Ever since the disastrous incident with the contaminated water source in Flint, Michigan - residents and municipalities across the country have become more acutely aware of the importance of maintaining and providing clean and safe tap water.
An estimated 100,000 residents in Flint (6,000 - 12,000 of them children) were exposed to high levels of lead and will be dealing with the health consequences of this exposure for years to come.
As a result, it's important to be alert and find out if your tap water is safe to drink. The best way to do this is to test it.
How To Test My Tap Water
Before you begin testing your home's (or business) water supply - check out the Annual Drinking Water Quality Report that is put out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Every year, by July 1st, a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is published in the water quality report can be found in there.
If you don't see your town listed there or you can't locate the information you need, you can call the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.
The information you want from the CCR report is the list of any contaminants that were found in your water supply. Your CCR report should also give you the potential health risks associated with those contaminants and what is currently being done by your water company to ammend the problem.
Note: If you get your water supply from well water on your property - you will not recieve a CCR report.
To test your tap water - you can do the following:
- The EPA recommends that you use a certified laboratory. We recommend that you contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline number mentioned above to find the closes laboratory near me. The EPA website claims to have that information on their site but it seems to be buried somewhere and is not easily available.
- Home tests are available but there is no one that tests for every possible contaminant. So, knowing what your CCR report shows will help you to narrow down the type of home water test you could use.
- A review of home water test kits from WaterFilterMag.com may be helpful to identify the test you may be able to use.
- Another source you can check online is from Environmental Working Group organization. Simply visit their website at EWG.org/tapwater. Type in your zip code and you'll be taken to a list of cities in that zip code. Click on your city and you will be given the latest report which will list the specific contaminants and give you the recommended type of filters to reduce those contaminants.
Is sink water safe to drink?
Generally speaking, many adults are able to drink tap water without health consequences. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRC) reported in 2017 the following:
- The water systems in all 50 states in the USA have varying degrees of EPA violations. There were 80,000 such violations discovered in 2015.
- Communities in small rural areas seem to have the worst violations.
- 15% of residents in the USA may be exposed to dangerous levels of contaminated tap water.
We recommend that you filter your tap water prior to drinking it.
How Can A Backflow Preventer Help?
The purpose of a backflow preventer is to keep your drinking water from getting contaminated due to a backflow.
This preventer device is attached to the water pipes to our home and it works by allowing the water to flow in only one direction but never in the opposite direction.
If you have any questions about your tap water or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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