FAQs About City Water Testing

Are you relying on city water in Montgomery or Prince George’s County, Maryland? Or anywhere else in Maryland, for that matter? If so, you should test your water at least once per year. While water often leaves the local processing plants clean, you could inadvertently be exposed to heavy metals and other contaminants owing to Maryland’s aging pipe infrastructure.

We have been helping homeowners and businesses across Maryland test their water for over 25 years. Frequently, our customers and other concerned citizens have questions regarding water testing and water quality.

That’s why we put together a list of some of the most common water testing questions. Of course, if the following FAQs don’t address your concern, feel free to get in touch!

Why Should I Test My City Water?

Maryland’s processing plants generally do a good job of providing clean, safe water. Unfortunately, however, old, leaky pipes could result in water being contaminated with heavy metals, bacteria, and other contaminants.

By testing your Maryland city water, you can keep an eye on such dangers. If your water is contaminated, you should consider investing in a water filtration system, such as the Hague WaterMax® BEQ to protect you and your family’s health.

What Should I Test For?

This will depend on your specific location and concerns. Testing in Rockville might differ from testing in Silver Spring, for example. That being said, some of the most common things to test for include: Bacteria and especially Total Coliform (such as E.coli), Turbidity, Iron, Lead, Nitrate, Radium, Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium and other heavy metals. Salt-water intrusion may also be a concern and it’s wise to check pH levels.

Keep in mind that only a small portion of contaminants are actively regulated, so even if your water passes local regulations, it may still be contaminated.

Okay, But What Does All of That Mean?

Want to learn a bit more about how these contaminants could affect you and your family? Read on!

Coliform Bacteria

Coliform bacteria are often found in feces. Unfortunately, these potentially dangerous bacteria strands have a habit of making their way into our drinking water and you could fall ill by drinking contaminated water. E. coli is one of the most common types of Coliform bacteria, but there are many other potentially dangerous strands.

Heavy Metals

Chromium, lead and other heavy metals are frequently found in drinking water. Often, this is due to aging pipes. These heavy metals may be carcinogenic, meaning they may increase your risks of contracting cancer.

Chromium was the subject of the popular Erin Brockovich movie starring Julia Roberts. Lead, meanwhile, has been at the center of the recent water crisis in Newark, New Jersey. Sadly, your local Maryland water may also contain these heavy metals.


Nitrates are found in fertilizers and also occur in nature. If pipes have been damaged or are leaking, it’s possible for nitrates to make their way into city water. When ingested, nitrates interfere with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.

How Can I Test My City Water?

The two most common options are to either hire a professional to test the water or to conduct an at-home test. If you’re worried about your water you can start with an at-home test. Keep in mind, however, that handling samples can be a bit tricky.

Professional testing, however, is the better option. Experts will ensure that the sample is not compromised and can use more accurate tests. Fortunately, if you live in Maryland, Hague Quality Water of MD can test your water for free!

What Should I Do if My City Water is Contaminated?

If your city water is contaminated, you should get a high-quality filtration system, such as the Hague WaterMax® BEQ. A reverse osmosis system will remove heavy metals and other contaminants, including bacteria and viruses. This way, you can protect your family’s health and enjoy cleaner, better-tasting water.

Call us today at (410) 757-2992 to learn more!

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