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Water Testing

In spite of all the stories we hear about possible contaminants in the water supply, most people have water that is safe to drink, especially those served by a large municipal water system. However, well water should be tested periodically for coliform bacteria.  Additionally, if the property is located in an agricultural area, the water should be tested for nitrates, and if the home is more than 30 years old, or if the plumbing pipes are joined with lead solder, then the water should also be tested for lead. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires water tests for bacteria, nitrates, nitrites and lead.

The EPA, University of Maryland Water Experts, and the American Ground Water Trust recommend ANNUAL testing of private wells for bacteria and nitrite/nitrate chemical contamination.  In addition, water should be tested every three years for sulfate, chloride, iron, manganese, lead, hardness and corrosion.

Other reasons a water test may be warranted:

  • lender may require a water test prior to loan approval
  • well located downstream from a septic system
  • use of lawn fertilizers, salt or de-icers near the well

 

Testing more than once a year may be advisable in certain situations:

  • pregnant or nursing household member
  • unexplained illnesses in the family
  • any change in taste, odor, color or clarity of the water
  • a neighbor tests positive for contaminants in their water
  • any dumping of chemicals, pesticides or fuels into or near your well
  • if any part of your well system has been replaced or repaired

 

What can we do for you?

The Building Inspector of America performs water tests for coliform bacteria, lead,  nitrates and nitrites.  Using specially designed receptacles, samples are taken from the closest point of entry such as a kitchen or lavatory faucet or tap – different tests require different sampling techniques and specific protocols.  Our inspectors are individually approved by the Department of the Environment for water sample collection.  Please call for more information.