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How to Check the Quality of Your Tap Water

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By Paola Singer, The Wall Street Journal Online

RISMEDIA, August 28, 2007-(WSJOnline.com)-Problem: You want to know more about the quality of your home’s water.

Solution: The Environmental Protection Agency requires all drinking-water suppliers provide an annual quality statement.

Most of these reports are available through the EPA’s Web site. If not, call your local utility. You can also have your water tested by a private laboratory. People with small children or pregnant women may want to test their water for lead, since levels can vary from home to home. And those with private wells need to test their supply periodically.

Contact your local health department, or call the EPA’s safe-drinking-water hotline (1-800-426-4791) for information on state-certified labs. If a contaminant is detected, the results will include the concentration found and an indication of whether this level exceeds health standards.

The caveat: Depending on how many contaminants you want to test for, a private lab can charge anywhere from $15 to more than $100.

Email your comments to rjeditor@dowjones.com.

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