Well Water Testing

Water testing should be done annually, usually in the Spring, but anytime is fine. Rural areas in East Tennessee including surrounding areas of Knoxville and the Tri-Cities have their own water wells. We like the thought of having our own source of water but sometimes it is not fit to drink, even though it looks and tastes pure.

The EPA does not regulate private wells which means that there are no EPA testing requirements for wells. However, the buyer’s lending agency may require that well water pass a water quality inspection. Typically, this will include checking for bacteria, nitrate, and lead prior to approving a loan. Some state drinking water agencies may require well testing prior to sale which is a good idea in my opinion.

Lead in Drinking Water

The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and plumbing fixtures. Depending on when you home was built, pipes that carry drinking water from the water source to the home may contain lead. Remember, many of the household plumbing fixtures that we use today are imported from other countries that may not follow the EPA guidelines as well as we think. Also, welding solder, and pipe fittings made prior to 1986 may also contain lead.

How lead gets into Tap Water

Steps have been taken during the last two decades to reduce exposure to lead in tap water. Even so, lead in water can come from homes with lead service lines that connect the home to the main water line supplied by the city or county. Homes without lead service lines may still have brass or chrome-plated brass faucets, galvanized iron pipes or other plumbing soldered with lead.

Lead can enter drinking water when a chemical reaction occurs in plumbing materials that contain lead. This is known as corrosion which is basically dissolving or wearing away of metal from the pipes and fixtures. This reaction is more severe when water has high acidity or low mineral content. How much lead enters the water is related to many factors that can be difficult to control.

  • the acidity or alkalinity of the water,
  • the types and amounts of minerals in the water
  • the amount of lead that contacts the water
  • the water temperature
  • the amount of wear in the pipes
  • how long the water stays in pipes
  • the presence of protective coatings in the pipes

Weather your water is from a public or private source, we highly recommend having your water tested for a “Peace of Mind”. Effective Home Inspections of Tennessee LLC recommends having your water tested annually. Metals, nitrates and bacteria can get into your water supply and cause many different types of sickness to those who drink it.

Information from TN-Gov. about Well Water

Information from the EPA about Lead in drinking water