How to Test Water Quality with Water Test Kits?

Posted by David Cannon on 15th Sep 2020

How to Test Water Quality with Water Test Kits?

Water quality is the concern that everyone has faced some or other time. No matter if it is drinking, domestic chores, commercial or industrial purposes, the quality of water matters. Getting professional water quality tests every single time is not truly convenient. These tests often require state-of-the-art technologies. Owing to advanced chemical technologies, the water quality test can be performed at home. This method of water testing is often utilized for potent and domestic utility water. Owing to the convenient applications and availability of these water test kits, regular housemakers can test their water quality at home itself. However, one must know what the water test kit exactly is and how to use it. This post discusses both these things.

Introduction to Water Test Kits and Types

The water test kits are chemically activated strips, solutions, or devices that check for the presence of specific contaminants in the water. These water test kits possess specific chemical compositions that offer an overview of specific water contamination. These kits are absolutely user-friendly and convenient for home-based and economic use. For different types of applications, different types of water test kits are available.

The following are the types of water test kits available in the market. Also, the method of use is also stated below.

  • Chemical Test Strips: The chemical water test strips are designed as one-time use,. These kits work as litmus papers. They are manufactured by coating with specific chemicals to test one significant contaminant.
  • Method to Use: As the strip is dipped in water, if the contaminant is present then the strip changes color due to chemical reaction between water molecules and the chemical coating. These chemical water test strips are commonly used for testing only one contaminant in water.
  • Color Disk Kits: The color disk water test kits are reusable. As the name suggests, this type of water quality test kits in plastic disks with a printed color gradient. Each color on the color pallet indicates the presence of a specific contaminant.
  • Method to Use: In this type, the water sample is taken in a plastic test specimen in which the user adds powdered or liquid reagents. This test generally takes a specified wait-time for water to change time after the addition of the reagent.
  • Once the water changes color, the user tries to match the color gradient on the disk with the color of water in the specimen. As the closest match of color is found, the list of contaminants tells, which color shows what contamination.
  • Digital Test Kits: The digital water test kits are one of the most effective yet expensive types of kits. These kits are available in different types. Portable digital meters, colorimeters, photometers are some types of digital water quality test kits available in the market. These are compact devices that are designed for quick and accurate results with a user-friendly method to use.
  • Method to Use: The use of these digital water test kits is simple. The operator has to put a few drops of sample water on the test pallet of the test kit. The pallet is either optically sensitive or chemically activated. The optically triggered test meters show results as the light beam on the test pallet reacts to the presence of contamination in water. Similarly, a chemically activated pallet shows a change in color as the contaminant comes in contact.

Although the above-mentioned methods are stated for a specific type of water test kits, the overall process of water quality test by using water test kits involves the following steps.

  • Water Source Identification: For household water test, the source of water can be tap water or water from a well. You can choose any source to test water quality from.
  • Selection of the Test Method: If you draw water from the city water system, the chemical test strips may suffice. However, if the well water is to be tested, a more comprehensive test method is required. Due to the presence of parasites, chemicals, and dissolved contaminants in well water, the disk or digital type of test kit is required.
  • Identification of Contaminants to Test For: Generally, bacteria, nitrates, nitrites, lead, chlorine, iron, are the contaminants present in water. While the test, you must decide which is to be examined in the water since the test kits are required to be selected accordingly.
  • EPA Standard Calibration: EPA does not endorse home-based water testing but they offer guidelines to secure from specific contaminants. They also offer a contaminant table along with municipal water quality reports which can be used for ensuring the accuracy of your water quality tests.

It is also important to ensure the quality of the test kits to get accurate results, therefore they must be bought from trusted suppliers. Cannon Water Technology, Inc is a well-recognized supplier of premium quality water quality test kits and other water technology-based products. The company offers water test kits from high-end brands like HM digital, Sentinel, etc.