How Your Water Supply Can Affect Your Health: What to Do About It

When you rely on water from a private well, it might be all too easy to overlook the importance of the water quality. As long as the water comes out when you need it and it looks and smells good, it must be okay to consume, right?Actually, that can be far from the truth. The only real safety for you and your family is to know. Know that your water is pure, clean, uncontaminated and healthy. That requires professional testing by a lab that specializes in water tests. This testing can pay off in more than just peace of mind. It can pay off in improved health and/or the prevention of health problems among the members of your family. 

Common Water Contaminants You Want to Avoid

  • Sodium: For most people, a little salt in drinking water may change the taste of the water but not be harmful. For a person with high blood pressure or kidney problems, it’s important to avoid higher levels of sodium in drinking water. 
  • Bacteria: There are many different bacteria that could be found in your water, such as E. coli, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella paratyphi-A and Shigella dysenteriae. Exposure to these bacteria can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and intestinal bleeding and possibly renal failure. An immunocompromised person is at the greatest risk. 
  • PFAS: This is a group of chemicals used to create non-stick cookware, water repellent clothing and much, much more. They have been dubbed “forever chemicals” because they may take hundreds of years to break down. When found in drinking water, they can cause cancer, endocrine disruption, liver and thyroid damage. 
  • Radon: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in many wells across the country. Radon in water can be released while showering or using the water for household tasks. Radon is a significant cause of lung cancer. 
  • Nitrates and Nitrites: These chemicals are found in fertilizers and animal waste. In drinking water, they reduce the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. For infants, problems caused by nitrates and nitrites can be fatal.
  • Heavy Metals: Metals found in drinking water include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and selenium. Consumption of water containing heavy metals can result in cancer, anemia or damage to liver, kidneys or intestines. 
  • Chloroform: This and several other toxic chemicals can enter drinking water supplies as a result of community water disinfection. They are carcinogenic and can cause harm to fetal growth and development.
This is just a small sampling of the contaminants that can be found in drinking water. 

Important Facts about Water Contaminants

Another fact it’s important to know: Some chemicals and contaminants are eliminated from the body quickly. Others bioaccumulate—meaning that they can accumulate in the body over time. This accumulation of chemicals or pollutants can then have a severe effect on health. It’s vital to know if you are ingesting contaminants that could be building up in your body.One more thing—ensuring your water is clean and healthy can preserve appliances and plumbing as well as your health. Water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and plumbing components can be fouled and ruined by heavy mineral content or water that is too acidic or alkaline. 

The Value of Picking Just the Right Lab for Water Testing

A lab like ETR Laboratories can tell you so much more than just whether or not your water contains any contaminants. This kind of lab will also know which substances found in your water are harmless and which should be addressed immediately. The lab you choose should also provide advice on the best kind of water filter or treatment to remove any contaminants found in your tests. Certain contaminants may come from the bedrock around your home. In this case, the only solution is to install a filter that will be effective in removing those substances. A lab that specializes in water testing can advise you on the best filtration system for your situation. You can also learn the probable source of many contaminants, for example, oil from the water pump itself, bacteria from insect infiltration or chemicals entering your well from surface water because of a bad well cap.If you want a professional analysis of your drinking water, call ETR Laboratories for fast, accurate testing. Our technicians also provide expert advice on the right kind of filtration and possible causes of your contamination. Call (800) 344-9977 today to get started.