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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article explains the general classes of water contaminants covered in a general water test.
What drinking water contamination tests should you order? This website describes the types of water testing available, outlines common water test fees, describes the details of what parameters are included in various water test options, and gives advice to assist you in deciding what tests to order.
Readers should also see our longer article Water Quality Testing, and advice for home buyers and building owners: water contaminants, water test procedures, well shock procedures, preventing drinking water contamination, and Cheating on water tests in that document.
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Comprehensive water testing covering the groups listed below may be appropriate when purchasing a new property, when local environmental conditions are unknown but suspect, or when building occupants have unusual health vulnerability or compromised immune systems. This article outlines the general classes or groups of comprehensive water tests that one would consider when attempting to perform comprehensive water testing for a broad range of contaminants.
We advise also that you speak with the local health department and neighbors to ask if there are any known specific issues or contaminants nearby, as we have by this means discovered very unusual local water contaminants which otherwise no one would have thought to test. Readers of this section should be sure to also review Water Testing for Contaminants: A Comprehensive Water Test: a detailed parameter list. Be sure to review actual parameters with your home inspector or laboratory: parameters and costs vary.
Water is the universal solvent and it has the capabilities of dissolving just about anything. Because of this unique property water can easily become contaminated. Most common complaints are usually odor or staining problems; like those associated with sulfur and iron. However, serious contaminates as Lead and E.Coli Bacteria may be toxic affecting your family's health. This is why testing your water initially and annual monitoring is important.
COMPREHENSIVE INITIAL WATER TEST
Comprehensive Test would be expected to address four categories of testing in water:
1. Inorganic (this includes minerals and physical properties)
2. Organic (petroleum products, gasoline, fuel oils and solvents)
3. Microbiology (Coliform and other bacteria)
4. Radiological (radon gas)
This is a good way to start.. The comprehensive Test is a powerful tool in detecting contaminates commonly found in surface and deep well waters. If there is a suspicion of Pesticides or Herbicides used near the water source it may be wise to include Pesticides and Herbicides analysis along with the Comprehensive Test.
ANNUAL MONITORING (Standard Test)
After the initial water test, it is customary to monitor the quality to make sure that no changes have occurred. Utilizing the Standard Test yearly is a good way to monitor the water source. If on the original water test, Organic compounds or high amounts of Radon Gas were found, we would strongly suggest again testing with the Comprehensive Test.
This article lists a set of general water test parameters for property buyers or owners who want to be more thorough than performing only a simple "coliform" or "bacteria" test (all that most banks require) but who do not have reason to test for more specific water contaminants. One might take this approach after obtaining knowledge of property history, site inspection, conversation with neighbors, or check with a local health department. This test is more thorough than a simple coliform test but may not meet VA or FHA minimum standards for drinking water. Be sure to review actual parameters with your home inspector or laboratory: parameters and costs vary.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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Water Purity & Water Purification References