Full Service Home Inspections LLC,  Summerville, SC 29483  

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Lead Testing


You should consider testing for lead if there are children in your home and your house was built before 1978, or your house is near a freeway or busy roadway where leaded gasoline and its exhaust may have polluted the soil with lead.

If your house was built before 1978, it is especially important to test for lead if...
your house has peeling or chipping paint;
your house has bare soil in the yard where children play;
you plan to repaint, remodel or renovate the house;
a child living in the house has had a blood lead test result indicating lead exposure
your house was built before 1950 -- such homes almost always have some lead-based paint.


Lead-based paints were banned in 1978 and it is quite possible some builders continued to use this paint beyond that date. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood lead poisoning is the number one environmental health risk facing children in industrialized countries today. In the United States, more than three million children age six and younger-- that's one out of every six children -- already have toxic levels of lead in their bodies.

Well Water Testing


The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) recommends well owners test their water at least annually or when they purchase a new home for bacteria, nitrates, and lead and any contaminants of local concern. More frequent testing should be considered if:

  • There is a change in the taste, odor, or appearance of the well water, or if a problem occurs such as a broken well cap, inundation by floodwaters, or a new contamination source
  • The well has a history of bacterial contamination
  • The septic system has recently malfunctioned
  • Family members or house guests have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness
  • An infant is living in the home, or
  • To monitor the efficiency and performance of home water treatment equipment.

Check with your local health or environmental health department for recommendations regarding the type and frequency of testing specific to your location. For help in interpreting your water test results—and what might be a health risk or an aesthetic issue—ask the lab that conducted the test or your county health department.

Coliform bacteria

Total coliform is the most commonly used indicator of bacterial contamination. The presence of coliform bacteria is an “indicator” of a well’s possible contamination from human or animal wastes. Total coliform are a broad category of bacteria, most of which pose no threat to humans. Some come from fecal matter; others naturally occur in soils, vegetation, insects, etc. The presence of coliform bacteria in well water can be a harbinger of worsening water quality. In some cases, more specific tests for fecal contamination, such as E.coli, may be used.

Nitrates 

Common sources of nitrate to well water are fertilizers, septic systems, animal manure, and leaking sewer lines. Nitrate also occurs naturally from the breakdown of nitrogen compounds in soil and rocks. High levels of nitrate in well water present a health concern and can also indicate the presence of other contaminants, such as bacteria and pesticides. Drinking large amounts of water with nitrates is particularly threatening to infants (for example, when mixed in formula).

Other common tests

Typical additional tests are those for pH, hardness, iron, manganese, sulfides, and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance, and odor. Changes in these constituents also may indicate changes in your well or local groundwater. Additional tests may be recommended if water appears cloudy or oily, if bacterial growth is visible on fixtures, or water treatment devices are not working as they should. Check with a water well professional, state department of natural resources, or local health department for information on local water quality issues.