18 Things We Test for in Your Water

Knox Home Inspections uses a state certified third party lab to give you the most accurate readings of what is actually in your water.  Individual or test packages are available for anything from Arsenic to Uranium.

Getting a water test is the best decision you can make when purchasing your home.  We will test your water for you even if you are not buying a home, just give us a call and we will come right over.  The test only takes 1-2 days and the knowledge of what you are drinking is worth way more than the cost of the test.  Here are some of the things that are available for testing:

  • Alkalinity:  Alkalinity is a measure of the capacity of water to neutralize acids or hydrogen ions. Alkalinity acts as a buffer if any changes are made to the water’s pH value. The Alkalinity in the water will help keep the water’s pH stabilized.
  • Arsenic: Arsenic is a semi-metal element in the periodic table. It is odorless and tasteless. It can enter drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices.
  • Chloride:  The EPA has identified 250 mg/L as a concentration at which chloride can be expected to cause a salty taste in drinking water. Water users typically notice the presence of high chloride before an equal amount of sodium.
  • Coliform & E. Coli:  Coliform bacteria are present in the environment and feces of all warm-blooded animals and humans. Coliform bacteria are unlikely to cause illness. However, their presence in drinking water indicates that disease-causing organisms could be in the water system.
  • Conductivity:  Conductivity is a measure of water’s capability to pass electrical flow. This ability is directly related to the concentration of ions in the water.  These conductive ions come from dissolved salts and inorganic materials such as alkalis, chlorides, sulfides and carbonate compounds.
  • Copper: The level of copper in surface and groundwater is generally very low. High levels of copper may get into the environment through mining, farming, manufacturing operations, and municipal or industrial wastewater releases into rivers and lakes. Copper can get into drinking water either by directly contaminating well water or through corrosion of copper pipes if your water is acidic. Corrosion of pipes is by far the greatest cause for concern.
  • Fluoride:  Water fluoridation is the controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay. Fluoridated water has fluoride at a level that is effective for preventing cavities; this can occur naturally or by adding fluoride.
  • Hardness:  The amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water.  Hard water can gum up your plumbing and cause problems with forced hot water systems.  It can also leave spots on your dishes in the dishwasher and make you use more soap.
  • Iron:  The thing that you’ll notice the most from water that is high in iron is that the water may taste metallic. The water may be discolored and appear brownish, and it may even contain sediment. Iron will leave red or orange rust stains in the sink, toilet and bathtub or shower. It can build up in your dishwasher and discolor ceramic dishes. It can also enter into the water heater and can get into the laundry equipment and cause stains on clothing. The EPA cautions that although iron in drinking water is safe to ingest, the iron sediments may contain trace impurities or harbor bacteria that can be harmful.
  • Manganese:  Manganese is a mineral that naturally occurs in rocks and soil and may also be present due to underground pollution sources. Manganese is seldom found alone in a water supply. It is frequently found in iron-bearing waters but is more rare than iron.
  • Nitrate:  Nitrate is one of the most common groundwater contaminants in rural areas. It is regulated in drinking water primarily because excess levels can cause methemoglobinemia, or “blue baby” disease.
  • Nitrite:  Nitrites are a salt or ester anion of nitrous acid, which can be naturally or artificially occurring in groundwater. Nitrites come from fertilizers through run-off water, sewage, and mineral deposits. Nitrite is used in food production for the curing of meat products due to it inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Unfortunately it can also stimulate the grown of bacteria when introduced in high levels into a body of water.
  • Lead:  Lead enters the water through contact with the plumbing.  Lead leaches into water through corrosion, a dissolving or wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction between water and your plumbing.
  • pH:  The pH of pure water is 7. In general, water with a pH lower than 7 is considered acidic, and with a pH greater than 7 is considered basic. The normal range for pH in surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5, and the pH range for groundwater systems is between 6 to 8.5.
  • Radon:  Radon can be in your water and also in your air.  If a Radon air test results in a high result then a radon water test should be performed.  About 1.0 pCL in the air can result for every 10,000 pCL in the water.
  • Sodium:  The other half of salt (sodium chloride), this can get into your well from salt on the roads in the winter and washing off the road down into your well.
  • Uranium:  Believe it or not there is naturally occurring uranium in certain areas of New Hampshire, especially in the White Mountains.  If a radon water test comes back very high then a uranium test is recommended.
  • VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds):  Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) are carbon-containing compounds that evaporate easily from water into air at normal air temperatures. (This is why the distinctive odor of gasoline and many solvents can easily be detected.) VOCs are contained in a wide variety of commercial, industrial and residential products including fuel oils, gasoline, solvents, cleaners and degreasers, paints, inks, dyes, refrigerants and pesticides.

If you are using a VA or FHA loan the bank will require you to get a water quality test.

If the pH balance in your water is off you could have premature wear in your houses plumbing leading to costly repairs down the road.

If you are close to a busy town road there could be road salt contaminating your well and putting Sodium and Chloride in your drinking water.

We have many different packages for water testing.  Click on our pricing below and see which package fits for you. Our Facebook fans also save $20.00 on all lab test packages just like our page.

2019 Price List

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