If you thought that all drinking water was created equal — think again! Depending on your plumbing setup and the community in which you live, the water that comes pouring out of your faucet can vary when it comes to its source and contamination risks. Here’s what you need to know:
Q: Where does my drinking water come from?
The answer to this question can vary from home-to-home. While some homes receive their water from a municipal water supply, others pump it from a private well. If you rely on a public water system, your drinking water is derived from either surface water or ground water.
Q: What is the difference between surface and ground water?
Surface water is collected within streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs, while ground water collects below the earth’s surface in spaces and aquifers between sediment.
Q: What health issues should I be worried about with regards to my drinking water?
The most common illnesses associated with drinking contaminated water are gastrointestinal issues, reproductive problems and neurological disorders. Infants, young children, women who are pregnant and individuals who are elderly are at a higher risk for illness.
Q: How can I be sure that my drinking water is safe?
If it comes from a public water supply, you can rest assured that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put policies in place to regulate drinking water quality. Most notably was the Safe Drinking Water Act, passed in 1974 and amended in 1986 and 1996. With a private well, it can be more difficult to tell without enlisting the help of a professional.
Q: How do water contaminants get in, in the first place?
Most contaminants are naturally occurring, meaning that they are byproducts of natural chemical processes that seep into your water supply. These include arsenic, radon and uranium. Contaminants can also arise from fertilizers, pesticides and sewage problems.
Q: What contaminants does the EPA regulate testing for?
E.coli, Salmonella and Cryptosporidium species are just a few of the 90+ contaminants that the EPA mandates regulation for. For a complete list, click here. Remember, private wells are not regulated at all.
Q: Should I have my private well tested?
Absolutely! As a private well owner, you are the only person responsible for making sure your drinking water is safe and free from contamination.
While the EPA does a good job of keeping public water supplies regulated and in compliance with safe levels of contaminants, that doesn’t mean they’re able to completely eliminate them all. On the flip-side, private wells are not regulated by the EPA at all. That’s why it’s so important to have your water tested by a professional — like the ones here at Aquarius Water Conditioning.