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What’s included in a water test?

Whether you live in the city or country, it’s a good idea to have your water professionally tested to ensure it’s safe to drink. If not properly treated, tap water can contain invisible but harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses. Even if the water looks and tastes good, it could still be unsafe to consume. Here’s what’s involved in a water quality test.

water test tube

How testing works

Private water testing is provided free of charge by Public Health Ontario. Public Health Ontario tests for the bacterial indicator organisms E. coli and total coliforms to ensure your water doesn’t contain any harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites. However, this assessment doesn’t test for other contaminants, like minerals and chemicals, which can harm your health and affect the taste and smell of your water.


You must contact a private laboratory for additional testing. It’s a good idea to test your water quality every two years and more often if you notice changes in the taste, smell or colour.


Common contaminants

Depending on where you live, your tap water may contain various contaminants. Here’s a look at some of the most common pollutants found in tap water and how to treat them:


  • Chlorine is often added to public water systems as a disinfectant. Chlorine prevents the growth of microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, making water safe to drink. However, chlorine can dry out your hair and skin and irritate your eyes and nose.

  • Heavy metals, like arsenic, lead and cadmium can sometimes find their way into your tap water due to corroded plumbing systems and erosion of natural deposits. In high amounts, these substances can have a negative impact on your health.

  • Nitrates and nitrites are naturally found in surface and groundwater. However, exposure to high levels of these elements can cause various health problems. Pregnant women and infants are especially at risk of the health effects of nitrates and nitrites.


If your tap water has high levels of any of the above impurities, it would be wise to invest in a reverse osmosis system. These systems can get rid of a wide range of containments, including bacteria, viruses and heavy metals, as well as dissolved solids. At Aire One Heating & Cooling, we carry various water treatment products, including reverse osmosis systems and water softeners to ensure your water tastes great and is safe to drink.


Water softener rental, sale and repairs in Kitchener and Cambridge

Aire One Heating & Cooling in Kitchener-Waterloo is the place to go for water treatment and air quality systems. Our plumbing services include backflow testing to ensure your drinking water isn’t contaminated with dirty water infiltrating the water supply. We’re your go-to HVAC company in Cambridge. Contact us today for more information on our products and services.

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