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Whether its organic herbs and spices you seek or are seeking the finest in all natural sea salt, pure undiluted essential oils, ionic liquid minerals, pure beeswax, loose leaf teas, herbal healing tinctures, or one of our home health test kits; Florida Herb House can help you. Shop over 2000 products online at http://www.sharpweblabs.com/ or http://www.floridaherbhouse.com/ or visit our retail store in Port Orange, Florida for all your health and nutrition needs. Shhhh.......Use this online coupon code for an instant 10-20% savings upon checkout. Coupon Code = FLORIDAHERB

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Testing Your Water

Hi Bloggers!

Happy Tuesday from all of us here at Florida Herb House and .www.SharpWebLabs.com, www.FloridaHerbHouse.com! Here at our herb shop we take water quality seriously. If you are like us then you too test your home drinking water once per year whether it be town or well water. We sell hundreds of water testing kits per year at our retail store in Port Orange, Florida and wish to share some of the basics of water quality testing. If you reading this blog and wish to purchase a water quality test please use this coupon at our store for 10% off! Coupon Code = SHARPSPECIAL and can be used an any of our above online stores.

If you have town supplied tap water then you can get a copy of the most recent quality report. There is still a long ways for your water to travel from the origin to your faucet so we still highly recommend a water test at least once per year. Here is the link to find your local water report.Water Reports

If you use well water then the only way to be sure your water is safe is to test it yourself as there is no required EPA annual testing done. A complete list of the most common types of water test kits can be seen here: Water Tests

There are several tests that, if done periodically, can help owners of private wells determine whether they have safe, clean drinking water. Periodic testing will confirm the quality of your well water. State well construction code requires that new wells be tested before use. You should consider testing anytime you notice a change in odor or taste. The two most important water quality tests are bacteria and nitrates. Other tests can be done for such things as arsenic, water hardness, iron, chlorine, heavy metals, radon, coliform bacteria, ozone, lead etc. etc. We will talk about bacteria and nitrates today.

Coliform bacteria are microorganisms found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals as well as in soil, on vegetation, and in surface water runoff. Finding coliform bacteria in a water supply is an indication that there is a potential for disease-producing organisms to be present also.

Coliform bacteria washed into the ground by rain or melting snow are usually filtered out as water percolates through the soil. However, poorly-constructed or unsealed wells, fractured rock outcroppings, sinkholes, and quarries may provide a path for coliform bacteria to enter groundwater.

Once in the groundwater, bacteria can easily pollute drinking water used by private well owners. Other bacteria, viruses and parasites, which can cause illness, can be in water containing coliform bacteria.

Drinking water drawn from private wells should be tested for the presence of bacteria at least once a year or any time there is a change in taste, odor, color or appearance of the well water.

Iron and sulfur bacteria may also be present in well water. Although not a health threat, these two types of bacteria can make water smell and taste bad and plug or corrode plumbing equipment. The State Laboratory of Hygiene offers a test to detect iron bacteria. Some private laboratories also test for iron or sulfur bacteria.

Although nitrate is found naturally in many types of food, high levels in drinking water pose a serious acute health threat for infants less than six months of age. Nitrate is changed to nitrite in the stomachs of small infants. The nitrite then interferes with the blood's ability to carry oxygen, and symptoms of suffocation or blue baby syndrome can occur. This problem generally does not affect older children or adults. Research is underway to ascertain if nitrate causes chronic illness.
Sources of nitrate include fertilizer infiltration in agricultural areas, animal feedlots, sewage absorption fields, municipal and industrial wastewater, urban drainage and decaying plant debris. Underground soil and bedrock structure and the direction of groundwater flow influence when and where nitrate is found. In some areas nitrate contamination may be associated with other groundwater contaminants.

A nitrate test is recommended for all wells and is essential for wells serving infants under six months of age. The State Laboratory of Hygiene as well as private laboratories certified by DNR can test water for the presence of nitrate. If the levels are over 10 mg/l (milligrams per liter or parts per million expressed as "N"), the water should not be fed to infants under six months of age, or used to prepare formula. Nitrate is not believed to be a health concern for a pregnant woman or her fetus. Adults concerned with the yet incomplete and inconclusive research results regarding chronic illness, may wish to reduce consumption of water high in nitrate.

If nitrate levels are less than 5 mg/l, retesting every few years should be adequate. If the results are between 5 and 10 mg/l, more frequent, perhaps annual testing can be considered to monitor fluctuations in nitrate concentration. Concerns about seasonal concentration fluctuations can be satisfied by quarterly testing. If additional sources or amounts of nitrate occur in the nearby area, also consider retesting for nitrate.