Explained in 60 seconds: Should You Have Your Drinking Water Tested?

Explained in 60 seconds: Should You Have Your Drinking Water Tested?

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Private well-owners

The HSE recommends that private wells should be tested at least once a year for microbial contamination and at least once every three years for chemical contamination. Private wells can become easily contaminated by both human and animal wastes, land-spreading or run-off from surrounding land. If you have concerns about the quality of your water, ensure you get it tested by an accredited laboratory. As it only takes a small number of E.coli (VTEC) to cause severe human illness, it is vital to protect, maintain and, if necessary, treat well water.

EPA protecting your well water
EPA: Protecting your private well

Those who notice changes in their water

A physical change in water could signal contamination. If your water becomes discoloured, it could mean surface water is getting into your water supply. However, even if your water looks, tastes and smells normal, this does not always mean it is safe to use. Certain contaminants, such as E.coli, have no odour or taste.

New and young families

Babies, young children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to lead in water.

Domestic drinking water tap with rusty water from high metals concentration
Lead in water

Home owners and home buyers

Lead can leach into water from lead plumbing and lead piping. “Lead pipes are not usually found in buildings built since the 1970’s. However, lead solder and lead fittings may have been used in more recently-built buildings. The chances of lead getting into drinking water from lead pipes and lead plumbing can depend on the chemical make-up of the water. Some types of water such as soft water and warm water can pick up lead more easily.” (HSE) Lead was also used in water mains pipes. While most of these have been replaced, some lead pipes remain.

Getting your drinking water tested…

Southern Scientific Services Ltd. provides accredited drinking water analysis approved by Irish Water and based on EU Drinking Water Regulations.

Find out more about our drinking water tests here.


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