How to Choose the Right Test Kit For Your Well Water
Your decision on what to test your water for should be based on the types of land use near your well and what your goals are for using your water such as domestic use, irrigation, agricultural or commercial uses.
Why Should I Test My Well Water?
Municipal city water systems test their water supplies regularly to ensure that the water is safe to drink. As a well owner, you are responsible for making sure your well water is safe.
Most private wells provide a clean, safe supply of water. Contaminants can, however, pollute private wells. Unfortunately, you cannot see, smell, nor taste most of them. Consequently, you should test your well water on a regular basis.
Most Common Reasons for Testing
A common reason many folks want to test their water is to improve the aesthetic quality of the water and eliminate iron staining, white scale build-up, corrosion, and/or odors.
Should I Use a Certified Lab, or Do It Myself?
You definitely use a state certified laboratory if you need a test report for bank financing or when you first purchase your home.
The Best Water Quality Test Kit for Your Home
If you’re worried about your home’s water quality—as many Americans justifiably are, in the wake of water scares in Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey—a home water quality test can ease your fears. After 50 hours of reporting, and after testing 11 different home water quality test kits, we’ve found that the SimpleWater Tap Score Advanced City Water Test is the best water quality test kit for your home. It measures a wide range of more than 100 potential contaminants and delivers the results in an easy-to-read, richly detailed report. If you’re worried only about lead, we recommend the much cheaper Safe Home Do-It-Yourself Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit.
The SimpleWater Tap Score Advanced City Water Test is a send-away kit: You take samples of your water, put them into a handful of bottles, and ship them off (using an included mailing label) to a certified laboratory. There, your water is tested for more than 100 compounds, including metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like chloroform; bacteria; and industrial and agricultural compounds like pesticides and nitrates. Tap Score is not the only highly accurate send-away kit, but no other kit we tested delivered nearly as useful a report. Tap Score not only tells you, in plain language, exactly which compounds are in your water (and the amount) but also explains their potential health risks and suggests ways of addressing any concerns. Tap Score also offers unmatched online support. You can chat with a representative, and if your questions go beyond their knowledge, the questions are passed on to experts, who follow up with a detailed email. All of this makes Tap Score by far the most user-friendly and informative home water quality test kit we found.
If for some reason you are unable to use Tap Score, we recommend two runners-up: the WaterCheck CityCheck Deluxe and the Safe Home Ultimate Drinking Water Test Kit. Like Tap Score, these are send-away kits; you put samples into bottles and ship them to a certified lab. We found that the testing was just as accurate as Tap Score’s (and, in fact, National Testing Laboratories, which makes the CityCheck Deluxe kit, is among the more than 60 labs Tap Score partners with). But both of these kits are more expensive than Tap Score, and their reports aren’t as easy to understand. The reports are still much more readable than those of some other send-away kits: They’re color-coded, so you can quickly see contaminant levels of concern. But they lack Tap Score’s clear explanations, actionable advice, and robust online support. The CityCheck kit also lacks an included mailing label, so you’ll have to take a trip to the post office or another shipper.
Our budget pick, the Safe Home Do-It-Yourself Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit, doesn’t have to be sent away—you can get the results at home yourself. It tests only for lead, but if that’s your sole concern, this DIY test is a great option. The Safe Home Do-It-Yourself kit is widely available, inexpensive, and fast (the test takes a total of 10 minutes and less than 30 seconds of active work). And it delivers a clear positive or negative result: Your lead levels are either below the EPA standard or above it. You simply dip a strip of test paper into a sample of your water, and the presence or absence of a blue line tells you whether you have a lead problem. If you don’t, you’ll have peace of mind. If you do, you’ll know it’s time to enlist a professional plumber or an environmental service to help you find and address the source of the problem.
BEST WATER QUALITY METERS AND TEST KITS FOR DRINKING WATER
It’s famous for having perhaps the poorest drinking water quality in a first world country. You literally cannot drink the water as the city’s pipe infrastructure is rooted which resulted in lead leaching from the pipes and eventually into its citizens directly
There’s no need to use a water meter in Flint because the water comes out rusty red and the locals have to make do with bottled water.
We state this to highlight that water quality is massively important – from keeping the human population healthy right through to testing river pollution though to making kombucha or homebrew beer (pH levels are super important), there are a million reasons why brewers,
Home testing kits and meters are great because you can get fairly instant results and you certainly do not have to send off samples to an expensive laboratory or testing company!
You want the damn thing to be accurate. And frankly, you probably want laboratory results accurate because ‘near enough’ doesn’t cut the mustard when we are talking about drinking water or swimming in it!
Drinking Water Testing
Many consumers want to test their well or municipal water for contaminants and impurities. Without having your water tested, it can be difficult to determine whether you actually need a water treatment system or what type of system would be best for you. Here are some factors to consider when testing your water and selecting a filtration product.
Finding a Laboratory
There are many laboratories that offer private well testing and many states that have water testing laboratories available. For a list of well testing laboratories, visit the Water Systems Council website. If you choose to search online, you may want to use the keywords “accredited” and “water” to find a water testing laboratory near you. Accredited laboratories have been independently evaluated as technically competent to provide accurate test data. Additionally, these accredited laboratories are not typically associated with any industry or manufacturer.
Collection of Water Samples
Once you locate a laboratory, follow the instructions on collecting the sample properly to obtain the most accurate results. For example, if you are collecting a water sample for lead or copper testing, the recommendation is to let the water sit overnight and take a “first draw” water sample – meaning fill the sample bottle from the kitchen tap prior to running any water for the day. A second example would be for a coliform bacteria sample. To collect this type of sample, remove any screen from the water faucet. There is typically a recommendation to run the water prior to filling the sample bottle. These samples need to be kept cold so you should take the sample directly to the post office or keep it in the refrigerator until it can be mailed in or dropped off. Remember to closely follow the instructions for each test you choose to have analyzed.
Water Testing and Results
It can be challenging to determine what type of testing to do on your well or municipal water and the costs can add up. It may be helpful to visit your local health department’s environmental health division to ask for information on what has been typically found in groundwater in your area
Water Filters and Treatment Systems
In the last decade, interest in home drinking water treatment products has grown tremendously. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to know whether a particular product is as safe and effective as the manufacturer claims at reducing various contaminants in your drinking water. Should you choose to add a water filter to your home, it is important to look for filters and treatment systems with the NSF mark. NSF International certified products are your key to making sure they meet strict standards for public health protection. For more information on choosing a home water filtration system
How to test the quality of Open Water for bathing or swimming
There is always a greater risk of infection or illness caused by microorganisms when swimming in open water (lakes, rivers etc) compared to a chemically treated swimming pool. This guide aims to help identify most appropriate water quality monitoring and testing (Please note, our recommendations are only suggestions
Below you find a general summary of the guidelines in the United Kingdom (UK), which follows similar guidelines to the EU. In addition to this, please make sure that you always check your local guidelines to make sure that everyone is safe. If you plan to open your water to the general public you must strictly adhere to the guidelines set by the EU and UK, therefore please refer to the official guidelines.
How often should I check the water: It is recommended to check the quality of the water regularly, ideally at the start of the bathing season, every 4 weeks, before any event, when there are visible changes to the water, after heavy rainfall as well as at the end of the bathing season. The pH should be monitored more often as it can be an early indicator of changes, because it is affected by algal and weed growth, agricultural run-off as well as waste water from industry.
How to take a water sample: With the exception of algal blooms, samples should be taken 30cm below the water surface. Samples should be transported as soon as possible after collection in a cool box (we provide a cool box as well as ice packs) so that they arrive at the laboratory on the same day.
Sea water: This resource has primarily been created for water quality of inland waters, like lakes & rivers. Whilst the regulations may also cover sea water, our test strips & bacteria tests are not suitable to check salty sea water. To test marine/salt water