When we purchased our house one of the first things we did was install a custom whole house water filtration system, with reverse osmosis (RO) in the kitchen to filter our drinking water. Because we drink so much water, I am always very concerned about its source. When we first moved to our city, we noticed that the water smelled heavily of chlorine. I also learned that regular tap water can have all sorts of nasties in it, from lead to pharmaceutical drugs. We alternate between drinking and cooking with the RO water, and drinking bottled water.
When the company TestAssured reached out to us with news of their easy, at-home water testing kits, I thought it would be a great idea to test our RO water as well as the bottled water we consume. I was curious to see how good a job our water filtration system was doing and to verify the safety of our bottled water. Their Complete Water Test Analysis Test Kits appeared to be simple to use and also comprehensive, with 10 different tests included.
Because its results take two days to obtain, I began with the bacteria test. This test required me to obtain a water specimen in a vial containing a testing powder. After shaking vigorously I was instructed to leave it in a warm place for two days.
Next I tested for lead and pesticides. This test comes with a pipette, which I used to take a small sample of water from each source. Next I was instructed to place two test strips into the water and wait 10 minutes before reading the results.
Finally, I opened the last packet, which contained a number of different tests. These were all very easy and straightforward tests to perform, each involving a dipstick and color coded results.
In the end, the results for both of our sources of drinking water were exactly the same. The test kits come with a handy guide to the (EPA) maximum contaminant levels, so that you can compare your results to the federal water limits. These were the results for our water:
Hardness: 40 ppm
Chlorine: 0 – .5ppm
Copper: 1.3 ppm
Aside from the pH, which was slightly more acidic than the federal guidelines, our water looks pretty good. Overall I found these test kits to be easy to use and fun, definitely a project you can conduct with younger family members with a curiosity about ecology (under supervision). I had a little difficulty differentiating between the colors as some of them are very close along the spectrum, however, I think this also had to do with the room where I was working in. I recommend reading the results in natural daylight or a room with very good lighting.
Would you like to test your household’s water supply? Leave a comment below that explains what kind of water you drink and how you go about purifying it (or if you don’t, why not). We will choose three winners at random to receive a free test kit from TestAssured. You must post your response in the comments below by Monday, November 28th by 7pm EST to be entered in the drawing. Open to residents of the United States only.
Disclosure: We received two free test kits from TestAssured in order to conduct a review for this post.