Putting Your Water to the Test

Water quality testing is important for a number of reasons such as checking for contaminants, improving odor and taste and also to classify your water as pure, hard or soft. There are two important water quality testing criteria that can determine the safety and purity of your water:

Total Dissolved Solids

Defined as any minerals, salts, metals or ions dissolved in water, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is measured in parts per million (PPM). The dissolved solids come from sources such as:

  • Organic materials – leaves, silt, plankton, industrial waste, pesticides, road salts
  • Inorganic materials – rocks, metals, minerals, salts
  • Lead or copper from pipes

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates public water supply, allows for a TDS maximum contamination level (MCL) of 500 PPM. Anything above 1,000 PPM is considered unfit for human consumption. High levels of TDS are in direct relation to the presence of sodium, chlorides and potassium. Reducing TDS levels to 50 PPM or less not only ensures the safety of your drinking water, but it also improves the appearance and taste. Reverse Osmosis home filtration systems have a high rate of success in water treatment by reducing TDS and helping to improve the appearance and taste of drinking water.

pH Balance

Known as “pure hydrogen”, pH balance is important in water quality testing to determine the acidity or the alkalinity your water.

Measured on a scale of 0-14, a pH value of 7 means that your water is neutral or “pure.” A normal pH range for water is 6.5 – 8.5. Water with a pH value lower than 6.5 is considered acidic or “soft.” This means your water could have any of the following characteristics:

  • Contain metal ions – iron, manganese, copper, lead
  • Cause premature damage to metal piping
  • Have a metallic or sour taste
  • Stain laundry
  • Leave a “blue-green” staining in sinks

Water with a pH value greater than 8.5 is considered alkaline or “hard.” This means your water could have any of the following characteristics:

  • Alkali or bitter taste
  • Forms deposits on dishes, utensils and laundry basins
  • Difficulty in getting soaps and detergents to lather
  • Forms insoluble precipitates on clothing
  • Hard water does not pose any health risks when consumed

Potential Water Contaminants

  • Disinfectants – chemicals from water additives used during public water treatment
  • Inorganic Chemicals – asbestos, metal discharge, pharmaceuticals, lead, fertilizers
  • Organic Chemicals – herbicides, soil leaching, agricultural run-off
  • Radionuclide – mineral deposits that may emit certain types of radiation

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has a high concentration of minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, compared to soft water. This high concentration of magnesium and calcium can make household chores difficult and can even make hair washed in hard water look dull. Magnesium consumes soap which can leave spots and residue on washed dishes and make freshly washed clothes look dingy. Hard water can cause soap to curd and leaves behind a lime scum residue in your sinks and bathtubs.

Hard on your home

  • Unconditioned water leaves unsightly stains and residue on sinks, tubs, tile and fixtures.
  • Undesirable mineral build-up can etch and stain kitchen sinks and granite countertops.
  • The high concentration of magnesium and calcium in your water can negatively affect your home’s plumbing.

Hard on you

  • Hard water can leave your towels scratchy and non-absorbent. It can also cause premature fabric failure.
  • Due to your soaps reaction to magnesium and calcium, it doesn’t lather or rinse well and leaves a residue on skin and hair.
  • Hard water reduces the effectiveness of cleaning products therefore creating a need to spend up to 50% more money on soaps, detergents and other cleaning products.
  • Chore-doers will spend more time scrubbing tubs, tile and fixtures.

Hard on your wallet

  • Mineral build-up in the water causes inefficient operation which creates higher energy costs.
  • Shorter life cycle of water using appliances lead to costly repairs or replacement.

Your Local Water

Water impurities can come in many forms. Just because the water coming from your tap is clear doesn’t mean it’s actually pure. In fact, most impurities are invisible to the naked eye. In reality, there is a whole spectrum of substances that can be in your drinking water. The link below will take you to a federal database that contains public water data for almost every state, county, city, and town in the United States. Simply enter your address and you will be presented with a complete breakdown of what you and your family are really drinking. You might be surprised and disappointed with what you discover.

Health Benefits

Water is essential for our survival. The human body can survive up to a month without food, but only a week without water. Not only do we need water to live, but it is also greatly beneficial to our health, our body weight and our appearance. Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should fill your glass to the brim with the power of pure water:

Drinking water keeps your body healthy & happy

  • Water transports key nutrients throughout the body and is important for healthy circulation
  • Water helps boost energy levels – Did you know that mild dehydration is the most common cause for fatigue?
  • Drinking water helps to naturally flush toxins from the body and decreases swelling and fluid retention
  • Water can alleviate and prevent headaches by reducing restricted blood flow
  • Water keeps your body functioning properly, aiding in digestion and preventing constipation
  • Staying hydrated is also important in regulating brain function

Drinking water is important to maintaining a healthy body weight

  • Drinking water helps to decrease fluid retention or “water weight”
  • Water keeps bowels functioning regularly, reducing abdominal discomfort and bloating
  • Drinking water can help your body to feel “full”, helping to reduce cravings and the tendency to overeat at meals
  • Staying adequately hydrated with water can help improve performance during physical activity
  • Drinking 8 or more glasses of water per day can help increase your body’s metabolic rate (the ability to burn calories)

Drinking water contributes to healthy, beautiful skin

  • Drinking water keeps the skin well hydrated
  • Keeping skin hydrated increases elasticity, resulting in younger-looking, radiant skin
  • Hydrated skin is also better able defend itself from environmental toxins
  • Drinking water helps to flush toxins that can contribute to skin blemishes
  • Drinking water helps keep the skin from retaining fluid and looking swollen or “puffy”
  • Drinking water helps maintain your skin’s natural pH balance

The Truth about Tap Water

Thanks to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) passed in 1974, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates public water suppliers and sets standards to ensure the safety of your drinking water. While these regulations are in place to create safe drinking water, they do not always create pure drinking water. Our public water filtration systems treat nearly 34 billion gallons of water per day. Not all contaminants can be removed with the water treatment methods used. In fact, in some areas, substances are added to the water to remove impurities. Shouldn’t you enjoy clean, pure water without adding anything to it?

Potential Water Contaminants

  • Disinfectants – chemicals from water additives used during public water treatment
  • Inorganic Chemicals – asbestos, metal discharge, pharmaceuticals, lead, fertilizers
  • Organic Chemicals – herbicides, soil leaching, agricultural run-off
  • Radionuclide – mineral deposits that may emit certain types of radiation

There are several ways to help reduce the possible contamination of your public water supply including, reducing the amount of trash your produce, recycling used oil and anti-freeze and carpooling or taking public transportation to reduce emissions. You can also add a home water filtration system to help remove contaminants that remain in your tap water.

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