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Old 09-25-2017, 01:31 PM
Quadradomus Quadradomus is offline
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OK, so I am getting my long term drinking water storage better dialed in.
I have since re-done my process after another members good instructions.

I am though taking a sample to a local lab today for analysis. My goal is just to know the base-line of my water quality, and then I will test my stored water at about 1 year out.

Does anybody have a recommendation for which items to test for though?
I was frustrated with the lab, on the phone they said that I have to tell them which items I want to test for. I explained, 'Prob. general bacteria, metals, etc.'
She said I need to be specific. When I tried to explain that she is the 'Lab professional' and I am the lay person, could she not recommend various tests?
She just seemed like she had no idea what to do... :eye:

Does anybody else out there have a few specifics that you have tested for?
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Quadradomus View Post
OK, so I am getting my long term drinking water storage better dialed in.
I have since re-done my process after another members good instructions.

I am though taking a sample to a local lab today for analysis. My goal is just to know the base-line of my water quality, and then I will test my stored water at about 1 year out.

Does anybody have a recommendation for which items to test for though?
I was frustrated with the lab, on the phone they said that I have to tell them which items I want to test for. I explained, 'Prob. general bacteria, metals, etc.'
She said I need to be specific. When I tried to explain that she is the 'Lab professional' and I am the lay person, could she not recommend various tests?
She just seemed like she had no idea what to do... :eye:

Does anybody else out there have a few specifics that you have tested for?
Metals for sure, e coli possibly, and maybe VOCs/SVOCs, perhaps pesticides. What is the water source?
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:47 PM
Quadradomus Quadradomus is offline
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Water source is City Water within Seattle, WA. Generally speaking, we have great water, as compared to some other parts of the country that I've livec in, but nice to have a lab test to really see where it stands.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:51 PM
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I'm thinking you just got the receptionist/secretary who didn't really know anything about what you were asking. You might call back and ask if you can speak to someone a little higher up the totem pole.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Quadradomus View Post
Water source is City Water within Seattle, WA. Generally speaking, we have great water, as compared to some other parts of the country that I've livec in, but nice to have a lab test to really see where it stands.
Your municipality should be sending you an annual water quality report on your drinking water, it is probably available online. Save your money.

http://www.seattle.gov/util/MyServic...ults/index.htm

http://www.seattle.gov/util/MyServic...port/index.htm

http://www.seattle.gov/util/MyServic...yses/index.htm
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadradomus View Post
OK, so I am getting my long term drinking water storage better dialed in.
I have since re-done my process after another members good instructions.

I am though taking a sample to a local lab today for analysis. My goal is just to know the base-line of my water quality, and then I will test my stored water at about 1 year out.

Does anybody have a recommendation for which items to test for though?
I was frustrated with the lab, on the phone they said that I have to tell them which items I want to test for. I explained, 'Prob. general bacteria, metals, etc.'
She said I need to be specific. When I tried to explain that she is the 'Lab professional' and I am the lay person, could she not recommend various tests?
She just seemed like she had no idea what to do... :eye:

Does anybody else out there have a few specifics that you have tested for?
Just tell them you are buying a house and want it checked to insure itís safe for human consumption, or try another lab. Itís done all the time when homes are purchased or wells dug.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by panoz77 View Post
Your municipality should be sending you an annual water quality report on your drinking water, it is probably available online. Save your money.

http://www.seattle.gov/util/MyServic...ults/index.htm

http://www.seattle.gov/util/MyServic...port/index.htm

http://www.seattle.gov/util/MyServic...yses/index.htm
Flint water was lied about. It took locals sending water to private labs to find out about the reporting lies.

City budgets are busting all over the nation and EPA water regs are getting harder to meet every year. The incentive exists for bureaucrats to fudge numbers.

What you should do is test every few years and compare them to the most recent printed published tests.
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
Flint water was lied about. It took locals sending water to private labs to find out about the reporting lies.
Not to mention that how bad the problem was for any particular customer in Flint depended on the pipes inside their house, not just those in the municipal delivery system.

What you want to know is how good the water is coming out of your taps, not how good Joe Blow's water is 10 blocks over or the water in the pipes across town.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MattB4 View Post
If it is city water You likely would only need to test for metals. However if you would like to see what is possible to test for this site discusses a variety of tests. https://www.discovertesting.com/prod...tory%20Testing
Or he could use the list I provided from the links for what analytes he wishes to choose from. If he pays a lab to run that whole list of analytes, he is likely looking at over $1000 at a minimum. From my experience, each analyte generally runs from about $60-120, with some tests being cheaper such as turbidity or pH, those are usually $15-20 as they are very simple tests. Something like VOCs/SVOCs is generally on the higher end of the spectrum.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
Flint water was lied about. It took locals sending water to private labs to find out about the reporting lies.

City budgets are busting all over the nation and EPA water regs are getting harder to meet every year. The incentive exists for bureaucrats to fudge numbers.

What you should do is test every few years and compare them to the most recent printed published tests.
One city out of how many in the US was proven to be falsifying or not reporting water results, that is not a very likely scenario IMO.
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:49 PM
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Coliform bacteria is the most important. Total and fecal
pH
heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic
Sulfate
TDS total dissolved solids
Chloride
Calcium
Carbonate
Dissolved Oxygen
Nitrate

Most labs will have a "suite" of parameters for drinking water quality. Ask for those. If they are vague in their response, ask for parameters like those listed above. Establishing a baseline condition is a great idea. Maintain your water quality in storage by periodically adding some household bleach to the tank.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:22 PM
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One city out of how many in the US was proven to be falsifying or not reporting water results, that is not a very likely scenario IMO.
Your opinion about saving the cost of a monthly car insurance payment once every few years weighed against the risk of drinking toxic water constantly and dying sooner is like watching someone step over a dollar to pick up a dime.

Try learning occasionally.

33 states: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/sto...-of-33-states/

US: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/28/us/epa...ems/index.html

Illinois: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/w...512-story.html

Fresno: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/...122257349.html

US: http://www.ewg.org/research/chromium...r#.WcqKPMZryM8

Syracuse: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.s...ter_pipes.html

Tempe: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...rds/391064001/

Philly: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...fling-doctors/

Military bases: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pe...arminster.html

Quite frankly, your opinion is both lousy and dangerous. If a hundred bucks spent every few years by a homeowner breaks your piggy bank completely you probably can't afford a home in the first place.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
Your opinion about saving the cost of a monthly car insurance payment once every few years weighed against the risk of drinking toxic water constantly and dying sooner is like watching someone step over a dollar to pick up a dime.

Try learning occasionally.

33 states: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/sto...-of-33-states/

US: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/28/us/epa...ems/index.html

Illinois: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/w...512-story.html

Fresno: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/...122257349.html

US: http://www.ewg.org/research/chromium...r#.WcqKPMZryM8

Syracuse: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.s...ter_pipes.html

Tempe: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...rds/391064001/

Philly: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...fling-doctors/

Military bases: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pe...arminster.html

Quite frankly, your opinion is both lousy and dangerous. If a hundred bucks spent every few years by a homeowner breaks your piggy bank completely you probably can't afford a home in the first place.
I get an annual report from my city. I do trust that the data is accurate. A few isolated cases do not IMO justify the need to spend several hundred or more dollars for independent duplicate data for personal validation. It really comes down to risk vs reward. The risk is miniscule in modern drinking water distribution systems in the US. Yes, there have been a few isolated cases of data falsification or misreporting. Anyone can obviously go the ultra extreme like you suggest Zeke, but that only proves that one single sample on that one day and time was OK. What about a week or month from now? Should someone sample annually? Maybe it is safer to sample monthly....or once a week? Can't be too careful these days.

By the way, the links to your "toxic chemicals" for the most part are for higher than normal levels of fluorinated compounds, which is funny because those are the substances used for purification, so occasionally seeing elevated levels is really not abnormal. Several of the other links you provided are pretty much bunk as well.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:29 PM
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I get an annual report from my city. I do trust that the data is accurate. A few isolated cases do not IMO justify the need to spend several hundred or more dollars for independent duplicate data for personal validation. It really comes down to risk vs reward. The risk is miniscule in modern drinking water distribution systems in the US. Yes, there have been a few isolated cases of data falsification or misreporting. Anyone can obviously go the ultra extreme like you suggest Zeke, but that only proves that one single sample on that one day and time was OK. What about a week or month from now? Should someone sample annually? Maybe it is safer to sample monthly....or once a week? Can't be too careful these days.

By the way, the links to your "toxic chemicals" for the most part are for higher than normal levels of fluorinated compounds, which is funny because those are the substances used for purification, so occasionally seeing elevated levels is really not abnormal. Several of the other links you provided are pretty much bunk as well.
So your response to well documented incidents is hyperbole?

I could have had you scrolling for days with links if I chose to, but your easy answer is to call it "ultra extreme" because I made the mistake of assuming you can accept a selection of valid answers and actually do some research yourself.

You somehow think that your opinion actually is more valuable than actual proof and science. No. You are so worried about what is pocket change for a homeowner that you recommend them ignore common sense. Hell, those on well water have to be tested annually and they are poor rural countryfolk. If living urban and being too poor to test your muni water every few years then just sell your home, because you are clearly in way over your head.

It's barely $100 to get tested. You have the listed city tests to compare for veracity. Standard deviation will give you many statistical data points, given that most lab tests look for several dozen threats. With statistics your claim of just one snapshot in time is rendered invalid. Most labs run several samples for the same fee. You could wait a few weeks and turn in two samples from your house and one from a friend across town and have so many data points your sample error would be +/- 5%. Does working statistics scare you? The lab will probably run them on their PC in a few seconds for you for free.

If I had to make a guess then you are one of those people who advise folks to skip getting a permit for home repairs.

If you can't advise preppers to stay safe then you really don't belong here. Go back to the politics section where BS'ing doesn't actually risk the health of others.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:09 AM
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Coliform bacteria is the most important. Total and fecal
pH
heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic
sulfate
TDS total dissolved solids
Chloride
Calcium
Carbonate
Dissolved Oxygen
Nitrate

Most labs will have a "suite" of parameters for drinking water quality. Ask for those. If they are vague in their response, ask for parameters like those listed above. Establishing a baseline condition is a great idea. Maintain your water quality in storage by periodically adding some household bleach to the tank.
Thank you for the info. This is what i was looking for.
As far as all the dialogue about whether it is worth the cost... that was never my question. Only asking for a few testing parameters.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:35 AM
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Thank you for the info. This is what i was looking for.
As far as all the dialogue about whether it is worth the cost... that was never my question. Only asking for a few testing parameters.
The metals is a long list. All the VOC organic and synthetic toxins need to be added to that list above. Radon and uranium are important too.

Most private labs already offer a package of sorts if they regularly do water testing.

Getting the package deal is typically the way to go, because ala carte seems to always be more expensive.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:05 PM
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Quadra,
Your health is always worth the cost.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:06 PM
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The metals is a long list. All the VOC organic and synthetic toxins need to be added to that list above. Radon and uranium are important too.

Most private labs already offer a package of sorts if they regularly do water testing.

Getting the package deal is typically the way to go, because ala carte seems to always be more expensive.
That "$100" water test is getting expensive

Oh, sure, every lab I know runs duplicate samples gratis

As for sampling water coming from a personal well? Absolutely, that is the wise thing to do. But sampling muni water, assuming that we are all being lied to and duped into drinking unsafe water is "extreme" precaution territory.
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Old 09-27-2017, 04:06 PM
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That "$100" water test is getting expensive

Oh, sure, every lab I know runs duplicate samples gratis
Then you are using labs that don't regularly test water. Fact is that most labs actually state to give them multiple samples.

That only shows you cannot competently find a lab that regularly tests water.

Since when did finding competent service companies become an unfair burden on consumers?

Quote:
As for sampling water coming from a personal well? Absolutely, that is the wise thing to do. But sampling muni water, assuming that we are all being lied to and duped into drinking unsafe water is "extreme" precaution territory.
Extreme? In an era of rapidly rising city budgets caused by union pension agreements, social welfare schemes, and rapidly declining infrastructure spending? Where department leaders are praised and financially rewarded for reducing costs? Where the cost is basically chump change to an urban home owner? Where just the trip charge by a plumber/electrician/carpenter costs more? Where the cost of doing it is less than a day's pay for anyone capable of earning enough money to qualify for a mortgage, yet only needs to be done every few years to verify the more frequent muni lab results aren't BS? Where the cost of most urn filters costs twice as much or more?

Just taking your spouse to a pro sports game, theater play, ballet, or the symphony one time will cost you more.

So is the cost of buying toothpaste an extreme expense to you? You could easily go many years or even decades before troubles arise from just running a ratty old toothbrush around your mouth using plain water. Why drain your wallet in such an extreme way?

Hell, buying 2 tires or 2 tanks of gas for my old truck costs me more.

Damn man, go get a real job.
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:10 PM
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One city out of how many in the US was proven to be falsifying or not reporting water results, that is not a very likely scenario IMO.
Actually it is.. They're finding lead in all kinds of places..

Did you notice how the whole Flint thing has quieted down? Its because Flint was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.. There are some places in Michigan were the lead levels were twice what they found in Flint..

The best way to assure quality water is to install a reverse osmosis system.. I actually design large units occasionally and have built lots of smaller systems producing 1000 to 3000 gallons per day.. You can purchase one for around $5,000 or build the same unit (better) yourself for around $600 to $800..
RO systems are NOT energy efficient but they are highly effective.

I have designed lots of waste treatment facilities in industrial settings.. mostly for fats oils and greases as well as heavy metals..

It is my opinion that in the absence of any changes by the city, you only need to test a municipal water supply once every few years for heavy metals but may want to test at least once a year for critters (bacteria and stuff)..

The heavy metal testing needs some fancy equipment that the average homeowner isn't going to have.. An atomic absorption spectophotometer or gas chromatography.. Not really sure what they use these days.. but testing for critters is far easier and you can actually purchase petri dish test kits that use color coded colony detection.. I use one myself to check my rain water system occasionally.
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