WHAT’S IN YOUR WATER?
You drink it, bathe in it, cook, wash your clothes, and clean your dishes with your tap water. The water from your home affects nearly every aspect of your daily life. Whether it is supplied from a public utility company or a well, knowing what’s coming out of your tap is critically important to you and your family’s health.
Industrial pollutants, agricultural runoff, chemicals leaching from old infrastructure, and even disinfection by-products have been labeled as carcinogenic and could be flowing into your home.
When it comes to contamination, most people think about groundwater, but that water goes into your house. Either through the water company that pulls from the polluted rivers or the wells that can possibly be absorbing toxins.
Mining and Industrial companies that dump their waste into your waterways claim to test for impurities and toxins on site, but because they are self-regulated, it’s impossible to know if they are being honest.
Most of the chemicals you should be worried about being in your water have no taste, smell, or color. So how would you know if they are in your water?
The only way to know is to test it.
Testing is especially important for people who get their water from a well. The EPA directly says that anyone who gets their water from a private well is responsible for ensuring its purity and safety. Basically, the EPA doesn’t know if your water is contaminated and it’s not their responsibility, it’s yours.
Public water suppliers regularly test for impurities on-site, but what about the water that comes out of your sinks and showers? If you tested your water, would the results match up with the water quality report from the utility company or would you find other contaminants?
Taking samples of your water and testing it is the only way to know for sure. When you find out the results, you can make informed decisions on how you can use your tap water and what can be done about any toxic chemicals and impurities.
Find an amazing and comprehensive guide to water testing relevant to Floridians on the Fight4Zero site! Make sure to circle back to this page and CHECK IN once you’ve taken action – see bottom of page.
STEPS TO TAKE
Step 1 – Request testing data
If you are in a town or city, the best first step in finding out what’s in your water is to request a Consumer Confidence Report [link https://www.consumerreports.org/water-quality/how-to-test-your-tap-water/ ] also known as a water quality report from your local public water supplier. By law, they are required to make this data available on a yearly basis to their consumers either online or by postal mail.
If you’d like to view historical data on your area from 2019 for comparisons, head over to the EWG’s website and enter your zip code to find out what contaminants have been found in your drinking water. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/
If you have well water, skip ahead to step 2
Step 2 – Preliminary Testing – Test your water at home
If your water comes from a well, the only way to find out if your water is safe is to test it yourself.
If you are in Florida and anywhere near a Mosaic mine or gypstack, it is especially important to test. The land sits on top of a layer of limestone rock and the water emitted from Mosaic’s outfalls seeps into the groundwater and potentially your well.
The EPA says on their website that private well owners are responsible, and they cannot protect or regulate your water supply.
“EPA regulations that protect public drinking water systems do not apply to privately owned wells. As a result, owners of private wells are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe from contaminants.”
Even if your public water supplier reports that your tap water is safe, contaminants can be introduced along its route because it has to travel through aging pipelines to get to your home. Sometimes, it can take 3-5 days before it reaches the spout.
It’s a good idea to do your own preliminary testing on the water coming out of your tap and compare the results from your local water company to see if they match up. If they don’t, there could have broken or leaking pipes, or a new contaminant could have been introduced into the main supply – affecting your entire community.
Here are some quality home testing Kits:
- Labs Tech Test: https://www.labtechtests.com/Page/H2O_OK_How_to_Test.aspx
- Enviro Test Kits: https://envirotestkits.com/
- My Tap Score: http://mytapscore.com/
- Flinn Scientific: https://www.flinnsci.com/products/earth–environmental-science/pollution/freshwater-pollution-testing-kits/
When there’s a problem with your water and it is brought to the attention of your political leaders, it is often quickly dismissed as inaccurate and unreliable because the tests weren’t certified by a reputable lab.
This is where certified testing comes in.
Step 3 – Certified Testing – Send Samples to a Lab
If you find that your water has contaminants over the legal or suggested limits, this can be a major problem for you and your family’s health.
When your water isn’t safe to drink, your government leaders need to know about it and there needs to be a conversation and plan around how to fix it.
Certified testing gives you and your community solidified proof there are contaminants in your drinking water and you can take these results to court.
Recommended Testing labs:
Certified testing can be expensive and a barrier for people to get the knowledge they need to become their own advocate.
We are working to set up a WATER WARRIOR ANGEL program where we match people who need help with these expenses with others who may be in a position to donate.
Come back for more information soon!
TAKE ACTION – CHECK IN!
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