With the cautious dip of a single toe, swimmers test the water before plunging in. It might look clear and calm, but sight alone is not enough to tell the difference between refreshingly cool and shockingly cold. Telling the difference with a toe can save them from regrettable cannonballs. Water is not just for swimming though, and temperature is not the only property that matters. There are plenty of water’s properties that cannot be easily determined by our senses.
Just as water sustains our life, it is filled with other living organisms too small to see and too sparse to taste. Many microorganisms and bacteria are harmless—they live symbiotically in and on our bodies—but others can cause massive problems despite their microscopic size. Cholera, E. coli, and other volatile organic compounds can be present in drinking water without offering any obvious indicators. Though modern sanitation techniques have greatly reduced the chance of contamination, infection is still a very possible and deadly risk. E. coli bacteria alone can cause a variety of serious complications including gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, and neonatal meningitis. While the danger is higher in third world countries, it is still a threat worth our awareness here in America. Whether it be from a tap or a well, you can never be assured of its safety unless you test the water.
However, bacterium is not the only potential contaminants of our drinking water. There are plenty of inorganic compounds that could easily find their way into our water supply and inevitably, our bodies. Through industrial dumping, field runoff, food processing, and a number of other sources, inorganic pollutants can collect in our reservoirs undetected until their concentration is high enough to risk serious biological impact. Heavy metals as a by-product of motor vehicle usage are becoming an increasing problem as we continue to rely largely on motor vehicle transport for people and goods. Nitrate pollution is also a serious issue, especially in rural areas where nitrate-rich fertilizers are leeched by rainwater that runs back into the rivers and the water cycle. Dangerously high levels of nitrates can lead to methemoglobinemia, which increases the amount of methemoglobin in our blood, making it harder to release oxygen into our tissues and organs. This deficiency, if untreated, can easily lead to a comatose state or death.
Regardless of your proximity to farmland, the only certain way to know you are not drinking these chemicals in hazardous doses is to test the water. Luckily you do not have to be a chemist or civil engineer to test the water that you rely on. One simple test can determine whether these organic and inorganic pollutants are a hazard to you and your family. If you test the water in your pipes, your well, or you home, you can sleep and live with peace of mind.
It takes more than household products to test the water reliably, but when you consider the cost of infection, a proper test is always worth the affordable investment. To protect yourself and get your own testing kit, contact AquaKnow (www.aquaknow.com) before you dive head first into a polluted pool.
At AquaKnow, we have water test kits that will make it easy for you to send a sample to us for laboratory analysis. Our labs carry the highest certification and can test for requirements demanded by state, federal and international standards. As well, we belong to the Water Quality Association, National Groundwater Association and are members of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating for many years. We have kits for several different applications, from municipalities to the individual home owner, and results can be obtained quickly, within a matter of days. Be sure to go online at www.aquaknow.com or call us at 1-877-734-7661, extension 2.