What are the Effects of Waterborne Contaminants on Health
The EPA has a list of more than 80 contaminants that can effect your water quality which can pose a risk to your. The contaminants fall into two categories according to the health effects that they cause.
Acute effects occur within hours or days of the time that a person consumes a contaminant. People can suffer acute health effects from almost any contaminant if they are exposed to extraordinarily high levels (as in the case of a spill). In water, microbes, such as bacteria and viruses, are the contaminants with the greatest chance of reaching levels high enough to cause acute health effects.
Most people’s bodies can fight off these microbial contaminants the way they fight off germs, and these acute contaminants typically don’t have permanent effects. Nonetheless, when high enough levels occur, they can make people ill, and can be dangerous or deadly for a person whose immune system is already weakened.
Chronic effects occur after people consume a contaminant at levels over EPA’s safety standards over the course of many years. The water contaminants that can have chronic effects include chemicals (such as disinfection byproducts, solvents and pesticides), radionuclides (such as radium), and minerals (such as arsenic). Examples of these chronic effects include cancer, liver or kidney problems, or reproductive difficulties
What are the most Common Waterborne Contaminants?
It’s not good when you can smell, see or taste contaminated water but it can also look and taste just fine and still be contaminated.
Microbial contaminants in water cannot always be detected by the human eye and you might go years before realising that you have a problem.
Most people realise that their water is contaminated when people in the home or community start to get sick which can be a little too late.
Water from wells, dams, water tanks and water supplies near agricultural or industrial areas can contain harmful organic materials which can increase the risk of cancer, reproductive related issues and can impair brain, eye, liver and kidney functions.
Some common waterborne contaminants can include:
- Bacteria & Viruses
You may not be able to see, taste or smell contaminants so it's always best to test your water and if and contaminants are detected seek professional advice from a plumber, your council or a water treatment specialist.
How do I care for my test strips
It is important to store your water test trips in dry, cool and shaded place below 20 degrees Celsius. Replace the cap immediately and tightly after taking a test strip out. Do not touch the test strip areas and do not remove the desiccant bag from the the storage container.
What does the Water Test Kit test for?
The Allora Water Test kits test for 14 parameters, 9 of which are used for water test results. 6 can be used for aquariums and 4 can be used for pools and spas. The 14 test kit parameters include:
- Total Alkalinity
- Residual Chlorine
- Total Chlorine
- Water Hardness
- Cyanuric Acid
How often should I test my drinking water?
If there is a concern in relation to your water quality it should be tested every 3 months as water quality conditions change quickly. Water from wells and surface water sources should be tested more often as they are more susceptible to contamination. It is important to test your water at the tap and at the source. Testing both will help you to determine if your treatment system is performing correctly and if the quality of your water has changed.
- Mains Water: Test every 6 or 12 months
- Tank Water: Test every 3 to 6 months
- Wells: Test every 3 to 6 months
- Damns: Test every 3 months
Can I test my water at home?
Yes at the initial stages you can test your water at home. Our water test kits provide you with test results within a few minutes and quite accurate. If you find that there is an issue with water quality you should then consult with professional for advice. A plumber, your local council or water treatment specialist will be able to help you to diagnose the source of the problem and provide you with a solution.
How long will it take to get the results?
Water test results can generally be determined within 60 seconds of finalising your water test, instructions are provided in the test kit container and are available on our website.
Why should I have my water tested?
The health of your family is important and if you have your own water source it should be tested regularly as it can contain harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses which are normally not visible by the naked eye.
Water which looks and tastes good may not necessarily be safe to drink as microbes can exist in surface and groundwater supplies which can cause sickness in humans and animals if not properly detected and treated.
It has been found that many contaminants which can be found in a water source can cause long term health problems that take many years to develop.
Regular testing of your drinking water will assist in identifying unsafe water and ensure that your water treatment system is working at a satisfactory level.
What do I do if my water is contaminated?
If you find that there is an issue with your water quality please seek advice from a professional. You can contact a plumber, your local council or water treatment specialist. They will be able to help you to diagnose the problem and provide a solution.
What are some signs that I should test my water
Signs of water contamination can vary though you can generally understand if it needs to be tested if you find that your drinking water has an odd taste, odor, discoloration or you experience staining issues.
Other signs that your water needs to be tested would be if you have had a chemical, fuel spill or chemicals sprayed near your water supply. If someone in the household has had an unexplained illnesses this can also mean that your water is contaminated.