often looks pretty clean. So, water quality assessment might seem tedious, but it’s essential.

It helps you reduce potential health risks and ensure safe drinking water for you and your family. If you’d like to find out what’s in your water, you’re at the right place. Read on to know how to perform complete water quality assessment the right way.

Most Common Contaminants Present in Water 

Lead isn’t the only thing contaminating our water supplies. You’ll find traces of chloramine too, which is used to disinfect drinking water. More than 4 mg of chloramine per liter of water can result in harmful effects.

Iron, chlorine, and disinfection byproducts are other common contaminants. In addition, pesticides mixed with water can seep through the surface and mix in groundwater – rendering it unsuitable for drinking.

Similarly, nitrates enter our drinking water due to their use as fertilizers.

It’s also a good idea to look out for fluoride (although it isn’t considered a contaminant and is added by municipal water supplies in the US to prevent tooth decay). Too much fluoride is considered problematic. Here’s a useful guide on how to test water for fluoride.

Water Quality Assessment Done Right

Here’s how you can perform water quality assessment.

Obtain Consumer Confidence Report

Your first step should be to obtain your county’s CCR (Consumer Confidence Report). This water quality report is released every year on the 1st of July. You can access the CCR for your specific county here.

The community water suppliers must provide you with such a report. They are bound to do that by the EPA and usually send the report via mail or online.

However, if you live in an apartment complex or rental house, you don’t pay the water bill directly. So, in that case, you’ll have to contact your building manager or landlord for the CCR.

Now, the next step is to understand your CCR.

Not all CCRs look the same. The water quality report will inform you of the contaminants present in the water and how they can affect your health. Contaminants in a harmful quantity will be marked as “violated”.

Hire a Lab to Test Water

It’s also a good idea to hire a water testing lab to ensure your drinking water is safe. It will help put your mind at ease once you know what’s in the water.

Secondly, hiring a testing lab will help you discover hard-to-find contaminants as these labs use distinctive methods to analyze the water.

Lastly, knowing your accurate water quality test results will help avoid hair and skin problems, for example hair damage. Did you think your hair loss is due to the weather? Maybe not – maybe it’s the water that is causing havoc.

A lab test will reveal most impurities and contaminants present in your water system, which will help you take the right preventive measures.

Using DIY Test Kits

The third precautionary measure you can take is using a do-it-yourself test kit. After all, doing it yourself gives you more reassurance. There are several water testing kits available online.

Depending on your preference, you can opt for a digital test or a visual test. However, this practice will limit you somewhat. Firstly, you can’t check for all contaminants using test kits because such extensive test kits aren’t publicly available.

Secondly, some of the contaminants only appear in parts per billion (ppb). That means you need more advanced testing tools to create accurate results. Therefore, we’d only recommend DIY water testing if you want to get a general idea of your water conditions.

Using Your Senses

Lastly, you can determine water quality using your senses.

  • If your community’s water tastes like chemicals or has a bitter tinge to it, you can file a complaint to your local water supplier.
  • Discoloration and cloudiness in water are also clear signs for concern.
  • Yellow water is a sign of chromium-6, which can cause cancer.
  • Brown water is a sign of excess iron, lead, or manganese.
  • Furthermore, if your hands feel slimy even after using soap, it’s a sign of hard water.
  • If your water smells like bleach, you’re probably facing excessive chlorine.
  • Likewise, the smell of rotten eggs indicates the presence of hydrogen sulfide.
  • Lastly, if you constantly smell fish in your water or drinking glasses, it could mean there’s an excess of barium. It could also be an indication of the presence of cadmium. This chemical can cause kidney, bone, and liver damage.

Beware

Even when you think your drinking water is safe, you should still beware. There are several harmful contaminants that might be present in our water that we’re unaware of. With a water quality assessment done right, you’ll be able to identify those contaminants, and prevent any oncoming diseases and other potential health risks.

A water quality test can also help you track changes in water quality over time.

If your assessment results are concerning, you should contact your local municipal water supply. You can also take preventive measures in your daily life to ensure the water is safe and drinkable for your family.

How to Buy the Best Reverse Osmosis Filter System

How to Buy the Best Reverse Osmosis Filter System

It has become riskier not to filter and purify the water you use in your home. Cases of cancer-causing chemicals and minerals have been reportedly found in water, in different states. This just emphasizes the importance of buying a water filtration system.

In the market, there are multiple types, brands, and designs, all of which come in different shapes, sizes, and prices. A reverse osmosis filter system has been deemed one of the best ways to ensure cleaner, healthier water for consumption. Even so, there are multiple types and models.

In this guide, you are going to learn the benefits of choosing reverse osmosis water filtration, and the factors you need to consider to buy the best reverse osmosis system. Read on.

Why Reverse Osmosis

Before we dive into the factors you should consider while choosing a reverse osmosis filter system, here is why you should consider a reverse osmosis system in the first place;

It is Deemed one of the Best

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, the fact that reverse osmosis is one of the most recommended water filter systems automatically gives it a pass. This system has been used for a little over a decade and is a tried and tested system approved by experts and professionals.

It does more than just filtering water; it offers a number of benefits all in one, including improving taste, purifiers, water softens hard water, improves the smell of your water, and more.

Get Cleaner, Safer, and Healthier Water

From removing all hard water-causing minerals, harmful contaminants, dust and particles, and other harmful chemicals and bacteria Reverse osmosis is a trusted process designed to provide better, healthier water all around.

This is not only for your tap water but also bottled water, which is essentially filtered but still contains some minerals and contaminants. Some of these contaminants removed by the reverse osmosis systems include bacteria, viruses, lead, mercury, nitrates, and particulates.

Unlimited Supply of Water that Smells and Taste Better

If you are hosting many guests, or for some reason, you need more filtered water, a RO system is such a great deal. Instead of having to purchase multiple single bottled water, you can rest easy knowing you have clean, healthy, and high-quality water to consume.

Saves you Money

There are many ways in which a RO system will save you money. First, buying bottled water may seem cheaper than making a big investment to purchase a whole water filter system. But in the long run, it costs more for the need of having to run to the store every day or week to get water to use.

You also have access to an endless supply of clean water and don’t have to worry about running out of bottled water in the house. You probably just use bottled water for drinking but still consume unfiltered tap water through food and soup. With an ROI system, you have clean water not only for drinking but also for cooking.

Factors of Buying the Best Reverse Osmosis Filter System 

There are many factors that will determine which type of RO system you get. Check them out below;

Water Supply

Where your water is coming from will determine the type of system you get. There are two types of water supplies; city water and well water. For urban areas, you probably are getting water from one of the water treatment plants in the city. This is usually treated and may have less contaminants.

On the other hand, rural areas mostly use well water. This may have higher contamination consisting of bacteria, living micro-orgasms, and viruses. This requires a higher level filtration system, like a UV light sterilizer system.

Water Pressure 

This is one of the crucial elements that affect how a reverse osmosis system works. Usually, an RO system uses more pressure to push water through the membrane. You therefore must meet the pressure requirements, for you to be able to efficiently use a Reverse Osmosis system.

Filtration Quality

There are many factors that may affect filtration quality. This includes the different companies and brands, technology differences, and more. Apart from the main filter in the Reverse Osmosis system, there are pre-filters and post-filters that are also contributing factors to the effectiveness of the system.

Most companies claim to remove up to 99% of contaminants. It is therefore important to test the effectiveness and quality of the system yourself. You can do this by measuring the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). Also, make sure to check the certifications and make sure they are approved.

Budget vs. Price

You not only want to make a budget for the purchase of your filtration system but also the maintenance. You also want to make sure that your budget matches the prices in the market. The initial cost of the system is usually straightforward and is not hard to determine a budget for it.

Keep in mind that maintenance, repairs, replacements, and other faulty costs will also occur along the way as well as your ability to take care of these faults.