When should I order water testing?
Generally Full Scan water testing is recommended for all homes with a private water source.
Here is a helpful guide provided by the EPA:
Homes with Well Water:
Full scan water testing is recommended for all homes with well water (if the seller cannot provide a recent water test result within one year).
The Premium Full Scan water test includes Total Coliform, E. Coli, Nitrite, Nitrate, Lead, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Iron, Total Alkalinity, Copper, Phosphorus, Total Chlorine, Free Chlorine and Turbidity. It is recommended to retest the water every year. Our counties offer very accurate and affordable water tests with the state lab however they can take up to 6 weeks for a result which is not fast enough for a real estate transaction. The lab we use is state certified for bacteria testing and uses the Hach/Colorimetric method for the Premium Water Scan.
Newer Homes on City Water
Generally water testing is not recommended for these homes as the water quality will depend on the municipality. Water quality (and chlorination) will vary depending on treatment schedules, repairs, etc…
Water filtration with City Water:
The Asheville area does have aging municipal lines and there are frequent repairs and ‘Boil water’ alerts. Homeowners in this area may consider having sediment filters installed to prevent sediment from entering the water lines and plumbing fixtures/appliances after city repairs. We recommend the sediment filters with the clear casing so you can see when the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced. Generally the municipal water quality is very good in our area however more sensitive homeowners may consider additional filtration. Countertop filtration systems have the benefit of allowing chlorine and other gases to evaporate overtime. As home inspectors, we have observed that Point of Use filtration systems installed under kitchen sinks are more prone to leaks (water damage)-- these systems should always be professionally installed.
Older homes with City Water
Homes that have galvanized plumbing pipes (supply pipes to the street and/or distribution pipes to the plumbing fixtures) can sometimes test high for metals. The buyer may consider having a ‘full scan’ water sample taken at the time of inspection, or alternatively they can wait until after the due diligence period and have the testing done with the county. (The county testing is very good, cheaper, but can take up to 6 weeks and is not a good option if the buyer would like to see the results before the end of the due diligence period).