Important Things to Know before Testing Water for Lead Contamination

WATER

Water is a basic human necessity. It gets used every day for drinking, cooking, washing dishes, showering, and more. So, the idea that your water may be contaminated is scary. Lead can have serious effects, especially on children. But, rushing into testing your water for lead isn’t a good idea. Chances are, you’ll be wasting your time with an inaccurate test or gathering your samples wrong.

Leave It to Professionals

Don’t try to test the water yourself. You’re not a professional and this isn’t a situation where you can fake it until you make it. The lead tests some stores stock can be extremely inaccurate. They often have false positives that force you to shell out even more money for a more accurate test. Testing your water yourself is just going to waste your money and potentially scare you for no reason.

Find a Reliable Lab

Some large cities have programs where you can send in water samples for free. Do some research and see if that’s something your city offers. If not, look for water quality test labs in your area. The lab you choose needs to be accredited. This is extremely important. Contrary to what many think, certified is not the same as accredited. A lab that’s merely certified may not be able to give you accurate test results. If the lab is accredited, you’ll know that the test is being performed properly so you get accurate results.

Gather Good Samples

Once you know where you’re sending your samples, you have to gather them. The samples should be gathered after you’ve left your faucet unused for a few hours. Gathering them first thing in the morning after the faucet’s been untouched all night is perfect. Take three samples. Even if there is lead in your water, it may not be in every single drop. Take the first sample right after you turn the faucet on. Wait for a minute or so and then take the second one. Wait a few more minutes and get the third sample.

Sending your samples off to water test labs is the last thing you need to do. Then, you wait. It can be a nerve-wracking wait. But, you can take comfort in the fact that you’ve taken all the necessary step to makes sure your results will be accurate.

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