Do you know what is in your water? Is it safe to drink? On the heels of the Flint water crisis, these questions are top of mind for homeowners across the city as well as the entire country.
Tony Erdman, home inspector and owner of First Home Inspections in Grand Blanc, conducts more than 700 home inspections annually, and most include water testing.
In fact, he tested the water in 400 homes in the city of Flint, and fortunately, all but two had lead-free water.
What happened in the city of Flint can happen anywhere, Erdman reports. If buying or selling a home, part of your home inspection should include water testing. A home inspector like Erdman will come to your home, take a water sample and ship it off to a state-certified lab for testing. Results are sent back to the inspector, who in turn passes the results to the homeowner, buyer or realtor. Erdman tests for E. coli, Coliform (bacteria), nitrates, nitrites, lead, arsenic and other contaminants.
Erdman also recommends homeowners have their well tested. In the city of Flint, homes with wells were not affected by the water crisis; however, it still is a good idea to have your well water checked for contaminants. You want to know what is in the water you and your family are drinking and using. Arsenic is the biggest concern in well water, and it is prevalent in southeastern Michigan, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Unfortunately, most contaminants have no taste, odor or color. You won’t know by drinking your water if anything is wrong with it. In addition, most contaminations happen over time.
Would a Filtration System Help?
Filtration systems often are a good idea, Erdman says. Buyers have hundreds of choices; however, no single system will correct every water problem, Erdman points out. If your water needs treatment, it should be treated for your specific problem. Every layer of filtration is one more place for bacteria to collect. Once you have an effective filtration system, remember, it requires maintenance and should be tested from time to time to ensure it continues to function effectively.
You can test your own water by purchasing a water test kit, but these are limited in their capabilities. The best bet if you are concerned about the quality of your water is to find a reputable independent lab.
Erdman also notes that the quality of a water source may change over time, sometimes suddenly. Many changes can go unnoticed as the water may look, smell and taste the same as it always did. That is why monitoring your water quality every few years is an important step every homeowner should take.
Should We Switch to Bottled Water?
Bottled water is not safer than tap water, and it costs so much more. Bottled water also has a huge environmental impact. Americans consume 50 billion bottles of water yearly, and most of these bottles end up in landfills.
YOU CAN LEARN MORE AND SCHEDULE YOUR WATER TEST BY CALLING TONY ERDMAN AT 810-691-3611.