AquaTest Laboratories, Inc. – 9165 Highland Road, White Lake, Michigan 48386 – 248-698-9500

My water looks and tastes fine, why should I test it?

The most harmful contaminants often have no obvious odors, colors or tastes.  It's possible your family is drinking contaminated water and it’s making them sick.

I’m on a municipal water system and the city tests it, right?

There are many ways water can become contaminated between the treatment plant and your faucet.  For example, certain metals such as lead or copper can enter the water from the pipes in your home.

What should I test for?  Why not have my water analyzed for every contaminant?

The EPA recommends that everyone with a well test for coliform bacteria, nitrate, nitrite and lead.  Municipal water users should test for levels of chlorine, fluoride, lead and copper.

While we could test your water for every possible contaminant, it may not be the best solution for you.  Please call us for a custom package tailored to your needs.

My well was tested when it was drilled, do I need to test it again?

Contaminants can seep into groundwater over time and affect your drinking water.  So well water must be tested on a regular basis to insure its safety.  Additionally, most bacterial problems are found in the pipes of the house, not the water coming up from the well.

Doesn't Mother Nature purify water on her own?

Yes. As rain trickles through the ground, it does become cleaner. Wetlands also help remove impurities. Unfortunately, wetlands are being diminished. Gas stations, shopping malls, grazing, mining, oil exploration, forestry all impair nature's ability to purify water. Some large sources of water have become reservoirs for pollution. This occurs as sediments in rivers and lakes retain toxic chemicals from years gone by, and they absorb new chemicals being dumped. Large bodies of water can absorb pollution from the air when particulate matter in rain and snow is deposited in them. The Great Lakes may have acquired as much as half of their pollutants from aerial sources.

Why can't I just buy a water filter?

Because there is not a single filter that will correct every water problem. For example, you can filter out minerals and still have bacteria. In fact, a cheap filter can become so loaded with bacteria in a few weeks that what comes out of it may be worse than what came in. If your water needs treatment, it must be treated for your specific problem.

I have a filter. How do I know if it's working?

The only way to know if your filter is working is to have your water tested on an ongoing basis.

The company that sells me my filters offered to test my water, why shouldn’t I trust them?

Because those companies are not in the water testing business, they are in the business of selling water filters.  This creates a conflict of interest, and you may wind up spending money to treat a problem that doesn't exist.  It is best to use an independent, certified lab.  AquaTest Labs does not sell water treatment products, nor are we affiliated with anyone who does.

I don't live in a heavily polluted area, what could possibly contaminate my drinking water?

There are many potential causes of water contamination and water can travel hundreds of miles in underground aquifers. Here are a few sources of contamination that could be near you:

  1. Old Mines

  2. Gas Stations

  3. Industrial Facilities

  4. Old Cemeteries

  5. Farms

  6. Dumps

  7. Improper disposal of paints and motor oils.

  8. Recreational use of the public water supply.

  9. Lead pipes in the home.

  10. Septic Systems

  11. Acid Rain

  12. Decaying Matter or other natural contamination.

How many types of contamination are there?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of specific types of contaminations, but they can be sorted into four broad categories.  Each requires a different type of solution:

  1. Microbial Pollutants (Such as bacteria.)

  2. Inorganic Chemical Pollutants (Usually of mineral origin.)

  3. Organic Chemical Pollutants (Man made chemicals.)

  4. Radiological Pollutants (Radioactivity)

Why should I worry about finding a few parts per billion of some rare chemical?

Because tiny amounts of certain contaminants may slowly cause cancer or other diseases over a lifetime. Often, water with a low level of contamination may have no adverse affect on healthy adults, but it can cause severe symptoms in babies, children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems. Why risk irreversible damage when it is so easy to test your water?

I don't understand what a “part per billion” is. Can you clarify this?

Most of the chemical data that is reported for water is expressed as a concentration: a mass of chemical per unit volume of water.  Even such miniscule amounts of contaminants can poison water.

How does the test kit work?

All of our kits simply involve collecting water samples. The directions are easy to understand and follow and the lab will do the rest.

What does the report look like?

Our reports are designed to be easy to understand, but contain all the important details you need to understand the quality of your water.  Click here to see a sample report.

My water doesn't taste good, yet it tested out O.K. What does this mean?

There are two types of water problems: Primary problems -- the dangerous sort of problem and Aesthetic problems -- things that affect the taste, look or smell of the water. Strange as it may seem, you could have an aesthetic problem (such as detectable chlorine) which may not pose an actual health risk.

What do I do if I find out my water is unsafe?

Because there are many different types of problems each must be addressed separately. The general procedure you should follow is:

  1. 1)Switch to bottled water for consumption until you have the problem solved. (Remember, consumption isn't just drinking.  It's cooking, washing produce, making ice cubes, water for pets, etc.)

  2. 2)Call your County or State Health Department for specific information and instructions on how to treat the problem.

  3. 3) Track down the source of the contamination.

  4. 4) Once you have addressed the problem, have follow-up testing done on a regular basis.

I'm afraid that if I find a problem with my water I won't be able to solve it.

AquaTest Labs makes sure that you not only understand any problems that you find, but we are available to discuss treatment solutions or technologies without endorsing any particular brands. This gives you the best of both worlds, solid information and freedom of choice.


Frequently Asked Questions