Testing your home tap water for contamination

Klamath Falls, Ore. – There’s been a strong focus on lead and copper contamination of water supplies lately, both across the state and right here at home.

Recent emphasis on water testing has kept Maurene Ehlers of Spring Street Analytical in Klamath Falls busy…

“Oh, yes – we’ve been quite busy – we’ve taken in a lot of lead tests.”

Schools in Klamath Falls have had tests for lead and copper contamination come back ‘negative’.

But, what about the water from your faucet?

Randy Travis of the Klamath Falls Water Division says the age of your home could be a factor…

“Homes built back in the early 1900’s, late 1800’s – the possibility is there may be some lead plumbing.”

Lead solder may also have been used in homes built prior to the mid-1980’s.

Ehlers suggests those living in rural areas, or those getting water from a well may also be at risk for bacterial contamination…

“We recommend that people do have their water checked if they’re on a well for coliform bacteria.”

Ehlers adds that the cost of water testing depends upon the type of contaminant:  “For the bacteria test, the charge is $40, and nitrates are $45, and arsenic is $70.”

Different treatments can remove many contaminants.

Travis notes that water supplies in Klamath Falls are tested regularly…

“I’m completely confident with the quality and the safety of our drinking water.”

Travis says popular commercial in-home filters tend to work as advertised, though he cautions they must be replaced regularly.


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