Lancaster County PA Realty Check: What Should I Test My Water For?

What Should I Test My Water For?

What Should I Test My Water For?

If you're buying a home that doesn't have public water, certain types of loans (FHA, VA) may require that the well water be tested.  However, ther may be times when home buyers or home owners have concerns about their water, even if publicly provided.

What kinds of contaminants are most commonly tested for?

Coliform bacteria:  Can cause various illnesses, some potentially serious or fatal.  May come from farm fields.  Sometimes from improper treatment at water treatment plants or contamination from sewage during flood overflows.  If coliform bacteria is found, boil the water before drinking.  Take steps to correct the situation.   Ultra violet treatment at the faucet is one method of killing bacteria.

Nitrates:  Can come from runoff from fertilizer.  Can be fatal to infants at high concentrations.

Lead:  Children can develop learning disabilities, hyperactivity, impaired hearing, inhyibited growth and brain damage.  In adults can cause anemia and loss of appetite.

Dissolved minerals:  May lend unpleasant taste.  Can corrode pipes and shower heads, leave a ring on tubs and commodes,  Water softeners may be recommended.

pH (Power of Hydrion):  Water may be too caustic or too acidic.  Too caustic is corrosive.  Too acidic may leave a bitter taste or cause scale.

Iron:  can discolor laundry, and affect the taste of water, coffee, tea, and other beverages.

If you would like no-obligation information on how an Accredited Buyers Agent can help you save money and reduce your risk, call (717) 951-5552 or email .


Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA.  To learn more, visit

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Comment balloon 2 commentsBrian Schulman • July 30 2007 05:15PM


Good info, Brian. 

Here in Ontario water is of particular concern due to the Walkerton incident a few years back where 6 people died and over 2300 became very ill after drinking contaminated (E. Coli) municipal water.



Posted by Jo-Anne Smith almost 12 years ago
Jo, we didn't get news of that incident in Pennsylvania, but it's a good example of how vulnerable water supplies can be.
Posted by Anonymous almost 12 years ago