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Testing Your Drinking Water

Where to go to find out if your water is safe.

By Leah Hennen
BubblesJose Picayo
For more information on your water, check these websites:

  • Underwriters Laboratories ( will test your water for everything from fecal bacteria to industrial pollutants and get the results to you in about a week. Prices range from $30 for a mercury test to $500 for a 94-contaminant screening.
  • The Water Quality Association ( has an interactive “Diagnose Your Drinking Water” tool on its site that will help you figure out why your tap water smells like rotten eggs, tastes like salt, or spots your glasses. It will then offer advice on treating the problem.
  • Home test kits, such as PurTest ( and Watersafe ( can identify lead, arsenic, pesticides, and bacteria. The kits sell for $20 to $45.
  • The International Bottled Water Association ( lists bottled-water companies that adhere to the organization’s Model Code.
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