Water Quality and its Impact on Health (and Loans!)
If you're considering purchasing a home that has a private water source (well, cistern, etc) where water is provided from ground or surface water, that water is more susceptible to potentially harmful contaminants than water which is provided from a public utility. Typically, public water is monitored, filtered, and treated for bacteria and other contaminants...but with private water, you get what you get.
Many home lending programs (VA, USDA, FHA, HUD) require a water quality test to be performed (and passed) as part of the loan approval process for a home that has a private water source. While this may not be a big deal - or even required - for a home in a town or city with public water (as those are already managed by the local health authority and/or EPA), the results can make or break the deal for a home in a rural area that relies on a private water source.
A water quality test can sometimes be confused for a well test. These are very different, but equally important parts of a home inspection...and are often performed at the same time. To learn more about a well test, specifically my Advanced Well Inspection, check out this link!
During a water quality test, I will take a sample following my accredited, third-party laboratory's standards. This sample will be shipped overnight to the lab where their technicians will analyze and report on any contaminants.
The Primary Water Standards set forth by the EPA include testing for:
E. coli bacteria
Each of these contaminants can cause serious health concerns, and can enter your water from various sources including surface water or runoff, proximity to livestock or agriculture, and even from the existing supply pipes in your home.
While a water test may not be required for your home loan, it's not a bad idea to check out your potable water quality anyway. The relatively inexpensive test is worth the peace of mind it provides to ensure your family is consuming safe water. If a water quality test is necessary for you to proceed with your purchase, I'm happy to provide the service and get those results to you right away!
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-Jonathan firstname.lastname@example.org 406-306-1331 ASHI #265859
*The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.