How To Test Water Quality

Testing water quality

There are countless times that many organizations and even specialists warn people about water conservation and water safety. Their claim--the water you and your family drink may be contaminated. It's a very serious claim, especially as it threatens the safety and health of the entire family. Now, you want the water quality of your tap water to be tested.

It's actually a wise thought to have a water quality test. So, before you take a water sample to your most trusted laboratory associations, check your water resources first to see if they produce potentially harmful water.

You just need to assess the odor, taste, and color of the water. Be alerted if these properties are abnormal. Normal water is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. Your water may be contaminated if it has a foul smell, tastes like rust, or has a tinted color.

Here's how your water should be tested:

1. List your own observations on the water. The laboratory will need to consider your own observations for comparison with their lab results. You may also list other reasons why you suspect that the water is contaminated. These instances may be gastrointestinal illness of a family member, etc.

2. Call the laboratory that will test the water. They will give you instructions on how to properly collect samples from your water resources. The instructions differ depending on the laboratory you will choose and the kind of test they will do. Usually, they will give you bottles or containers to collect the samples. Follow their instructions and standards carefully, because a simple mistake might produce inaccurate findings.

3. The water will be tested by the laboratory. They can do the basic evaluation for the water by discovering its standards, composition and the chemical or mineral contents. The result will be assessed to see if it passed the minimum criteria for health and safety. If not, most laboratories will do a special water test. This test can be:

  • Bacteriological Test. This test will show whether your water is contaminated by any disease-causing bacteria.
  • Mineral Test. This test is intended to reveal the minerals suspended in the water and the percentage of each of these minerals. Imbalance of minerals is very dangerous for the health and even for water-using household appliances.
  • Chemical Test. Chemicals like pesticides and petroleum products may threaten health when they contaminate water. This test is made to determine whether the water has any of these hazardous chemicals.

You can consider getting the laboratory services of your municipal water supply system. They do regular monitoring and tests of the water's contaminants. Your national health department may also be helpful in conducting bacteriological tests. Also, state universities have laboratories capable of testing water quality. Other trusted entities that can test water quality are local engineering firms and associations, water management treatment companies, and any private testing labs.

Water conservation as a part of water management really makes sense. But it is more beneficial for all if the water supply that we conserve is safe. So if you notice something suspicious about your tap water quality, act immediately and call the nearest testing center.


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