Water Analysis

Know thy enemy… and thy actual contaminant/s

If you draw your water from a private well or any other source that is not regulated by a strong governmental agency (e.g., your state’s EPA or regional Health Department), you should know what you are dealing with before you start buying any type of water treatment equipment, machinery or system components.

You don’t want to buy a system that is not capable of, or is not the appropriate technology for, effectively reducing a very serious health hazard contaminants that are actually present in your incoming water. Likewise, there is the very often encountered spectre of spending thousands on elaborate treatment systems that represent little more than expensive overkill.

KNOW what is in that incoming water that needs to be addressed, and buy only what is needed to address those identified contaminants. Anything short of that is shooting in the dark, and the “one size fits all” attitude can turn out to be a very cruel oxymoron when it comes to water treatment.

How much is enough testing?
If you decide you need a comprehensive water analysis done on your private well or other suspect water source, you should contract with a testing laboratory that will be testing for at least 100 parameters. Those tests should include analyses and valuations for:

  • Biological — Total coliform and E. coli bacteria (as indicators)
  • Inorganics — mostly the notorious minerals (iron, manganese, nitrates, hardness, etc.) and health hazard metals (lead, arsenic, mercury, etc.)
  • PCBs —  top 6-8 most likely suspects
  • VOCs — Volatile Organic Chemicals. Probably the largest category. 50-70 likely suspects.
  • Pesticides/Herbicides — probably 20-30 likely suspects.

If your local business directory does not list a water quality laboratory, or a “certified” laboratory that does water testing, you may need to consult with your local health department to inquire what testing facilities they are aware of and might recommend. Sometimes it is awkward for government officials to outright recommend a private company laboratory, so this might take some scouting around.

Alternatively, some of our Environmental Systems Distributing customers have reported very satisfactory results with a company called e-Watertest.com. Click HERE to visit their web site and consider what they have to offer.

In a nutshell, if you clicked to this page from our “Head-scratcher Q&A Key” by answering “Yes” to “incoming water is from a private well,” and “No” to “A water analysis has been done and I know what my problem contaminants are,” you should resolve the matter of knowing what it is you need to treat for before going any further.

I would strongly recommend you incur the cost (should be under $200 for a perfectly adequate testing regimen) to get the water analysis done and THEN return to our Head-scratcher Q&A Key to determine your next step in identifying the most appropriate and most economical water treatment system, all according to your actual water treatment circumstances.

Click HERE to return to the Head-scratcher Q&A Key.