When should you test your water quality?

  • Do you expect to have a new baby?
  • Have you had a chemical or fuel spill or a leak near your water supply?
  • Are there unexplained illnesses in your family?

How frequently should I test?

Test water every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids and pH levels.

 

The following chart will help you recognize problems and the possible contaminants.

Conditions or Nearby Activities: Test for:
Recurring gastro-intestinal illness Coliform bacteria
Household plumbing contains lead pH, lead, copper
Radon in indoor air or region is radon rich Radon
Corrosion of pipes, plumbing Corrosion, pH, lead
Nearby areas of intensive agriculture Nitrate, pesticides, coliform bacteria
Coal or other mining operations nearby Metals, pH, corrosion
Gas drilling operations nearby Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium
Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station or dry-cleaning operation nearby Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals
Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and near gas station or buried fuel tanks Volatile organic compounds
Objectionable taste or smell Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals
Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry Iron, copper, manganese
Salty taste and seawater, or a heavily salted roadway nearby Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium
Scaly residues, soaps don’t lather Hardness
Rapid wear of water treatment equipment pH, corrosion
Water softener needed to treat hardness Manganese, iron
Water appears cloudy, frothy or colored Color, detergents

For more information, visit EPA’s webpage about Drinking Water.

To schedule water testing, please contact the Indoor Environmental Division of Baxter Group, Inc.

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