We frequently get calls requesting water testing for VA loans. Water testing is an important part of qualifying for a VA home loan. We understand the need for efficiency when it comes to VA water testing: the faster we can get you results, the quicker you can get the deal done.
For this reason, we are pleased to announce that we are now offering water testing services for VA loans specifically.
At this time, VA water testing requirements are fairly basic—far less than is included in our normal, comprehensive water testing for UP homes.
By offering VA-specific water testing services, we can now get you the results you need to keep your loan process moving along up to 10 or 11 days sooner than by ordering our comprehensive water testing. It is also less expensive.
What is the difference between VA water testing and our standard (comprehensive) water test?
Our regular water test includes basic water testing of nitrate and nitrite content, bacterial load, plus lead and arsenic. VA water testing does not include lead or arsenic water testing.
Aside from this, there is a huge difference in turnaround time.
Our comprehensive test typically takes 10-14 business days between initial testing and receipt of results. Our VA water testing services usually get you results within a week. We’ve even seen them come in within 3-4 days on occasion. This is a significantly faster process that can make a big difference in helping you get your financing lined up quickly.
In addition, there is a small but significant price difference as well. VA water testing of course is less expensive because it is less comprehensive.
What does VA water testing include?
The Veterans Administration only requires that a property pass the following water tests to qualify for a VA loan:
- Nitrate content
- Nitrite content
- Coliform count (bacterial testing)
Let’s take a look at what each of these means:
What Is Nitrate and Nitrite Testing?
Nitrates and nitrites are chemical compounds often found in excess in water supplies. They are both molecules that form when nitrogen and oxygen combine. A nitrate molecule is composed of a single nitrogen atom combined with three oxygen atoms. A nitrite molecule is made of one nitrogen atom and two oxygen atoms.
Nitrates and nitrites are often found in high levels in rural well water due to excess fertilizer or feedlot runoff contaminating ground and surface water supplies. These compounds can also enter the water supply from improper disposal of industrial waste.
While both nitrates and nitrites are naturally found in many foods, an excess amount in the diet (including drinking water) can cause serious health issues. Some potential consequences of excess nitrate/nitrite intake include cancer, thyroid disease, and birth defects.
Testing for nitrogen compounds is beyond the scope of an at-home water test. Nitrate and nitrite testing is best done through an accredited lab.
What is Coliform Testing?
Coliforms are a class of bacteria naturally present in the environment. They are known as “indicator organisms” because while the presence of coliforms in the water doesn’t necessarily mean the water carries disease, it does indicate a contamination pathway between potential sources of bacterial pathogens and your potable water supply.
E. coli is one type of coliform bacteria that is typically found in animal and human waste. It is the most common type of fecal coliform. E.coli is considered the best indicator of fecal contamination in water. Most strains of E.coli, like most coliform bacteria in general, do not cause disease. Many are, in fact, normal residents of the human intestinal tract. However, a few rare strains of E. coli are pathogenic and can cause serious illness.
The bacterial testing included in our VA water testing services indicates both total coliform and E. coli levels.
Why is our VA water testing service turnaround so fast?
We’ve partnered with an independent lab in the UP to do our nitrate, nitrite, and coliform testing. This eliminates the extra time it takes to ship water samples to and from a lab outside our region. Typically, we can get you your results within 3-4 business days using this service.
VA water test vs. comprehensive water test: which should you choose?
If you are looking to get a VA loan, you can choose either VA water testing or our standard, more comprehensive testing. It all depends on your goals.
- If you are looking for the fastest possible results just to get your VA loan rolling and don’t care about testing for lead or arsenic, choose VA testing.
- If you want to keep water testing costs to a minimum, choose the VA water test.
- If you are concerned about lead or arsenic in your water, and can afford to spend a little more and wait up to 14 business days for your results, then choose our standard comprehensive water test.
Ready to order your VA water test?
Visit our convenient online booking page to schedule your water test today. Or if you have questions, call us directly at 906-360-3879. We’re always happy to help!