When buying or selling a property that is supplied by a private well, it is often required that a certified water test be performed to confirm whether or not the water supply is potable. The disadvantage here is most required tests only cover the basics, such as bacteria, lead, and nitrates.
Some of the other necessary tests are overlooked. These are the ones that are centered around water taste, usability, and its effect on the home appliances and fixtures. What about the levels of iron, water hardness, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, sulfates, TDS, or pH? As you can see, testing for the basic requirements is only scratching the surface of possible contaminant to test for.
If your property is on a public water system, rarely is a water test required by you, since the public water operators should be performing all the testing required by the EPA. Even so, there are a few things that may be a good idea to test for.
Hard water is often present in public water, to a greater or lesser degree. Depending on the level will depend on how it will affect your appliances, fixtures, etc. Chlorine can be a contributor to dry skin and can leave an unpleasant taste. Fluoride, trihalomethanes (THMs ), Haloacetic acids (HAAs )– both disinfection by-products, are emerging contaminants often found in municipal water related to health concerns.
Certified testing (also known as compliance testing) is sampling done in a state certified laboratory, and is usually required for public water systems, or when a test is required for a real estate transaction. Certified and informational testing, in some cases, may share the same analyzing method. But because certification is needed and additional paperwork is required, certified tests are usually more expensive than informational only tests.