This morning we received an inquiry from 'Marlaina' who asked, " Hi. Does your city water check test for thms and other disinfectant products?"
Thank you for the questions, Marlaina. The WaterSafe City Water Test Kit does not detect THM's (trihalomethanes) or any other DBP's (disinfection byproducts). It does, however, test for the following water quality parameters:
- Total Hardness - 'Hard' water leads to premature wear and tear on plumbing fixtures and appliances. It also diminishes the effectiveness of health & beauty products such as soaps, shampoos, detergents, and conditioners.
- Chlorine - Excessive levels of chlorine cause drinking water to taste and small bad. Additionally, health experts have linked exposure to higher levels of disinfection by-products caused by chlorine to various forms of cancer.
- Coliform Bacteria - Exposure to certain strains of coliform bacteria such as E. Coli may cause serious illness and may even result in death.
- Pesticides - By design, any of these compounds kills some form of life... so it makes complete sense that over time exposure to them can also cause harm to humans.
- Lead - The United States Environmental Protection Agency set the MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level) for lead in drinking water at 15ppb (parts per billion). This means a public water system must take action to reduce lead levels if they reach 15ppb. Prolonged exposure to elevated lead levels may cause developmental problems in children as well as neurological damage and harm to other organs such as the kidneys.
The fact that water systems monitor lead levels does not mean homeowners can rest easy, though, because miles of metal piping exist between the water treatment facility and their faucets. Some older water systems may still contain piping joined together using solder that contains lead. Additionally, some older apartment buildings and homes may also still contain plumbing whose pipes got connected using solder that contained lead.
- Nitrates/Nitrites - These contaminants typically come from fertilizer, industrial chemicals and animal waste. Scientists have positively linked exposure to these compounds with serious health conditions like Blue Baby Syndrome and developmental problems in both children and adults.
Testing for THM's and other DBP's requires the use of sophisticated laboratory equipment and techniques and therefore no at-home, DIY water test kits for THM's and/or other DBP's exist.
If you wish to test for drinking water contaminants of that nature you will need to either have your water tested by a local water testing laboratory (your local or state health department should probably have a list of qualified labs in your area) or utilize the mail-in water testing services of companies like NTL Labs (National Testing Laboratories makes the WaterCheck brand of mail-in water test kits).