Maybe the water from your private water source tastes funny. Maybe it has a cloudy look.
Maybe you’re concerned about how close that on-site sewer treatment system, gas station, farm, or factory is to your property.
Maybe it isn’t any of those things and you just haven’t tested your well in a while. No matter the reasoning, it’s important to test the purity of your private water source. After all, the EPA doesn’t have rules in place to protect it. You must be vigilant about threats to your water supply.
It’s possible that some of your concerns are for naught. Not all contaminants cause illnesses or have serious ramifications. But, it doesn’t change that some contaminants are hazardous to your health. The only way to know which ones are in your water is to enlist the help of reputable professionals to conduct private water testing for your Warrenton VA water source.
With that being said, it’s important to note, knowledge is power. It is in this spirit that we offer this comprehensive guide to give you a basic understanding of the importance of private testing for your Warrenton, VA water source.
Why should I test my water?
A lot of times, the presence of contaminants is not a cause of worry. But, this doesn’t mean they don’t impact the quality of your water in terms of odor, taste, and appearance. Furthermore, their presence may indicate animal feces, human feces, disease-causing germs, and/or sewage is in your system.
Additionally, some contaminants can cause illness, like diarrhea or skin infections. Some have deadly effects. Private water testing of your Warrenton, VA water source will detect them. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What should I test for?
There are several contaminants in your well at any given time. But, when conducting private water testing for your Warrenton VA systems, there are certain contaminants to test for that will reveal a lot of information. Some of these include:
- Total coliforms: This microbe is present in the digestive systems of warm-blooded animals, on plants, in soil, and in surface water. Usually, total coliforms don’t make you sick but if we find significant levels of these microbes, it indicates harmful germs, parasites, bacteria, and viruses are in your water.
- Fecal coliforms: This is a specific type of total coliform. Stool and digestive systems of warm-blooded animals contain millions of these bacteria. One of the most popular in this group is E. coli and we can test for it by itself. Fecal coliforms are generally harmless. However, if the test comes back positive, it may indicate that harmful germs and feces have found their way into your private water system. These harmful germs can cause hepatitis, dysentery, and diarrhea.
- Ions: These include manganese, iron, sulfate, chloride, and sodium. These are not necessarily harmful but, they may make your water taste funny or have a weird smell.
- pH levels: The pH level of your water can change how it tastes and looks. If your water’s pH is too high or too low, it can cause damage to your pipes and heavy metals to leak into your water, which can make you sick.
- Sulfates: At low levels, sulfates are nothing to worry about. However, too many sulfates in your well water may have a laxative effect on the body. It may even cause gastrointestinal irritation.
- Nitrates: Nitrates are in food so they’re not usually a cause for concern. But, if there are high levels of this compound in your drinking water, it can make you sick. Nitrates come from several sources including decaying plants, agricultural runoff, fertilizer, polluted stormwater runoff, flooded sewers, wastewater, private septic systems, and animal waste. If it’s found that the nitrate levels in your well are higher than what the EPA deems acceptable, it’s recommended you find another source of water.
- Fluoride: Most of us are familiar with this micronutrient because it’s in our toothpaste and promotes healthy dental hygiene. However, this is a case where too much of a good thing is bad. Excessive amounts of fluoride in your well water can cause dental problems.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): These refer to industrial-type chemicals like methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), trichloroethylene, toluene, carbon tetrachloride, and benzene.
The above list is not a complete one. So, there might be other harmful chemicals or germs to test for in your case. Whether you test for these extra contaminants will depend on several factors, one being the location of the well on your property. You should also consider private water testing of your Warrenton, VA property if you suspect a particular contaminant is present in your water.
How often should I test my well?
You must conduct private water testing for your Warrenton VA water source every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, and pH levels. If you think there might be other contaminants present, test for these as well. Your local Health Department can inform you of the common substances found in the groundwater in your area.
But, that’s not all. You should test for copper, lead, nitrites, nitrates, and heavy metals every couple of years. Additionally, testing for VOCs and pesticides should take place every 5 years. Plus, if they use a certain pesticide in your area, test every year for this contaminant.
Are there any special considerations?
You should conduct private water testing for your Warrenton VA property more often if there are elderly adults or small children in your household. This also holds true if someone in the house is nursing or pregnant. These segments of the population are usually more vulnerable to pollutants than someone in the prime of his or her life.
Additionally, you’ll want to test your private well immediately if:
- You know there are problems with drinking water or groundwater in your area
- There was a land disturbance, new construction, industrial activity, or flooding nearby
- You recently repaired or replaced any part of your well system
- There’s a change in water quality, whether it be taste, color, or smell
Where should I test my water?
To get the best results, laboratories certified to do private water testing for residents of Warrenton VA, like Joiner Micro Labs, are optimal.
We are a Virginia NELAP Accredited Laboratory that performs water testing for residents. We’ve been in business for over a quarter of a century and our goal is to provide you with high-quality service that ensures your well water is safe for your family, livestock, and property. To this end, we offer a variety of services that include:
- Private well testing
- Wastewater testing
- Public water compliance testing
How Does the Process Work?
Our private water testing kits for your Warrenton VA well provide an affordable, easy, and effective way to determine if there are contaminants in your water. It only takes 3 simple steps:
- Call us and one of our knowledgeable consultants will help you pick the right test for your private water source. The test you’ve chosen and a postage-paid box will arrive at your address within a few days.
- Collect a sample of your well water with the special container we included in the kit. Once completed, place in the sample in the return box we’ve provided and drop off at your post office.
- When we receive your sample, we’ll run the tests, analyze the results, and email you our findings within a few days.
What do I do if contaminants are in my water source?
If private water testing of your Warrenton VA water source reveals there are contaminant levels in your water that exceed EPA standards, call your local Health Department. They will provide you with the information necessary to find treatment solutions.
After implementing the recommended treatment solution, test your well again to see if the concentration levels of the contaminant is still the same. Thankfully, some problems are fairly easy to handle. For instance, disinfection agents (like chlorine) can significantly reduce bacteria levels in your well water. But, it’s also important to note that depending on the contaminants, their concentration levels, and the condition of your well, you might have to drill a new well or find a new source of water.
Ready to unearth the secrets of your private water source? Simply call us and one of our knowledgeable representatives will guide you through the process. We look forward to hearing from you.