If you’re concerned about your family’s health, you may be questioning the quality of your drinking water. The good news is that Nashville Metro Water Services offers a safe water supply. But there are other reasons you may wonder if you should have your water tested.
Is My Water Safe?
You can view the annual report on Nashville water quality online going back to 2010. However, if you have specific concerns, you may still want to get your water tested. If the color, taste, or odor of your water seems off, it may be a sign of problems in your supply line.
While rusty water is somewhat safe, it’s also a good reason to get a water test. Strange colors and odors can stain your clothing in the washer and corrode your plumbing fixtures.
Why Water Testing is Critical
Water contamination, whether synthetic or organic, cause a range of health problems. Even if the water from your municipal provider is safe, contaminants can seep into your supply lines.
When and What to Test
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are several specific conditions when you should definitely get your water tested.
Potential lead contamination
Older homes built before the mid-1950s may still have lead pipes. If you suspect old lead pipes in your home, you should have the water tested at each faucet.
Home water system installation
It’s important to focus on the water quality before purchasing an expensive water treatment system for your home. The type of contaminants – if any – can best guide you on the right system to install.
Private water supply
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) recommends that all private water supplies be tested regularly. This can include wells or springs that supply water to your home. In this case, you should have them tested annually for bacteria. The agency recommends you have well water tested every two years for chemical contamination, such as nitrates, VOCs, and metals.
The EPA also recommends testing when you notice an increase in industrial activity that could affect your private water supply, as well as when a new baby is on the way.
Not all contaminants in our water supply are dire health risks, but they can be a nuisance or simply unpleasant.
One of the chief complaints about municipal water supplies is that the chemicals used to treat the water are often pretty noxious by themselves. Chlorine, for example, kills harmful bacteria. However, it can also have an unpleasant taste and odor that’s overwhelming. In excess, it can also be unsafe for people, pets, and plants.
Hard water carries an excess of minerals, such as calcium and iron. And while not considered unsafe, these can leave damaging and unsightly residue on your cookware, glasses, and utensils.