Water Quality and Occupant Safety
It is one of the most important resources for life. Water quality not only matters for drinking water but ultimately for the entire water cycle, too. This includes surface, ground and waste water sources. Water quality also impacts the health and hygiene of the surrounding population. In addition to illness, a variety of other water problems such as taste, color, odor, staining of clothes or fixtures are commonly noticed around human dwellings.
Understanding Water Contamination
Water contamination can be physical, chemical and biological. Regardless of the source, using contaminated water for drinking, cooking or housekeeping poses human health risks. People with health conditions, juveniles, pregnant women and older adults are most vulnerable to acquire infections or diseases from consuming contaminated water.
Most importantly, testing water quality periodically helps avoid a number of unwanted problems initiated due to consumption of contaminated water. It’s encouraged to test your domestic water supply to confirm the presence or absence of contaminants. The New York State Department of Health recommends to regularly test your water. They suggest that testing your drinking water is the only way to make sure that your water remains suitable for household use. They advise to test the tap water at least once a year for bacteria and every 3-5 years for other contaminants. Their recommended time for water testing is late spring or early summer.
If there is water well on your property, have a well contracture inspect it at least once a year to stay ahead of maintenance issues. A regular inspection is also beneficial to prevent contaminants from getting into your tap water. Contamination mostly occurs through rain water run-off and plumbing compromises, in addition to biofilm formation in and around water system.
Legionella is another important pathogenic waterborne bacteria that causes legionnaires’ disease in humans. Testing water storage tanks, water supplies of multifamily/storage buildings, hospitals, health care facilities, hospitality industries, public parks, and other public places is very important to prevent and control Legionella and associated risks.
Water Quality Testing Recommendations
EPA Home Water Testing describes the scenario and recommended testing which is summarized in the table given below:
For water testing it is essential to collect the water sample carefully. Please follow laboratory instructions clearly for collecting the water. Most laboratories supply their own sampling container with instructions. Water for microbial contamination analysis must be collected in a sterile water sampling container. A laboratory may sometimes send a trained technician to collect the sample or to analyze the sample directly in your home. Sample quality is directly correlated with the reliability of the test result outcome.
EDLab at Pure Air Control Services, Inc. is both a CDC Elite Program and NYS DoH ELAP certified laboratory. For more information on water quality testing and analysis please contact us at 1-800-422-7873 ext. 304 or via this page.