03/28/2017: Testing for THM’s (Trihalomethanes) & Water Filters for THM’s --
We recently heard from 'Brad' who emailed, "Looking to test for THMs."
Thank you, Brad, for the inquiry. At this point we know of no at-home water test kit exists that test for THM's (trihalomethanes) or other DBP's (disinfection byproducts). Testing for those sorts of substances/compounds requires laboratory techniques and equipment.
With that said, companies like National Testing Laboratories offer mail-in water testing services that include tests for THM's. The most basic one we know of is called "Watercheck City-Check Basic" and you can read more about it in the Water Test Kit Store.
Results of testing carried out by National Testing Laboratories typically get emailed to customers about 10 business days after the lab receives samples for analysis.
What are THM's?
The term trihalomethanes describes a class of compounds in the disinfection byproduct family which get created when a disinfectant (example: chlorine in the form of hypochlorous acid) interacts with and/or neutralizes organic contaminants in water.
Scientists and health officials have determined that consuming water with elevated levels of THM's poses a threat to human health and therefore the EPA regulates the amount of THM's that public water supplies may possess. If a water system's internal testing reveals higher than allowed levels of THM's the water system must immediately remedy the situation and in most cases must also report the failed tests to its customers within a specified period of time.
Filtering THM's Out of Drinking Water
Can home water filters remove or drastically reduce THM's in drinking water? Yes, some do have that ability. As an example, several of the home water filters in the Multipure product line have been
tested according to NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for the reduction of a number of potentially harmful drinking water contaminants including THM's.
During that testing Multipure’s Drinking Water Systems' Aquaversa, Aquaperform and Aquadome water filter systems effectively reduced concentrations of unwanted contaminants to less than
or equal to the permissible contaminant limits for filtered water leaving the systems.
If you'd like to see the full list of potential drinking water contaminants Multipure filters remove or reduce, you can view that information here.
... [more details here.]
03/07/2017: WaterWorks Water Hardness Test Strips: Can These Get Used for Pool Water? -- 'B.L. Pena' asked, "Can I use the waterworks hardness test on pool water?"
Thank you, B.L., for your inquiry. The
WaterWorks Total Hardness Test Strips (480008) CAN get used to test pool water.
Importance of Water Hardness in...... [more details here.]
03/07/2017: Hydrogen Sulfide Test Kit: Can It Work With Aquarium Water? -- 'Tina' recently asked, "Can I use the hydrogen sulfide test kit you sell on aquarium water? What about saltwater aquariums?"
Thank you, Tina, for your question about the Hydrogen Sulfide Low-Range Test Kit (481197-20) and its testing ca...... [more details here.]
02/10/2017: Does Your Water Test Kit Include…. -- This morning we heard from ‘RobertM’ who asked, “Does your water testing include testing for iron, hardness, hydrogen sulfide, and manganese?” Thank you, Robert, for the inquiry. At this time we carry two kits that contain MOST of the items in your list. See below for details: COMPLETE Water Quality Test Kit includes tests for: […]... [more details here.]
02/08/2017: Question Regarding Expiration Dates -- We recently heard from 'BadgerWI', who asked,
"I have some water hardness test strips from an earlier purchase from your company. The expiration date on that bottle is fourth-quarter 2014. Can you help me understand-are the strip...... [more details here.]
02/01/2017: Testing for Specific Metals --
With all the talk in the news about lead in drinking water, arsenic in well water, and other unpleasant water contaminants 'suddenly and unexpectedly' popping up in our potable water supplies, it came as no surprise to us when 'William' emailed us and said, "
I'm interested in what type of tests you provide for heavy metals specifically
aluminum, barium, strontium, arsenic & lead. And yes of course if it tests any other
metals that's a benefit. Also pricing, much appreciated.
In the Water Metals Section of the Water Test Kit Store we offer quick and easy tests for a number of metals such as:
Testing for other metals such as strontium, barium and aluminum requires more advanced testing methods typically only found in laboratory environments.
See below for a few of the mail-in water testing packages offered by National Testing Laboratories... [more details here.]
02/01/2017: Question Regarding Free Bromine Testing Using DPD-1 --
We recently received an inquiry from 'TJA' who asked, "I'm testing for free bromine with HACH DPD-1 25 ml powder pack using a LaMotte 1200 Bromine colorimeter. How long should I wait from adding the reagent packet to testing the sample with the colorimeter for accurate free bromine results? It seems that the longer I wait after adding the reagent, the higher the ppm results become (does not make sense to me). Thank you for your time."
We're not all that familiar with the LaMotte 1200 Colorimeter so we looked it up real quick. It LOOKS like the machine uses a 10mL sample size and if so, then the 25mL reagent packet is a bit too much reagent for the sample size.
Another possible influence: Temperature.
In cooler samples reagents take longer to function so the color development takes longer
Another possible influence: Temperature. In cooler samples reagents take longer to function
As for the time it should take for a sample at 'ambient' or what they call 'room' temperature, to react fully with a reagent, you will need to consult the meter's instruction manual OR the check the test reagent's instructions. As a general rule, though, we THINK a typical DPD-1 test for free bromine should get read (interpreted) within 15 to 30 seconds after the addition and dissolving of the reagent in a sample.
As an example...
DPD-1 ReagentStrips for 10mL Water Samples
DPD-1 ReagentStrips - "Simply dip the strip into a 10ml water sample for 20 seconds with back and forth motion, remove, & discard the strip, and immediately read the test sample in your chlorine meter. ReagentStrip DPD-1 performs flawlessly with a wide range of existing meters from manufacturers such as Hach®, LaMotte®, Orion®, WTW®, etc."
... [more details here.]
01/11/2017: Does Heavy Metals Check Test for Nickel? -- We recently got asked if the
SenSafe Heavy Metals Check product detect Nickel... and it does, but with the following caveat: This product DOES detect nickel, but at the same time it also detects other metals and therefore provides a co...... [more details here.]
01/06/2017: Question Regarding WaterSafe Lead in Water Test Kit --
This morning we received a simple inquiry from a potential (Water Test Kit Store on) Amazon customer who asked, "Does this kit test for particulate lead or just dissolved lead?"
We checked with the WaterSafe and learned the following:
According to the manufacturer, "Our Watersafe® Lead Test Kit can detect dissolved lead at levels below the EPA Action Level of 15 parts per billion (ppb)."
To test for what some call total lead, which would include particulate lead and free dissolved lead you would need to send a water sample to a laboratory where they would more than likely perform some sort of acid digestion to break down the all forms of the metal into a detectable state.
Testing for metals in general?
For most folks the first step in determining what, if any advanced metals testing needs to or should take place involves taking a look at a water sample to see if it contains metals at all. For that task the SenSafe Heavy Metals Check product works well since it detects a wide range of metals and gives a total metal concentration as its result.
SenSafe Heavy Metals Check will not tell you what metal(s) it detects or give individual metal concentrations, but rather it adds any observed concentrations together into a single value. If that value seems 'high', then you may want to consider testing for metals of particular interest due to their potentially hazardous nature if consumed in drinking water. Those metals may include (but are in no way limited to) lead, mercury, chromium and/or arsenic.
Other metals such as copper, zinc, iron, manganese may pose health hazards in really high concentrations, but typically water supplies will not contain levels that high without man-made influence(s). Metals like these can, however, cause aesthetic problems at lower concentrations and some may cause damage to plumbing in the form metallic deposits that restrict water flow.... [more details here.]
11/21/2016: Does Iron in Drinking Water Pose a Threat? -- Today's inquiry came to use from 'Margette' who asked, "
We used your iron test to test our tap water and it read pretty high by the color chart. Our house is old and in an older part of town we're told by neighbors the pipes underground are...... [more details here.]