How Well Water Tests Save You Money and Protect Your Health

Across the country, savvy homeowners add water filtration systems to their well water and city water supplies because they understand that certain contaminants may need to be filtered out. They invest in these systems because they want the healthiest water for themselves and their families. It’s a very smart move.

What many people don’t realize is that their greatest efficiency in a filtration system comes from knowing exactly what needs to be removed from a water supply before making a choice. Each water filtration or treatment system is effective in removing certain contaminants but not others. There’s no system that eliminates everything that is undesirable.

Therefore, some homeowners and well owners may choose the wrong system for their needs. That’s very possible unless the water is tested first.

Contaminants Vary Widely From State to State

Look at the diversity of contaminants in these different regions:

  • Washington State’s groundwater may contain uranium, nitrate, radon, radium, chromium
  • Florida groundwater may contain high counts of coliform bacteria from human waste and unsafe lead and copper levels
  • Kansas residents can expect to have arsenic, Cryptosporidium bacteria, pesticides and nitrates in their water
  • In Minnesota, groundwater may contain nitrates, coliform bacteria and lead
  • Alaska and South Dakota have the highest levels of radon, a radioactive gas, in their drinking water
  • Kansas and Nebraska have higher levels of uranium in drinking water than other states
  • Many parts of Michigan have high levels of PFAs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in the water supplies
  • Parts of Texas, Minnesota, Indiana and Florida have the hardest water in the country

Choosing the Right Filter or Water Treatment

Even a water supply with undesirable contaminants can be made safe to drink. As noted, it’s important to find the right system to treat what’s in your water. In some cases, more than one type of filtering or treatment may be needed.

The three most popular types of water treatment are activated carbon, reverse osmosis and ion exchange filters. Distillation systems are also available.

Water softening systems are helpful for homes being supplied with water with high quantities of dissolved calcium and magnesium, referred to as hard water. Ultraviolet filters can disinfect water supplies contaminated with coliform bacteria. (Of course, wells with microorganisms also need to be properly disinfected.)

Here are some of the matchups between substances needing to be filtered out and the systems that will remove them:

  • Uranium: Reverse osmosis or ion exchange
  • Nitrates: Reverse osmosis, distillation or ion exchange
  • Radon: Activated carbon or reverse osmosis
  • PFAS chemicals: Reverse osmosis or activated carbon
  • Arsenic: Reverse osmosis or ion exchange
  • Lead: Activated carbon
  • Mercury: Activated carbon
  • Copper: Reverse osmosis, distillation, or ion exchange

Your Most Effective Water Purification Starts with Water Testing

When you know exactly what needs to be filtered out of your drinking, showering, cooking and cleaning water, you’ll be better prepared to choose the right system for your home. With accurate test results in hand, you won’t buy a filtration system that doesn’t remove the most hazardous contaminants in your water. You can tailor your system to the contaminant profile of the water being supplied to your home every day.

To start your water decontamination journey off right, check out our water tests and get the most comprehensive test you can. If you are testing your own well water, you should plan to re-test your water with our Basic Water Test every year. If any problems show up in the Basic Water Test, we can help you choose very specific Individual Contaminant tests that can help you track down the exact source of well water problems.

When you finally choose and install your system, don’t forget to follow maintenance instructions that come with the system. Every filtration or water treatment system requires routine care. Filters and membranes must be replaced, reverse osmosis systems must be purged on a regular basis, ion exchange systems need to be recharged with sodium.

Don’t waste your money on the wrong filtration system for your individual water supply. Know before you invest for the best, purest, longest lasting result for your whole family.