Category Archives for Water Testing

well water testing kits; scientific method to soften hard water

How To Select Well Water Testing Kits for Your Home Water Well

Is well water testing needed for your well?

Do you see stains, signs of corrosion or is there an odor to the water?

Is a well water testing kit needed for your well?  If you use the water in your home for bathing, washing or drinking, it is recommended.  Do you see stains, signs of corrosion or is there an odor to the water?   Well water testing is critical especially if your family depends on your well for household water needs.

well water testing : chemicals in agricultural landsWell water testing is something that a lot of homeowners, who have their own private water wells, are thinking about these days.

According to a new Gallup poll, 63 percent of respondents said they worried “a great deal” about pollution of drinking water, while 57 percent of overall respondents also said they were concerned about water pollution.

Over 15 million U.S. households (approximately 15 percent of Americans) rely on their water wells for drinking water. Private water wells should be protected from contamination. Fertilizers and pesticides from nearby farms and gardens can find their way into groundwater supply over time. Toxic substances from mining sites, landfills,

Fertilizers and pesticides from nearby farms and gardens can find their way into groundwater supply over time. Toxic substances from mining sites, landfills, and even used motor oil can also seep into groundwater. It is also possible for septic tank wastes to leach into the ground and contaminate the water you draw from your well.

well water contaminationSources of  Well Water Contamination

If contaminated groundwater is consumed, it could cause illness. Septic tank waste can cause hepatitis and dysentery. Toxins can poison both humans and animals. Long-term effects of prolonged exposure to polluted water include cancer and organ failure.

Ground water contamination can come from many sources, including:

  • Seepage through landfills
  • Failing septic tanks
  • Underground storage tanks
  • Fertilizers, pesticides,  and agricultural seepage in your area
  • Runoff from urban areas
  • Gas stations or manufacturing nearby

According to best practices recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local health agencies you should test your water at least once for serious threats and annually for some common problems.

Which Well Water Testing Kit To Use?

A general mineral analysis is a good place to start.  It will show immediately the level of minerals you have in your well water, if the water will be corrosive, or if the water will be scale forming in your pipes and fixtures. If you are seeing stains, sediment, or odor in your water this type of test is recommended as a good low cost option.

Test for:

  • Alkalinity
  • Copper
  • Hardness
  • Hydrogen Sulfide
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • pH
  • Sulfate
  • Total Dissolved Solids

Live Near a Gas Station, Agriculture, or Industrial Site?

well water testing kitIf you live near a service station, or your well is near a modern farm which uses chemicals, then a general mineral plus pesticide, herbicides, and heavy metals are recommended.  One (relatively) low-cost way to go is to use a WaterCheck Test Kit.

The kit includes the WaterCheck Test Kit with ice freeze pack and test bottles. Note that once you take the water samples, the samples and chill pack (chill pack is included) must be sent by overnight express service (USPS, FEDX or UPS) to the lab in Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197. This can cost between $45 to $100 depending on where you live and is not included in our low upfront cost.

Please allow 3 to 4 weeks to get back the results. This certified lab test is a great bargain, but it does take some time to get the results back from the lab! After the test is complete you will be emailed a copy and also sent a hard copy by mail. We also provide expert interpretation of the report if you have any questions.

Professional EPA-certified laboratory results can now be yours for a fraction of the cost of regular laboratory testing. This 103 parameter test offers a broad spectrum drinking water analysis including:

  • bacteria
  • metals
  • other inorganics
  • volatile organics
  • pesticides
  • herbicides
  • PCB’s

 

Consider testing your well for pesticides, organic chemicals, and heavy metals before you use a new well for the first time. Test private water supplies annually for nitrate and coliform bacteria to detect contamination problems early.

Test your well more frequently if you suspect a problem. Be aware of activities in your neighborhood that may affect the water quality of your well, especially if you live in an area with septic tanks.

See also: Well Water Test Kits

well water testing- Reasons for well water testing

 

Well Water Test Kits Save Time & Money

Well Water Test Kits Or Laboratory Tests?   Do it yourself well water test kits can save you time and money especially if you are trying to solve aesthetic and not health-related problems.

well water test kit for drinking water

There are a large number of water testing labs and well water test kits on the market for the home water well owner. If you already know your water is safe but are attempting to solve a specific well water problem such as staining, odors or perhaps corrosion there are some outstanding home well water test kits now available to analyze your water in the comfort of your home and get instant results. Read More

Lead Contaminating Your Drinking Water

Lead in drinking water is bad of course, its toxic. Lead is one of the most common elements on earth. In fact, there’s 13mg of lead in every kilogram of the earth’s crust! Lead is useful in things that are essential to our daily living. It is used as main ingredients in making some kinds of batteries, alloys, ammunition, rust inhibitors, sheaths for cable and many other things. Read More

Copper and Your Well Water: Part 2 of 2

In this next post, we will look at what you can do to stop copper corrosion from happening in your pipes. Once corrosion occurs,  ions in the copper can easily dissolve into solution with ions in the water. Oxygen in the water rusts, or oxidizes, the copper which turn it a blue-green color.

First, it is important to determine the source of the corrosion if you think it may be occurring.

Three Tests for Copper Corrosion

1. Test the pH of your water. An ideal pH is between 7.2-8.0.

2. Check to make sure unnecessary electrical connections or appliances are not attached to your system piping. In addition, make sure there is electrical continuity throughout the system. The piping should also be properly grounded in the earth.

3. Cut off portions of piping in the system to check for evidence of the type of corrosion happening. It is also important to look out for signs of poor craftsmanship in the copper piping. Affected areas should be replaced as soon as possible.

Problem: Low pH
Installing a calcite neutralizer will raise the alkalinity and the pH of your water to non-corrosive levels..

 

Problem: High Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
Installing a reverse osmosis system for the whole house will filter dissolved ions out of solution that could be slowly eating away at your piping.

 

Problem: Bacteria and/or Sulfur odors
The water needs to be chlorinated or disinfected ozone treatment before it enters your household pipes.

A good, general, preventative strategy for protecting your piping against corrosion is to install a phosphate feeder. When Phosphate is fed into the system, it adds an insulating coating to the inside walls of the pipes. This strategy works best if the water has an intermediate hardness of 3-5 grains per gallon (or 50-100 mg/L).


Copper and Your Well Water: Part 1 of 2

Copper : part 1 of 2 parts

Blue-Green Water!

Copper is an essential nutrient that your body needs to distribute oxygen to the rest of the body. However, at elevated concentration levels, copper may pose health risks and plumbing problems. DCP_0093

Copper is rarely naturally occurring in water, but can enter drinking water through corroded well and pipe systems. It usually presents itself with blue-green stains on household appliances. It will also likely taste metallic and bitter.Read More

Coliform Bacteria Testing At Home: The Do’s and The Don’ts

Health authorities strongly recommend annual coliform bacteria testing for private water wells as contamination can occur without any change in taste or odor to the water. Depending on your needs, there are many options available for coliform bacteria testing, ranging from testing yourself at home to EPA-certified, lab quality testing.

There are many ways that well water can become contaminated by coliform bacteria, so it is most important to test:

  • Once a year for all private residential water wells
  • After a new well has been constructed
  • After recent work has been done on the well
  • If you suspect or see any indication that contamination has occurred due to interaction with flood water

Read More