What to Look for in Your Drinking Water Analysis Report

Do you know what’s in your drinking water? Knowing the quality of the water from our tap is important for ensuring we’re staying hydrated with clean and healthy H2O. But when it comes to reviewing a drinking water analysis report, all of those acronyms and scientific terms can be pretty confusing. Understanding how to interpret reports from these tests can help ensure that you always have access to safe and clean drinking water. In this blog post, I’ll explain exactly. what needs to be checked for and make sense of lab results.

Understanding the Basics of Water Analysis Reports – What Information Do They Contain and What Are You Looking For

A drinking water analysis report contains a summary of the results from tests performed to detect contaminants and other substances in the water. Typically, you’ll find information about the following:

 

  1. Physical parameters – This includes pH, temperature, color, turbidity (clarity), hardness, and odor. These characteristics provide an indication of the overall quality and condition of your tap water.

 

  1. Biological parameters – These tests look for microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa (such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium), and algae.

 

  1. Chemical parameters – This includes tests to detect metals, nutrients, disinfectants (such as chlorine), and other substances.

Identifying Potentially Harmful Substances in Your Report and Knowing What to Do

Once you have all of the information from your water analysis report, it’s important to know what you should be looking for in terms of potentially harmful substances. The presence of contaminants or other substances can pose a health risk, and it’s important to understand how the results in your report might impact your drinking water quality.

Fortunately, the EPA has established standards for drinking water quality and safety. These standards are known as Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), which are the highest level of contaminant that is allowed in public water systems. When interpreting your results, you’ll be looking to compare the levels of contaminants found in your tap water to these MCLs. If any of the levels exceed the MCLs, then you should take steps to address and remedy the issue.

For some contaminants, such as lead, there is no safe level. In these cases, it’s important to take immediate action if your results show any trace amount of the contaminant present in your drinking water. Contact your local water authority or a qualified water treatment laboratory professional for assistance.

Common Parameters Analyzed in Drinking Water Reports – pH, Turbidity, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Coliform Bacteria, Nitrates/Nitrites, Chlorine, etc

One of the most important parameters to look at when looking at a drinking water analysis report is pH. This measures the degree of acidity or alkalinity in the water and should be between 6.5 and 8.5 on the pH scale, with 7 being neutral (neither acidic nor alkaline).

Turbidity is an important parameter that measures the clarity of water. High levels of turbidity can indicate the presence of particulate matter or other suspended solids in water and should be as low as possible.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) measure the number of dissolved solids, such as salts, minerals, and organic material in water. The EPA has established a secondary standard for TDS at 500 mg/L, which is the maximum amount of dissolved solids allowed in public drinking water.

Coliform bacteria should also be checked for in a drinking water analysis report. This type of bacteria is found naturally in the environment and can indicate issues with your tap water such as breaches in the water supply system.

Nitrates and nitrites are also commonly tested for in a drinking water analysis report. These substances can be present due to agricultural runoff or other sources and should be below 10 mg/L, which is the EPA’s secondary standard for these contaminants.

Finally, chlorine levels should also be checked in a drinking water analysis report. Chlorine is often added to water as a disinfectant, but levels that are too high can cause issues with taste and odor as well as health concerns. The EPA’s MCL for chlorine is 4.0 mg/L.

Recommended Steps for Improving Your Water Quality and Health Outcomes

If your drinking water analysis report reveals the presence of potentially harmful substances, there are several steps you can take to improve the quality and safety of your drinking water.

The first step is to contact local health authorities and/or a qualified water treatment professional with experience dealing with contaminated or otherwise compromised drinking water systems. This individual can help you identify the source of contamination and put in place measures to remedy the issue.

The second step is to consider investing in a water filtration or treatment system for your home. This can reduce levels of contaminants such as lead, chlorine, and nitrates/nitrites in your tap water. It can also help improve taste and odor.

Thirdly, it’s important to stay informed and vigilant about the quality of your drinking water. Regularly test your tap water at home using a reliable testing kit or schedule periodic tests with an accredited water analytical laboratory. This will help ensure that you are always aware of any changes in your water quality.

Exploring Different Treatment Options and How to Select the Right One

Once you have identified the contaminants present in your drinking water, you now need to explore the treatment options available. Depending on the type and level of contamination present, there are various solutions ranging from filtration systems to chemical treatments.

When selecting a treatment option for your drinking water, consider factors such as cost, effectiveness, and maintenance requirements. It’s also important to research the different types of treatment systems available and select one that is appropriate for your specific needs.

Consult a water treatment professional or qualified service technician before making any major changes to your home’s drinking water system. This will help ensure that you select the right treatment option and that it is properly installed.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your family enjoys clean, safe drinking water at all times. Additionally, regular testing of your drinking water will help you keep track of any changes in quality over time.

For more information on how to improve the quality of your drinking water, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website or contact your local health department. The EPA also offers a variety of resources for exploring different treatment options and selecting an appropriate system for your home.

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