Maintaining your home and the various appliances helps them last longer, saving you money, but can also benefit your health. You might first think of your air conditioner/heating system, or your refrigerator and vacuum cleaner needing maintenance such as filter changes, but your water supply and filtration systems need attention too. In fact, your water quality is very important to your health, so why not use the beginning of the New Year to do a water supply tune-up!
Depending on your supply (public or private well), tune-up procedures will vary:
For public water supplies, which go through extensive testing and treatment, there may be little to do unless you use some type of filtration – faucet, pitcher, or refrigerator or under-the-sink filter. With these, simply be sure to change the filters as recommended by the manufacturer.
As with any filter, they have to be changed regularly to function effectively. Not changing them can lead not only to a reduction in performance and potentially lifespan, but also contaminants can no longer be trapped and are released into the water you’re drinking. Water filters, in particular, can potentially build up bacteria if filters are not changed as recommended. If you have a whole house or faucet filtration system, be sure to follow the manufacturers’ recommended maintenance schedule.
If you are using a water well, have your water tested annually for coliform bacteria, E.coli, and nitrate (animal waste and sewage contaminants). Every three years test for arsenic, chloride, copper, lead, pH, sulfates, and total dissolved solids. If there are known local sources of contaminants (local health departments are a good resource), you can test for these also.
So, for peace of mind follow these simple water tune practices to ensure good drinking water quality.