I get many questions about water quality and filtration, and where there is uncertainty about a person’s water quality I often recommend using one of my test kits. The main reasons for uncertainty about water quality are: 1) a person has their own well and they don’t regularly test all of the elements of water quality for their well-water, and 2) a person lives in an older home or community and there are old, questionable, pipes bringing the water to their tap. I have a company policy to pay for this test kit for the customer, by the way, provided they buy their water ionizer from me.
Prior to writing this blog post, I hadn’t actually taken apart and done one of our Water Test Kits before, and I was curious as to how useful and accurate they really are. Plus I wanted to know how easy or hard the test kits were to use.
The city water test kit tests for bacteria, lead, chlorine, pesticides, nitrates/nitrites, hardness, and pH.
Here is a video of Susan demonstrating the use of the test kit.
How to Interpret Results
Bacteria is the test recommended to be done first. The reason is that it takes 48 hours to get your results from this test. I imagine the time delay is to allow bacteria to grow [if there are any]. This test is self explanatory and easy to do.
Why test for bacteria? There are various different kinds of bacteria that can be in water, and they all can make you sick. If you have municipal water, the water company regulates these things daily, so there shouldn’t be much worry, but if you have well water or spring water, you might want to regularly test for bacteria yourself to be on the safe side.
Per the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for lead is zero. The reason for this is that any lead is poisonous to people. Drinking water with lead in it can cause children to delay in physical or mental development and can also cause learning disabilities. In adults, lead can cause kidney problems and high blood pressure. In older buildings, lead can be a concern even when the city tests show no lead in the water leaving the municipal plant. If there was any lead solder used anywhere along the pipeline, it could potentially leach into the water passing through that line. I have a customer who lives in an older building in the city of St. Louis, and I used her water for this test. It’s very nice to see her water tested negative.
Lead is a problem in the city sometimes due to old pipes giving off lead. I got this water from a very old builing, so I did want to see if that would be a problem.
This test was very simple to do. There is some wait time so be prepared, but other than that not too complicated.
Per the EPA the MCL of chlorine in drinking water is 4mg/L. This can cause eye and nose irritation and stomach discomfort. Our test was well below that. We tested at 1ppm (parts per million) which converts to .99mg/L.
This test was very simple and easy to do. You just immerse the test strip in the water for a brief period of time and wait a few seconds and compare the color to the color chart given in the instructions.
There are many many different kinds of pesticides all for various pests that you may find. Because there are so many different pesticides, there are many different side effects. Some of them irritate the skin and eyes, some of them effect the endocrine system, etc. Obviously we don’t want this in our water. This test should be negative.
This test was done in the same way as the Lead test. Wasn’t difficult at all, just a little wait time.
These come from runoff of fertilizers, or leaking septic tanks(which can be a problem in the city). It is also a natural deposit. Per the EPA, the MCL of Nitrates is 10mg/L and for Nitrites is 1mg/L. So our test was acceptable in the St Louis city water. Apparently if infants drink water that contains more than the MCL, they can become very ill.
This test was done in the same way as the chlorine test. It was very simple and easy to do.
Water is considered soft or hard according to the ppm or gpg of calcium and magnesium in the water. Most references report the following: •Soft: Below 17 ppm [or 0-1 gpg] •Medium: 18 – 75 ppm [or 1 – 4 gpg] •Medium Hard: 76 – 150 ppm [or 4 – 8 gpg] •Hard: 151 – 200 ppm [or 7 – 11 gpg] •Very Hard: Over 200 ppm [or over 11 gpg **Very, Very Hard: Over 300 ppm [Note: can go as hard as 500 or more ppm]. Above 200ppm, I would suggest doing prefiltration if you have a water ionizer.
Surprisingly enough this test used a simple test strip and took hardly any time at all. It was done just like the Chlorine and Nitrate tests.
We have talked about this many times. A pH of 8.5 to 10 is desirable for drinking. Above that might be too alkaline. You wouldn’t want to drink below 7pH.
This test was very easy to administer.
This city water test was pretty simple. Do ensure that you read the instructions. It doesn’t take too much time. You can do almost all of the tests in a 15-20 min time slot (and then an extra 48 hours before reading the results of the bacteria test).
Cathleen was a teacher/principal for 24 years and has been drinking ionized water for about 25 years. She created Alkaline Water Plus to educate people about the benefits of ionized water.
"The very best thing I have ever purchased is a WATER IONIZER!" Cathleen LoGrasso, Owner/CEO Alkaline Water Plus
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