If your home is serviced by a municipal water source, it is routinely checked for contaminants; reports of these tests are available from the county. If your prospective home has an on-site water well, there are no government or health department regulations requiring routine testing of the water quality.
Many contaminants can be found in ground water. Union County of North Carolina has one of the highest average levels of Arsenic in the state! Some areas of South Carolina frequently contain elevated levels of Radon in the ground water. Nearby agricultural operations, and especially on-site or nearby septic systems can contribute to serious contamination of the water table. Most health organizations recommend analysis of well water at least once per year and after any repairs made to the pump/well system.
Homes serviced by a municipal water source can still have contaminants that present health issues. Although the water supplied from the municipality, should be expected to contain safe levels of contaminants, if the home was built before 1979, there could be sources of lead in the plumbing pipes of the home. Lead based solder was commonly used with copper pipe installations, and was restricted after 1979.
Water wells and pumps are not included in a typical home inspection. A home inspection will only include those systems and components included inside, or part of the building itself, unless other components effect the structure. Newer wells and pumps are relatively simple and usually problem free. However, older systems and the wiring, insulation, water lines to/from the home etc. frequently do have problems and should be inspected.
A well, pump, and drinking water inspection should be performed on any home serviced by well water, at least once per year, after any repairs to the well/pump, and before purchasing any prospective home. The well, pump, and associated wiring, piping, etc. will be inspected for proper function etc. and a sample of water will be taken and submitted to an approved laboratory for analysis. Several tests may be performed by the lab according to specific site conditions. Homes serviced by municipal water supplies, may only need to indicate any lead contaminants; where those serviced by well water should test for any combination of: bacteria, lead, nitrates, nitrites, turbidity, arsenic, radon, etc. You should contact us prior to any Drinking Water Inspection to discuss what tests are appropriate for you situation.
CHI is certified by Environmental Solutions Association to conduct Well Water Inspections. Although there are no state regulations requiring licensing of water inspections, you should make sure the person inspecting and testing your water system is properly trained to know what to look for, and how to properly take and submit water samples.
Click on the links below to learn more about water wells and drinking water issues: