Do you know what’s in your water? Using a home test kit

by wfnblog on May 25, 2012

How to test your drinking water qualityRecently we looked at the local water report distributed by your municipal water provider. This “consumer confidence report” contains useful information about levels of contaminants about which you may be concerned in your area. But what if you live out of town and have your own private well? Or your water comes from other unregulated sources? Or perhaps you’ve received your supplier’s water report, and you’re ready to do further testing on your own?

The main advantage of running tests on your home’s water is the peace of mind that comes from gathering the information firsthand. You can confirm for yourself what more precisely is in the pipes of your household. If you have your own well for drinking water, this is especially important to do on a routine basis. Agricultural (or industrial) run-off that seeps into the groundwater supply can fluctuate over time, altering contaminant levels in the water you use. Conditions in your well can further change over time. You’ll have added security staying current on the levels of various organic and inorganic substances in your water.

You have two basic options when considering a home test kit. You can choose to do the testing right at home, or you can collect samples to be sent off to a certified lab for further analysis. The major advantage of do-it-yourself testing is immediate access to the results. The main limitation of testing at home is that you will only be looking at a small number of chemical substances in your water–the ones that are easiest to test. That’s the benefit of collecting samples to submit to a certified laboratory. They can run more advanced and thorough analyses for a much broader range of contaminants. The downside of laboratory testing is that you will need to wait a few weeks for the results. Here are two popular test kits:

First, a do-it-yourself home test kit. The Sensafe WaterWorks Home Water Quality test kit gives you a comprehensive overview of basic quality issues in your drinking water. The 481199 kit examines chlorine, hardness, hydrogen sulfide, iron, pH, nitrates/nitrites, and more.

Sensafe Water Testing at home from WaterFilters.NET

  • Follow the straightforward instruction sheet for easy-to-read results.
  • Do it yourself at home in a matter of minutes.
  • Bacteria test requires the NVF-4 UV light (sold separately)

Then there’s the lab sampling kit. The WaterCheck Lab Analysis Test Kit examines your drinking water for over 80 harmful agents, including heavy metals, inorganic and volatile organic chemicals and bacteria. After submitting your samples, you receive a professional water report from a certified lab. A separate version of this kit looks for an additional 20 herbicides and pesticides, for wells in more heavily agricultural areas concerned about that kind of contamination.

WaterCheck Lab Testing Kit at WaterFilters.NET

  • Checks for 83 standard contaminants
  • Approximate 2-week turnaround time after the lab receives your samples
  • Collection bottles and packaging materials all included
  • Detailed testing and shipping instructions included

You can experience added peace of mind about what’s in your drinking water, whether you test at home or use lab analysis. It’s worth the time and investment to monitor closely the chemical contents of your water supply, and you’ll be better able to make an informed decision about what filtration system is right for you.

For additional background information, this video effectively explains some of the options available.

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