In recent postings we mentioned a very LARGE (and growing) group of compounds called volatile organic compounds (abbreviated as VOC’s) several times and stated that no member of this ‘family’ of chemicals belongs in your drinking water.
Common examples of VOC’s include toluene and benzene — both of which scientists have positively identified as carcinogens.
Over the past week or so we received numerous emails from readers asking how can they test for VOC’s and how can they remove VOC’s if detected in their water supply. In this blog article we will focus on testing for VOC’s in drinking water and in an article coming soon we will address the matter of reducing VOC concentrations in drinking water.
Testing for volatile organic compounds
Due to the complex nature and relatively low concentrations of these compounds typically found in drinking water, no simple at-home water test kits exist for volatile organic compounds. To test for them, the average homeowner has two choices:
- Have water tested by a local water testing laboratory. You can usually obtain a list of qualified local laboratories by contacting your local Health Department or agency responsible environmental monitoring.
- Send a water sample by mail to a company like National Testing Laboratories for analysis.
When dealing with volatile organic compounds one must always remember that even the most reputable certified water testing laboratory will not have the ability to test for all of the possible compounds that could end up in the water supply.
Literally, and we mean this, the current full list of volatile organic compounds contains thousands of chemicals… and the list grows larger all the time.
Therefore, most laboratories offer testing packages that include a number of the more commonly used (in industry, manufacturing, etc.) volatile organic compounds that could turn up in drinking water. As an example, National Testing Laboratories‘ line of Watercheck Testing Packages offers testing packages that include as many as 47 VOC’s.
Below you will find a list of contaminants reduced or removed by the Watercheck w/ Pesticides Testing Package offered by National Testing Laboratories, a kit we think very well suited for use by anyone who fears potential water supply contamination by industry, intention, agriculture, or accident:
Watercheck Testing Package w/ Pesticides — 103 Parameters
Do you know what scares us most? This list does not take into account several other ‘families’ of potentially dangerous drinking water contaminants… like radioactive isotopes.
Moral of the story
Whether we like it or not, water pollution exists and although the majority of United States citizens do have safe, clean drinking water pouring from their faucets, accidents happen, mechanical devices fail, incentives/bribes make some folks turn a blind eye to environmental violations, and sometimes… sh#t happens — like when runoff containing animal or human waste winds up in a lake that feeds people’s private water systems… or when that same contaminated runoff seeps down into aquifers where traces of the excrement multiply and wait to get pulled to the surface by a private water well… or when that same runoff lingers in a lake, pond or stream where its bacteria multiply and eventually drift towards a popular swimming spot…
Need we say more?
The option of testing for water quality exists for most of us and depending upon what you think you may want to test for, it may cost a lot less than you think. Contact the Water Testing Blog and we will do our best to help you find the perfect water test kit for your unique water quality situation — even if we don’t carry anything for it in our own Water Test Kit Store.
It’s your water, your health, and ultimately… your LIFE!