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How to Test Water Quality

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

There’s no doubting the phrase, water is life. As with sunlight, no life could subsist without water.1 It was this microscopic molecular bond of hydrogen and oxygen that led Leonardo da Vinci to claim that water serves as the ultimate driving force of nature.2

Although da Vinci recognized this truth eight centuries ago, water’s precious status has only intensified since then, making pure, clean water ever more a rarity.

As such, it’s critically important to know how to test water quality to ensure the health and safety of you and your home, whether that’s testing your drinking water quality or overall supply. Fortunately, there are a variety of home tests and water filtration systems that you can utilize to keep your water quality up to EPA water quality standards.

What Is Water Quality Testing?

To start, there is no one type of water testing—a variety of gadgets and kits exist to gauge the quality of your water. Their mission is singular: to detect the presence of certain particles (chemicals or bacteria) in water. This can include testing for dissolved solids and total hardness.

What to Test For

If you’re going to be testing your water, you’ll need to know what to look for. These kits typically detect a variety of contaminants, including:

  • Lead
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Chlorine
  • Bacteria

Based on the water source, you may need to do more specific testing. If you live rurally and get your water locally, like from a well, it’s a good idea to test it for pesticides and any other common agricultural and outdoor toxins. That said, city dwellers should carry out additional checks for levels of radon, copper, fluoride, and arsenic in their urban water supply.3

3 Ways to Properly Test Your Water Quality

Listed below are a few of the most common ways to conduct a water quality test, some of which you can use in the comfort of your own home.

#1 Water Quality Test Strips

Commonly used for checking the chlorination of home swimming pools, test strips are an extremely swift and simple way to measure water quality using an easy-to-read visual cue. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill a clean container (could be a jar, or small bowl) with nothing but the test water.
  2. Dip the opened testing strip into the container of water.
  3. Immediately remove the testing strip, and gently shake off any excess water.
  4. Wait the appropriate time as designated by your kit (usually no more than a minute).
  5. Use the included color chart to locate the match to your strip’s color.

Using this matched color—which indicates the level of potency of the particulate you are testing for—you’re able to complete water quality testing in a matter of seconds.

#2 Utilize A Qualified Rayne Water Representative

You can also conduct a water purity test at home with a qualified Rayne Water representative. We can come to your home and test your water for a variety of contaminants.

#3 Powder Kits

Powder-based testing kits serve the unique purpose of detecting bacteria in the water. When using powder kits, you will:4

  1. Add the appropriate amount of water as designated by your kit to your provided container. Double-check to ensure the powder agent is already included in the container.
  2. Replace the container’s lid and shake vigorously until the powder has fully dissolved. The color should have changed into a newly colored shade from its original translucency.5

Some powder kits allow you to send the resulting sample to a lab for bacterial testing. Otherwise, there will be resources on the kit’s container to guide you through translating each shade into a properly legible gauge of bacterial presence.

The Importance of Water Quality Testing

Fresh, potable water on Earth makes up only a mere 0.5% of all water—which is absolutely shocking when considering that water constitutes about three-quarters of our planet’s surface.6

Combined with the knowledge that our global water supply flows thick with pollutants (80% of wastewater on Earth returns, often untreated, to pristine bodies of water),7 it’s more important than ever to know the composition of what’s flowing out of your tap.

Still curious as to why are water quality standards important? By learning how to test water quality and putting that knowledge into action, you can prevent certain illnesses, stay aware of contaminants in your water, and safeguard your pipes.

Prevent Pollutants in Your Water: Filter With Rayne Water

Testing your water quality is critical to the safety of you and your home. In addition to regularly testing your water, you can also add water filtration systems to your home that mitigate harmful toxins and contaminants in your water.

For fresh, clean water, look to Rayne Water.

Our cutting-edge products feature water treatment systems ranging from the latest salt-free water softener to a reverse osmosis water filter that may eliminate over 95% of pollutants.8 With Rayne Water, you can rest assured that your water meets residential or industrial water quality requirements —making for a healthier you and a healthier planet.8

Sources:

  1. Water New South Wales. Water is Life. https://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/education/exhibitions/water-for-life-exhibition/timeline2/water-is-life
  2. New York Rural Water Association. Leonardo da Vinci Water Quotes. https://www.nyruralwater.org/news/leonardo-da-vinci-water-quotes
  3. Center for Disease Control. Chemicals That Can Contaminate Tap Water. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/contamination/chemicals.html
  4. Safewise. Best Water Testing Kits. https://www.safewise.com/best-water-testing-kits/
  5. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Coliform Bacteria Sampling Instructions and Best Practices. https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/sites/default/files/topic/DrinkingWater/TN/CollectColiformSample.pdf
  6. Bureau of Reclamation California Great Basin. Water Facts – Worldwide Water Supply. https://www.usbr.gov/mp/arwec/water-facts-ww-water-sup.html
  7. UNESCO. The United Nations World Water Development Report: Wastewater, the Untapped Resource, https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000247553
  8. Rayne Water. Our History. https://www.raynewater.com/our-history
  9. Hach. Color Disc Test Kits. https://www.hach.com/single-parameter-test-kits/color-disc-test-kits/family?productCategoryId=35547009718
  10. Thurston Public Utility District.http://www.thurstonpud.org/tester-instructions-color-wheel.htm

 

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher