Water Testing Kits And Indoor Air Test Kits

water-testing procedures are ‘worse than Flint’

City council will hold hearings in testing drinking water for lead after a warning that residents’ health could be at risk in wake of contamination

city council will investigate how it tests its water, after an expert told the Guardian the city’s procedures are “worse than Flint” and risk putting residents’ health in jeopardy.

council members revealed plans to hold hearings “concerning best practices followed by the Philadelphia Water Department” in its testing of drinking water for lead, in the wake of high lead levels in Flint

Water testing instructions given out to residents include the requirement to remove the faucet’s aerator, a small filter, from the nozzle of the tap before sampling. Testers are asked to run cold water through the tap for two minutes, known as “pre-flushing”, at least six hours before the test

Research suggests both of these practices reduce the amount of lead flowing into the sample. Tests conducted by scientists at Tech showed that of 21 samples taken from households, 16 were found to have higher lead levels than the official results when tested under conditions that replicate how people use tap water.

Postharvest Water

Postharvest water includes any water that contacts fresh produce at or after harvest. This includes water used for rinsing, washing, cooling, waxing, icing, or moving fruits and vegetables. Postharvest water use may be a necessary part of fruit and vegetable production, but it is also a potential source of contamination. Understanding the risks associated with postharvest water use and how to minimize them are important for produce safety.

The key things you need to do to ensure the safety of postharvest water are to:

Start with water that is the equivalent of drinking water.

Add a sanitizer to all postharvest water.

Change bulk/batch tank water when dirty.

Make sure water is at the appropriate temperature to avoid infiltration.

Clean and sanitize tanks/bins daily, making sure to reduce or eliminate pooled water.

Document all postharvest activities.

Start with water that is the equivalent of drinking water

Only use water that is the equivalent of drinking water (i.e., potable) to begin all postharvest activities. Water quality should be verified through testing. Water testing can be done by the farm or by the municipality or water supplier, but the water must be tested to know its quality. Contaminated water can contaminate produce, so starting with clean water is essential. If you are using a surface water source, you will need to treat the water and regularly test it to make sure the treatment process is working.

Add a sanitizer to all postharvest water

Postharvest water, even if it is potable at the start, may become contaminated by produce that contacts the water. Adding a sanitizer does not clean each individual piece of produce, but prevents cross contamination from the water to the produce and limits the build-up of pathogens in the water. It is critical to add a sanitizer to all batch/bulk water where many pieces of produce are submerged in the same water because the risk of cross contamination is highest at this step.

Change bulk/batch tank water when dirty

Anything added to the batch/bulk tank water can introduce contamination. Leaves, stems, dirt, and even harvest containers submerged in the water, can contaminate the water and reduce the effectiveness of sanitizers. To reduce food safety risks, bulk/batch water should be changed frequently or filtered. One way to monitor water quality is by measuring turbidity.

Private Well Testing

we are lucky to have a plentiful source of ground water. Ground water fills the cracks and pores in sand, soil, and rocks that lie beneath the surface of the earth, much like water saturates a sponge.

Due to its protected location underground, most ground water is naturally clean and free of contaminants. Bacteria and nitrate can reach the ground water and wells through poorly maintained septic systems, livestock areas and fertilizer application, or as a result of poorly constructed wells. Chemicals can enter into the ground water from leaking gasoline storage tanks, pesticide applications, landfills, and improper disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes.

Do you have a well?

About 88% of residents are served by public water systems covered by the Federal and State Safe Drinking Water Acts. The other 12% receive their water from “limited-use” public water systems and private wells. While all public water systems in Florida are required to perform routine testing to ensure that they meet state drinking water standards, private well owners are responsible for ensuring that their OWN well water is safe to drink.

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that consumption of contaminated drinking water in the United States has resulted in thousands of cases of illness each year. Contaminated drinking water can cause a number of diseases, and is sometimes fatal. The most common contaminants are microbes and nitrate.

Microbes: Many types of bacteria themselves are generally not harmful, but their presence is an indication that other harmful bacteria, viruses, or parasites may also be present. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting are some of the most common symptoms resulting from drinking water that is contaminated with harmful bacteria.

How can I tell if my fish tank water is healthy?

The key to healthy fish is healthy tank water. Here’s how to check your aquarium health and stop your fish looking green around the gills.

The easiest way to check your fish tank water is to buy a good all-round tester kit. The key things to look out for are ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. These compounds will be kept largely in check with a good mechanical, chemical and biological filter. But it’s a delicate balance, so check your tank’s water health regularly.


The number one killer of fish is ammonia. It forms the first part of your tank’s nitrogen cycle and comes from fish waste and uneaten food. Whether your aquarium is fresh or salt water, you want the ammonia level to be 0.0ppm or undetectable. Any higher and the water could be toxic for your fish and needs to be treated with an ammonia removal product. To stay on top of your aquarium’s ammonia levels, install an ammonia alert sensor.


The second part of the nitrogen cycle is nitrites. They are the result of ammonia being broken down by the natural bacteria in your tank. Again, nitrites are toxic and should be in concentrations no greater than 0.0ppm. To contain toxic nitrite levels during a cycle, use a conditioner.


Nitrates come from the break down of nitrites. This compound is not particularly dangerous for fish, but if levels rise it can become toxic and stresses a tank’s inhabitants. For freshwater tanks, nitrate should register below 40ppm. Acceptable levels vary among saltwater ecosystems but are generally lower. An appropriate filter media and regular water changes will keep nitrate levels down.

Tap Water

ensures that residents, businesses and visitors have access to clean, safe drinking water. This is done through a complex water treatment process and continuous testing so that water always meets or exceeds the Safe Drinking Water Act set by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).

tap water is continuously tested, monitored and analyzed to ensure it meets the strict standards of Public Health, the Province of and Government.

Water’s accredited lab:

tests drinking water every six hours (over 6,000 times a year)

conducts more than 20,000 tests at the water treatment plants annually

conducts 15,000 bacteriological tests on samples collected from the water distribution system annually

treats more than 1 billion litres of safe drinking water at four water treatment plants, which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How treatment works

Water is collected from Lake through intake pipes deep below the lake and one to five kilometres away from shore.

Lake water passes through screens to remove large debris and then through filters to remove additional impurities. Water is disinfected by using either chlorine or ozone.

Alum or Poly Aluminum Chloride is added to the water to form a jelly-like substance that joins larger particles called floc, and goes through additional filtration.

The water travels though settling basins so larger particles settle to the bottom. The clear water at the top proceeds to filters containing gravel, sand and carbon to remove suspended impurities and bacteria.

Before water is pumped for distribution to homes and businesses, the following is added:

chlorine to destroy bacteria, algae and viruses

fluoride to help prevent tooth decay

ammonia to ensure chlorine levels remain consistent as water travels through the distribution system

phosphoric acid, which is used for corrosion control to help create a barrier between residential lead pipes and drinking water

Supply, storage and distribution

To ensure an uninterrupted water supply, there is a computerized process control system overseen by Water staff. The aim is to distribute superior quality water in a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sound manner

Why A Water Testing Kit Can Make A Difference

Which Water Test Kit?

Multi-pack options

We offer a range of multi-packs, the kits vary in content, please see the table below for details. These simple, affordable one-of-a-kind kits test are ideal to screen water samples for many different elements. These can include up to 12 of the most common and potentially hazardous contaminants found in drinking water e.g Bacteria, Lead, Pesticides, Nitrates, Nitrites, Chlorine, pH and Hardness. Fast & accurate results are available on the spot

The type of water testing kit, which is required, depends on what water should be tested and if there is any suspected contamination (also see Unusual colours, smells and taste of your water). All of the kits below are suitable for fresh & potable water, this includes water from taps, springs, aquariums, lakes, ponds, streams, wells, boreholes, puddles and leaks as well as water stored in tanks

The most comprehensive packs are the 12-in-One and Watersafe Well Water Test – all are very suitable for an overall check especially water from wells, springs and boreholes. All of these as well as the Watersafe City Water Test water test are ideal to test tap water.

Water Test Kits for a single contaminant

Enables users to identify levels or precence of a single contaminant in drinking water with instant results.

Digital Water Test Kits for single & multiple tests

These easy-to-use photometers do not need calibrating and have a manufacturers warranty of 2 years

How to test water quality? Chemical tests for limited budgets

Thanks to modern chemistry, we can detect thousands of chemicals in water, even at extremely low concentrations.  The ever-growing list of tests that are available can feel overwhelming, and the vast majority of methods require state-of-the art lab facilities. Fortunately, we don’t need to test for everything! A much smaller and more practical set of tests can provide a good sense of chemical water quality for monitoring purposes.  The good news is that there are low-tech versions of these tests for situations when budgets are limited

Test strips – These are small, single-use strips that change color to indicate the concentration of a specific chemical. Depending on the particular test, the user “activates” the paper or plastic strip by dipping it into the water sample and swishing it around, or by holding the strip in a stream of water. After waiting for a short time, the user compares the test strip color with a color chart to read the concentration of the chemical. These kits are extremely simple, but they are less accurate than other methods, especially if users don’t follow the instructions

Color disk kits – Color disk test kits are available for a wide range of chemical tests.  In a typical set-up, the user adds a powder packet or a few drops of a liquid reagent to a water sample in a reusable plastic tube.  The user then places the sample tube in a small plastic viewing box.  This viewing box contains a plastic disk with a color gradient printed on it.  The user rotates the color disk to find the part that best matches the color of the sample, and then reads the concentration of the chemical from the disk.  Color disk kits typically have multiple steps and often include prescribed wait times, so they’re a little more complicated and costly, but generally more accurate.

Hand-held digital instruments – Lightweight and portable digital meters, colorimeters, and photometers are available for water testing.  They provide the most accurate results of these three testing methods, but they are also more expensive and delicate than the previous options.  These instruments require batteries and calibration.  While digital instruments are helpful to field technicians and are an essential part of any continuous or remote monitoring network, they are unlikely to be suitable for “citizen science” or crowdsourced water quality testing.

Chemical water quality parameters

Having identified various test formats, the next question is: What do we test for?  UNICEF recommends prioritizing fluoride, arsenic, and nitrate for chemical monitoring.  In areas where the earth is naturally rich in minerals that contain fluorine and arsenic, levels in well water can be high enough that chronic exposure is dangerous to human health

Best Water Testing Kits

If you’re concerned about the safety of your drinking water, a water testing kit is an easy way to find out if there are contaminants in the water. According to Rick Andrew of NSF International’s Global Water Program, the primary contaminants found in drinking water are lead, arsenic, bacteria (coliform), cysts and viruses, chlorine, chloramine, chromium, fluoride, nitrates and nitrites, PFOA and PFOS, Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

For one of the most comprehensive water testing kits on the market, consider the Ultimate kit from Safe Home. This mail-in water testing kit will screen your sample for over 200 contaminants and provide in-depth results. The kit tests for 6 in-organic substances, 12 physical properties, 32 toxic metals, 20 semi-volatile organic compounds, and 130 volatile organic compounds. It also includes an at-home test for coliform (bacteria) and instructions on how to complete it.

The parent company to Safe Home is Environmental Laboratories, which is one of the largest EPA-certified drinking water labs in North America. So when you mail your sample in, you can have confidence in the quality of analysis performed. And while everyone loves instant results, most people receive their results within 10 days of submission. This kit is pricey at over $300, but it provides the in-depth testing that you can rely on when making big decisions about the safety of your water supply and what type of home water filters to invest in

Expert Buying Tip

“It’s important to understand that not all filters can reduce all contaminants. Once you know what contaminants are in your water, you can find a certified treatment solution to address your specific water quality concerns.”

Lead is a contaminant that causes concern, especially in the wake of community-wide health scares related to lead contamination in drinking water. In addition, other heavy metals like mercury and copper raise additional health concerns. The Health Metrics Heavy Metals test is an informative way to rule out or confirm the presence of lead and other metals

Best Water Test Kit

There are lots of different brands to choose from. How do they compare with each other? Do homeowners’ water testing results match up with those from a professional lab? Which is the best home water test kit?

I had the same questions. So I decided to get my hands on some and try some water testing myself. Keep reading to find out how I conducted my experiment, and what I found out

How I Tested the Water Test Kits

The water at my house comes from a 185 foot deep drilled well. It’s cold and clear and tastes fantastic. But taste alone doesn’t tell you the true state of your water quality.

When my husband and I bought the house a few years ago, we were told that our well water quality was fine. But we never had any water testing done ourselves. It was always in the back of my mind that I really should get it checked, just to be sure.

So, I finally stopped thinking about it and ordered six different water test kits from Amazon. I decided to go with kits that are well known and that are affordable for most people

How to buy an at-home water testing kit

With news events like the lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Mich., natural disasters such as hurricanes temporarily harming water supplies and general reports of water-quality issues, consumers may be more interested in testing the water in their homes

A recent survey by water-filtration company Bluewater showed 56 percent of Americans worry that their drinking water contains toxins, with one-third concerned about lead and toxic metals.

Marc Edwards, professor of civil engineering at Virginia Tech, and one of the scientists who uncovered the lead-poisoned water in Flint, said consumers’ concerns are legitimate. “Even if 95 percent of the waters out there are safe to drink and are meeting federal law, the fact that 5, 10 percent are not, is enough to justify fear,” Edwards said.

Although water experts say the U.S. has some of the best water supplies in the world, aging municipal infrastructure and other potential environmental issues mean people shouldn’t take their water safety for granted, said Birnur K. Aral, the health, beauty and environmental sciences director at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Although municipalities test water at the source, it can be contaminated along the way after it’s sent out, Round said. For homes built before 1990, the plumbing may have lead connectors from municipal water mains, which is where problems arise for homeowners.