For the public's protection, Congress enacted the Clean Water Drinking Act in 1974 and strengthened it in 1986, setting minimum water quality standards for most homeowners. Unfortunately, however, there is no guarantee that all utilities comply with the regulations.
Enforcement is difficult on national, state and local levels; not all known contaminants are on the list; and all testing isn't necessarily accurate. Having your water tested will let you know if there is lead in it. If lead levels are greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb), action is highly recommended. Testing is the only way to tell if there are harmful levels of lead in your drinking water.
-You use water from a private well. Germs and chemicals can get into your well water and contaminate it in different ways. Some germs and chemicals occur naturally. Heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and cadmium are naturally found in rocks and soil and sometimes seep into ground water whichs ends up inside your well water. Other contaminants come from human and animal waste resulting from polluted storm water runoff, agricultural runoff, flooded sewers, or individual septic systems that are not working properly and will seep into your well water. I'd want to know my drinking water is safe, so testing on it an annual basis will keep you and your family from becoming sick from your well water.
-Your home has lead pipes (pipes are a dull gray color, soft enough to be scratched with a knife or key). Your home inspection report will always indicate the type of pipes that are supplying your water.
-Your home has older copper plumbing and / or chrome-plated or brass fixtures.
-You see signs of corrosion from your water (frequent leaks, rust-colored water, stained sinks, dishes or laundry).
If you are concerned about the quality of the water in your home, you may wish to have your Well water tested. Massachusetts Home Inspections will gladly draw a sample of your tap water and have our independent certified lab analyze your water for any unhealthy levels of contaminants. I will contact you with the water test results within two days. (Pricing does vary. Simply click "Optional Services", then scroll down to "Water Quality Analysis" to view testing levels and pricing).
If (after testing) you find that the levels of any contaminants are high, then you need to take action immediately. Depending on the pollutants involved, your next steps may vary. You may need to install a water treatment device, such as a reverse osmosis system, a distillation system, an aeration system or an activated carbon filter.
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