Knowing what is in your water is important in keeping you and your family safe. Water with contaminants can present life-threatening dangers. It is not always easy to know what contaminants are in your drinking and bathing water, but there are ways to find out.
Check The Smell
The best way to tell if your water is contaminated is to smell it. If there is a chemical scent or the water smells like sulfur, you might want to look for another source.
Check The Taste
It may be worth investigating if your water smells clean but tastes funny. Chlorine, for example, can cause your water to taste reminiscent of a swimming pool. Water treatment companies use a small amount of chlorine to eliminate bacteria, but too much can be dangerous to consume. Additionally, a slight metallic taste can indicate that your water is contaminated by pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
Using a pH Test
A pH test is a straightforward way to know if something is off with your water. The pH scale runs from 1-14 and determines how acidic or basic a solution is. Pure water will have a neutral pH of 7, but anything below that will become more acidic (1-6). Anything above it will become more basic (7-14).
Using a Bacteria Test
You can do a basic bacteria test at home by pouring a few glasses of water into a clear glass jar, mixing some household bleach, and waiting for about ten minutes. After that, you will want to watch for any signs of the blue-greenish swirls. These are indicators of coliform bacteria, which can cause intestinal disorders such as bacterial gastroenteritis. It is critical to note that this test only checks for harmful microbes that cause diseases like typhoid fever or hepatitis A — it does not check for chemical contaminants like arsenic or lead (although these are also potentially serious issues).
Using Arsenic Test
To test for heavy metals like arsenic or radioactive isotopes from nuclear disasters, you need an effective arsenic test kit. For instance, under the Bucks County water testing department, the arsenic test device can measure arsenic levels in up to five liters of water in under two hours by using a simple test strip and result readout. It also features a built-in color chart to help users quickly identify the water’s safe/unsafe status.
Water samples are typically obtained with a clean container and then placed into the Arsenic Test Kit. The sample is then added to one of four wells in the device. The water concentration is recorded on one of ten available scales on the readout, and this is compared to the color chart to determine if arsenic levels are within safe levels. This kit can be used in field and laboratory settings, and it’s easy enough for anyone from an environmental scientist to an average homeowner. In this case, the amount of As2O3 (arsenic trioxide) formed indicates how much arsenic is present in the sample. Therefore, if very few As2O3 molecules are formed, then there must be minimal arsenic already in the sample water being tested.
Water is essential for regulating body temperature, preventing dehydration, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Because it is so critical, it is crucial to know what you are drinking by testing your water. If you have concerns about your drinking water, contact Kel Tren Watercare today!