People say that buying water treatment equipment without a water test is like baking a cake without a recipe.
by Gene Franks
Well, if they say that, they’re wrong. It’s a lot worse than baking without a recipe, for you not only risk spending a lot more than you need to but you are also likely to get something that doesn’t work for your situation.
Many water treatment issues require knowledge of several characteristics of water that can only be determined by testing. For example, if you have well water simple observation may tell you that you have iron in your water, but in order to treat the iron properly you need to know not only how much iron you have but also the pH of the water and often the dissolved oxygen content of the water. It’s best to know if iron bacteria are present and if there are other problems that can be addressed at the same time. Iron and hardness, for example, can often be cured with a single treatment device, and if there is odor in the water you can get rid of that as well if you choose the correct iron treatment. You also need to know if there is manganese present, since iron and manganese can be reduced with the same treatment. Simply buying an “iron filter” from a big box store or a website might work, but it’s likely to be a complete waste of time and money.
A good water analysis can alert you to serious problems you didn’t know you had–like an elevated level of arsenic or chromium–or it can give you assurance that your water does not have hidden contaminants that can damage your health. If the water you drink every day has a dangerous amount of lead or pesticides, you definitely want to know it, but it is equally valuable to know that your water is not contaminated.
In fact, I believe that the great value of a water test is not necessarily finding out what’s bad about your water but specifically what is good about it. When a good test shows that your water is safe and wholesome, the test is well worth the price for the reassurance it gives that you.