The two most important factors in deciding whether or not to get your water tested includes if you suspect lead may be in your household plumbing materials and/or water service lines, and if you’re considering a home water treatment unit. Testing is the only way to confirm if lead is present in drinking water. If your water source comes from a public water system, it is already monitored, and required to meet the National Primary Drinking Water Standards. Your water company is required to disclose any contaminants that may cause illness.
If your source of water is not from a public water system, you alone are responsible for assuring its safety, and therefore routine testing is recommended. You should also test when you have any taste, odor or staining issues, if you plan to have a new baby in the household, or if there have been any chemical or fuel spills in your area. County health departments can help you test for bacteria or nitrates, or you can have your water tested by a state certified laboratory. You can find one in your area by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or visiting www.epa.gov/safewater/labs