The water crisis that unfolded in Flint, Michigan, has people across the nation wondering about the safety of their own water supply. Flint’s drinking water disaster prompted a federal investigation about lead levels and a state of emergency declaration by Governor Rick Snyder. Scary.
There are certainly no signs that Phoenix valley residents need to worry to that extent over current water conditions, but prevention is better than finding a cure. Homeowners can ease their worries by testing their own water that comes into the homes.
Phoenix residents use more than 100 gallons of water a day which comes from three general sources: rivers and lakes, well-water, and reclaimed water. That water is processed through any of five water treatment plants, and transported through 6,000 miles of water pipes that deliver nearly 300 million gallons of water daily.
As mentioned, there’s no reason to assume that our water supply contains dangerous substances, however, given the number of miles it travels daily through the state’s water filtration system, testing water for impurities isn’t a bad idea.
Water: Testing for Contaminants
Consumers who want to test their water for contaminants, should be aware that testing strips are reasonably accurate, but not that comprehensive. If you have specific concerns about your family’s drinking water, contact a local testing lab and ask about what you should test, given your concerns. Here is Gilbert, Arizona’s Water Information Page.
Lab professionals will be able to point to other resources or recommend tests to make based on knowledge of the surrounding area, and on your description. Seek the assistance of an impartial lab, rather than one connected to the local water utility company or treatment facility in your area.
You can buy a water testing kit from a local home/hardware store. They are also easily found online, including Ultima’s reverse osmosis drinking water system. This system receives a 4.6-star rating out of 5 from Amazon customers.
Maintaining testing water at home will include using testing strips. These strips contain reactant properties that change colors, depending on the type of contaminant discovered. Testing strips may detect the following:
- Non-harmful bacteria that cause a biofilm to form
- Harmful Bacteria (e. coli, coliform, fecal mater, etc.)
- Hard Water
As you undoubtedly noted, a number of the above contaminants are not harmful. However, a few of those listed would be a real cause for concern in low or high levels. If E. coli, fecal matter or lead are found in your family’s drinking water, involve a professional, and don’t drink the contaminated water.
Home Water Treatment – Water Flow
The best water filtration systems remove impurities or potential hazards, while maintaining the highest flow rate possible. They should also be durable. Filtration systems range in price widely, from very affordable to pricey.
A reverse osmosis drinking water system works by filtering out impurities, including lead. Chemicals and solids are eliminated from the tap water in your home, and the system provides drinking water comparable to bottled water.
If you’re going to do it yourself, a few home water treatment brands are rated highly for ease of installation. They include:
- Tap Master (TMAFC)
- Aquasana AQ-5300.55 3-Stage
- APEC Water- USA Top Rated 5-Stage
- iSpring 75 GPD 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
- Watts 500313
What often happens when home water treatment is installed at home is those living there drink more water, primarily because it tastes better but also because they no longer have worries. Such a system takes away the routing of filling up stand along water cooler jugs, as well.
Stay hydrated and healthy – drink clean water!