Thursday, October 5, 2006

Home Water Quality Test Kit

Edmund Scientific has sent me another product to review, a Home Water Quality Test Kit. This is an easy to use kit with tests for bacteria, hydrogen sulfide, total nitrate and nitrite levels, pH, chlorine, hardness, iron, copper and a few others.

Here's how the test for bacteria worked at the House o' Tor.

First things are first: washing the hands. This helps lessen the likelihood the water sample will be contaminated by bacteria on the hands.

I'll be expecting lucrative offers from hand modeling agencies to come flooding into my email box.

Now we just collected the sample from the tap.....

...carefully replaced the cap....

...and made like we were mixing a martini for James Bond.

The rest of the test was easy. We just had to stow the sample in a dark place at room temperature for 48 hours. At the end, we took it out and saw that the color of the liquid hadn't changed from purple, which was good. If it had changed to yellow, we'd have had to treat the well with bleach, which isn't pleasant for a few days. We had to do it once a few years ago, after the well was hydrofractured due to low water production. It was a relief to us to know that our drinking water was still safe from bacteria.

There are many other water testing products available from Edmund. They also have a simpler water test kit, as well as an educational set of slides for identifying polluted water.

The other tests included in the test kit were similarly easy to perform. They just involved dipping test strips into our water samples and comparing their resulting colors to a sheet.

Here's what our nitrate/nitrite test strip looked like.

Overall, this kit is a great value for the money. I know that there are home water testing labs that you can mail a water sample to, and they'll do all these tests for you for a lot more money. If you get the kit from Edmunds, you can do all the tests yourself for a lot less money, and have some fun in the process.



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