I have city water, should I test it? Get the scoop on testing your drinking water.
When you always have access to clean, safe drinking water, it can be easy to take for granted. Then a crisis like Flint, Michigan strikes. Suddenly, you start to question what flows from your tap.
While most U.S. citizens can consume their tap water without worry, exceptions certainly exist. Violations are widespread and, despite the fact that all public water suppliers in the nation are required to uphold certain levels of drinking water standards, quality varies greatly.
Of the more than 160,000 public water systems in the country, no two are exactly alike. They each differ in:
- Source water quality
- Treatment engineering
- Public relations management
Additionally, water quality also varies significantly within every system. The following are some factors that contribute to differences in tap water quality from customer to customer within the same system:
- Distance from water system to customer’s home
- Age of piping in customer’s home
- Connection type
- Use of point-of-entry treatment systems
Because U.S. drinking water infrastructure has been chronically underfunded for decades and contaminants are regulated based on health risk andeconomic feasibility, many water systems are forced to resort to shortcuts in both testing and treatment options. In some cases, customers may be supplied with contaminated water.
Supposing that the water leaving your local treatment plan is clean, it may not stay that way. It can take anywhere between three and seven days for water to reach your faucet. The age and type of pipe in the distribution system and in your home all play a role in the safety of your tap water quality.
How Can You Find Out What’s in Your Water?
The EPA requires that public water systems serving 100,000 people or more publish an annual Consumer Confidence Report on the Internet. While it also strongly encourages smaller systems to do the same, tracking down this information can be a bit more challenging. If you are served by a smaller system and are curious about what is in your city water, we recommend that you start your search here–where the EPA compiled a list of all water quality reports of which it is aware.
If your Consumer Confidence Report does not provide the information you are seeking, here are a list of other water quality tracking resources:
- Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters (DWMAPS)
- National Occurrence Database
- Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) Federal Reporting Services
Still Not Sure? Test Your Water Yourself!
While there are a lot of great resources regarding water quality reports, the only sure-fire way to really know what’s in your water is to test it yourself. That’s where Tap Score comes in. Our Advanced City Water Test will give you answers if you are unsure.
Who is this test made for?
Tap Score’s Advance City Water Test is ideal for people who live in a home built prior to 1986, are served by old infrastructure, or have children or other vulnerable individuals (such as people with compromised immune systems or the elderly) living in their home. It’s also built for people who suspect their water may have issues based on the way their water tastes, smells, or looks.
What does Tap Score’s Advanced City Water package test for?
All testing is performed with EPA certified testing methods in our network of certified laboratories.
The package tests for 127 parameters, including:
- 8 General Characteristics (such as pH, hardness, Total Dissolved Solids)
- 30 Metals
- 4 Disinfection Byproducts
- 5 Anions
- 2 Synthetic Organic Chemicals
- 4 Pesticides and Fertilizers
- 73 Volatile Organic Compounds
How can I evaluate my results?
Your results will be processed and scored (0-100) based on the most cutting edge scientific understanding of what risks different contaminants pose to your health. We use the most conservative thresholds across research and regulation for all the contaminants in our tests to evaluate your water quality. Your report will include your personalized TapScore, the quantitative results for each contaminant, a short explanation interpreting these results, and unbiased treatment recommendations should we see anything concerning based on what’s in your water.
What happens if you find that your water is contaminated?
If your in-home test reveals that your water system has left you with less than desirable water, there is hope. Unlike treatment companies that often recommend unnecessarily expensive treatment options, we, at SimpleWater, will provide you with unbiased and affordable recommendations that are specifically tailored to combat the contaminants found in your Tap Score Report.