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Home Inspector

How Safe is Your Water Supply?

Here in the Caribbean we have two choices for our water supply. One is the cistern we have built under our home and the second is the government water supply. Let’s look at the cistern water supply first.  This cavity of water is fed from the roof of the home.  It collects rainwater from the roof, channels it into the gutters and down the spouts into the cistern below.  The theory is that as long as there is no sunlight entering the cistern there will be no growth of allergens or bacteria.  But we need to look at the bigger picture.  Since the roof we have is painted, this paint can leach off into the water.  We have birds sitting on the roof and lizards scurrying around. Leaves and other debris blow onto the roof.  Add in the Sahara sand, a bit of volcanic dust, along with some toxic chemicals, and ask yourself if you feel the water is fit to drink.  Let’s not forget those nasty frogs that may set up house in your cistern. 

The first step toward ensuring peace of mind is to have the water tested by the Water and Sewage Department.  For a small fee they will give you a very detailed readout listing chemicals and bacteria count. From there you can decide what the next course of action should be.

Once your water has a clean bill of health you may want to consider a filtration system and possibly an ultraviolet light to ensure better-quality drinking water.  Installing gutter guards and screens can also help reduce the amount of unwanted material that may find its way into the cistern. Testing and filters would be your best lines of defence.

Government water is produced from the salt water that surrounds these beautiful islands.  The water is processed and emerges as clean, fresh water with a few chemicals added to ensure purity; however, the pipelines supplying this water to your house may still introduce contaminants into it.  When in doubt, have a sample of the water tested.  

Or contact the Home Inspector on 499-1557

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