Have you had your water tested?

Posted by Sue, Volunteer Mentor @sueinmn, Jan 19 8:54am

There has been some recent discussion about having home water supply tested for MAC/NTM. People seem to be having difficulty finding a resource to have this done. If anyone has had their home tested, could you please let us know a few details? Here are some of the questions, but you don't have to answer all of them – any info you can provide will be helpful:
Which lab(s) did you use?
What was the approximate cost?
What was the sampling process?
What was the turnaround time?
What did you learn, how detailed was the report, and was it understandable to a layman who is not a microbiologist?
Did the lab have someone you could contact directly with questions, either by phone or email?
Overall, how satisfied were you with the test?
Thank you for any help you can give!
Sue

Liked by janovr, ginak

@sueinmn, These are excellent questions. I contacted my local water company and asked for my water to be tested. I was asked "Why?". I explained my mac situation and mentioned that I knew two others with mac living in this community; whose health could also be affected. The woman I spoke to who is in charge of water quality, was genuinely intrigued. I got a response back saying that they would come take a sample from my outside water spicket the first week in January. I explained that it needs to be taken from the showerhead inside. I asked that we test it when I get back into town. So, I am now about to line that up and will report back when I know something.

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Update on my water to be tested. I spoke to a rep for water quality at my local water company this morning. She has ordered the testing kit and will send someone out to my home to test the incoming water at the curb, and in my main shower head as well as at the main plant. They are using a lab in Va. called Aerobiology. She said she is doing this because I had asked in such a kind manner (I had explained the mac disease and our group, etc) She said she had no clue about mac and finds it interesting. She also said that it is now brought up at their Water conferences. Yay! Awareness!! She made me promise that if they find a substantial amount, that I would not alert the newspapers and cause them grief. (not that I would) I will keep you updated on what I learn.

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@windwalker

Update on my water to be tested. I spoke to a rep for water quality at my local water company this morning. She has ordered the testing kit and will send someone out to my home to test the incoming water at the curb, and in my main shower head as well as at the main plant. They are using a lab in Va. called Aerobiology. She said she is doing this because I had asked in such a kind manner (I had explained the mac disease and our group, etc) She said she had no clue about mac and finds it interesting. She also said that it is now brought up at their Water conferences. Yay! Awareness!! She made me promise that if they find a substantial amount, that I would not alert the newspapers and cause them grief. (not that I would) I will keep you updated on what I learn.

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Thank you Terri!

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@windwalker

Update on my water to be tested. I spoke to a rep for water quality at my local water company this morning. She has ordered the testing kit and will send someone out to my home to test the incoming water at the curb, and in my main shower head as well as at the main plant. They are using a lab in Va. called Aerobiology. She said she is doing this because I had asked in such a kind manner (I had explained the mac disease and our group, etc) She said she had no clue about mac and finds it interesting. She also said that it is now brought up at their Water conferences. Yay! Awareness!! She made me promise that if they find a substantial amount, that I would not alert the newspapers and cause them grief. (not that I would) I will keep you updated on what I learn.

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@windwalker thats fantastic Terri looking forward to the results.

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@windwalker

Update on my water to be tested. I spoke to a rep for water quality at my local water company this morning. She has ordered the testing kit and will send someone out to my home to test the incoming water at the curb, and in my main shower head as well as at the main plant. They are using a lab in Va. called Aerobiology. She said she is doing this because I had asked in such a kind manner (I had explained the mac disease and our group, etc) She said she had no clue about mac and finds it interesting. She also said that it is now brought up at their Water conferences. Yay! Awareness!! She made me promise that if they find a substantial amount, that I would not alert the newspapers and cause them grief. (not that I would) I will keep you updated on what I learn.

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That's great Teri I will be interested in the results. Good job in getting the word out, I guess more of us need to ask our water companies "in a nice way.,
Shari

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@sueinmn and everyone. My local water company did come out and collected samples of my water last week. I won't get results back for 8 more weeks. Will keep you posted. They took a sample from the outside spicket and two samples from my showerhead. The woman who I contacted about this at the water company said that the issue of mac in our water systems is now a topic at their conferences. Awareness is growing.

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@windwalker

@sueinmn and everyone. My local water company did come out and collected samples of my water last week. I won't get results back for 8 more weeks. Will keep you posted. They took a sample from the outside spicket and two samples from my showerhead. The woman who I contacted about this at the water company said that the issue of mac in our water systems is now a topic at their conferences. Awareness is growing.

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@windwalker Terri – glad to hear they came, I'll be interested in the results. I'm going to contact my city when I get back to Minnesota in April. Down here I'm a renter, our water is bought from one city, but we live in another – no possibility of them testing.

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@windwalker

@sueinmn and everyone. My local water company did come out and collected samples of my water last week. I won't get results back for 8 more weeks. Will keep you posted. They took a sample from the outside spicket and two samples from my showerhead. The woman who I contacted about this at the water company said that the issue of mac in our water systems is now a topic at their conferences. Awareness is growing.

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Should we really trust what the water company tells us regarding results? I keep imagining some Erin Brockovich situation where the water company lies. LOL

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@suzyqueue

Should we really trust what the water company tells us regarding results? I keep imagining some Erin Brockovich situation where the water company lies. LOL

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@suzyqueue – I cannot say about where anyone else lives, but I trust our city officials and staff. Many years ago we had a scare about higher than average numbers of cancer cases possibly linked to water contamination; our city wells were tested, and a number of them along one aquifer were capped off due to old industrial chemicals (later determined not to be the cancer cause, but no longer part of our water supply.) The polluted site was cleaned and covered as well. It is still monitored regularly by city and state agencies. A few years later a neighboring town with which we trade water when needed found a similar situation and capped some wells there too. Currently our staff are fighting with balky equipment sometimes over-chlorinating part of our water – they regularly communicate their efforts to resolve the problem via the city website and social media… so based on history and my knowledge of our elected officials and staff, yes, I would trust them to truthfully report test results.

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As you all know, I asked my water company to test my water for mac back in Jan. They called me today with the results. None found in my showerhead, none found in the pipes coming into the house, and none found at the plant itself. If you all will remember our past posts talking about the presence of 'pink slime' negating the presence of mac in your plumbing (per Dr Joseph Falkinham at Va Tech). I do have the pink bacteria present, and sure enough, no detectable mac! The rep from the water company said they have now included a section on their website about mac. She said it was in thanks to me bringing it to their attention. I will look it up tomorrow and see what it says. I was happy that they took this seriously, but even happier it is not in my plumbing!

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Hi Terri thanks for the info, very interesting, great that they showed a interest in Mac, getting the word out is fantastic.

Liked by lorifilipek

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@windwalker

As you all know, I asked my water company to test my water for mac back in Jan. They called me today with the results. None found in my showerhead, none found in the pipes coming into the house, and none found at the plant itself. If you all will remember our past posts talking about the presence of 'pink slime' negating the presence of mac in your plumbing (per Dr Joseph Falkinham at Va Tech). I do have the pink bacteria present, and sure enough, no detectable mac! The rep from the water company said they have now included a section on their website about mac. She said it was in thanks to me bringing it to their attention. I will look it up tomorrow and see what it says. I was happy that they took this seriously, but even happier it is not in my plumbing!

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@windwalker What wonderful news! We need more of that right now. I too have evidence of pink slime in my Minnesota home, and have always assumed it was therefore safe. Glad to hear your testing seems to confirm the theory, but I'll continue to be sensible.
Sue

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As a newly diagnosed MAC patient, I have learned so much from all of you! After reading this post, my husband did some investigation. He found a Special Pathogens Laboratory in Pittsburgh and spent some time in conversation with them. Even though we have well water which typically does not have avium, we are going to have our water tested to find out. This lab tests for all NTM, not just avium. It will cost approximately $200 and will take 7-8 weeks for results. The lab sent us the testing kit complete with return packaging. For inquiries the address is 1401 Forbes AV Suite 401, Pittsburg, PA 15219 and the phone number is 412-281-5335. He also communicated with Dr. Joseph Falkinham from VA Tech who was mentioned in another post. He is out of the office now, but said he would get back to us with the names of other labs who might test for this. Another question I have is how many exposures to avium does it take to become sick? So much to learn…..Nancy

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@n4seth

As a newly diagnosed MAC patient, I have learned so much from all of you! After reading this post, my husband did some investigation. He found a Special Pathogens Laboratory in Pittsburgh and spent some time in conversation with them. Even though we have well water which typically does not have avium, we are going to have our water tested to find out. This lab tests for all NTM, not just avium. It will cost approximately $200 and will take 7-8 weeks for results. The lab sent us the testing kit complete with return packaging. For inquiries the address is 1401 Forbes AV Suite 401, Pittsburg, PA 15219 and the phone number is 412-281-5335. He also communicated with Dr. Joseph Falkinham from VA Tech who was mentioned in another post. He is out of the office now, but said he would get back to us with the names of other labs who might test for this. Another question I have is how many exposures to avium does it take to become sick? So much to learn…..Nancy

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@n4seth That is a very good question Nancy. Avium is everywhere. Most people have it but are not infected with it. It’s kind of like if your skin were swabbed it would most likely have staph on it. But you are not infected with it. MAC is like that. I think the key is to not keep reinfecting ourselves from the source where we got it: e.g. shower heads, potting soil, hot tubs, household dust etc.. For some reason (genetic, body type, lifestyle etc.) we on this forum have a susceptibility to it. Terri (mentor) has been doing her own research on water testing and similarity in career choices of members on this site. I remember being asked by doctors if I had been around birds or lived on a farm. (No, I had not.) I used to be a tad obsessed with trying to figure out where I got it. Now my obsession is in doing what my ID doctor and pulmonologist recommend to get rid of this unwelcome lung inhabitant. So to answer your question, I don’t believe the number of exposures predispose a person to get MAC. However, I think because of our susceptibility, it is of utmost importance to not continually reinfect ourselves after diagnosis and being put on the Big3. There are many things we can do to hopefully not reinfect ourselves. These are discussed in previous posts and have provided me with tons of new knowledge. irene5

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@n4seth

As a newly diagnosed MAC patient, I have learned so much from all of you! After reading this post, my husband did some investigation. He found a Special Pathogens Laboratory in Pittsburgh and spent some time in conversation with them. Even though we have well water which typically does not have avium, we are going to have our water tested to find out. This lab tests for all NTM, not just avium. It will cost approximately $200 and will take 7-8 weeks for results. The lab sent us the testing kit complete with return packaging. For inquiries the address is 1401 Forbes AV Suite 401, Pittsburg, PA 15219 and the phone number is 412-281-5335. He also communicated with Dr. Joseph Falkinham from VA Tech who was mentioned in another post. He is out of the office now, but said he would get back to us with the names of other labs who might test for this. Another question I have is how many exposures to avium does it take to become sick? So much to learn…..Nancy

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This might be a stupid question, but what do we do if our houses tests positive?

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