Isn’t My Water Tested By My Water Utility?
By federal law any government or private company which provides water to at least 25 people on a regular basis must comply with certain testing requirements. Assuming that the required level of testing occurs, that means the water at it’s point of distribution is of reasonable quality. However, there are a number of things that can happen between that distribution point and your faucet tap. Some of these things include: Cracked or broken distribution pipes. In many cities and towns the water pipes could be several decades old, in some communities the pipes could be over a century old. Ground water can enter cracked or broken pipes bringing any number of contaminants with it. In some cases there are faulty flow control valves which can allow other customer’s water to back flow into your water supply.
Chlorine is often added to public water. Trihalomethanes are a group of chemicals that are created as a by product of chlrorinazation. These chemicals are suspected carcinogens if their levels exceed certain limits. Any home constructed prior to 1990 may have plumbing pipes that were joined together using lead based solder. The solder in some cases can leach out and get into the water supply. Some older homes may also have lead pipes leading to the public water main. While the lead from these pipes doesn’t always enter the drinking water, the only way to be certain is by testing.
In conclusion, drinking water quality should be an important consideration of your new home. Doing the correct level of testing will inform you and your family whether you will be able to enjoy safe drinking water. Be sure to ask your professional home inspector about water quality testing.