How to test the quality of Open Water for bathing or swimming
There is always a greater risk of infection or illness caused by microorganisms when swimming in open water (lakes, rivers etc) compared to a chemically treated swimming pool. This guide aims to help identify most appropriate water quality monitoring and testing (
Below you find a general summary of the guidelines in the United Kingdom (UK), which follows similar guidelines to the EU. In addition to this, please make sure that you always check your local guidelines to make sure that everyone is safe. If you plan to open your water to the general public you must strictly adhere to the guidelines set by the EU and UK, therefore please refer to the official guidelines.
How often should I check the water: It is recommended to check the quality of the water regularly, ideally at the start of the bathing season, every 4 weeks, before any event, when there are visible changes to the water, after heavy rainfall as well as at the end of the bathing season. The pH should be monitored more often as it can be an early indicator of changes, because it is affected by algal and weed growth, agricultural run-off as well as waste water from industry
How to take a water sample: With the exception of algal blooms, samples should be taken 30cm below the water surface. Samples should be transported as soon as possible after collection in a cool box (we provide a cool box as well as ice packs) so that they arrive at the laboratory on the same day
Swimming Pools & Spas: These guidelines are designed to give general information about regulations for open water swimming. This includes lakes, rivers etc. Different recommendations exist for swimming pools & spas – please refer to separate guidelines for these. Click here for our wide range of test strips for Pools & Spas. The iDip photometer Pool & Spa is ideal for regular testing of public pools and commcercial use.
How to Choose the Right Test Kit For Your Well Water
Your decision on what to test your water for should be based on the types of land use near your well and what your goals are for using your water such as domestic use, irrigation, agricultural or commercial uses.
Why Should I Test My Well Water?
Municipal city water systems test their water supplies regularly to ensure that the water is safe to drink. As a well owner, you are responsible for making sure your well water is safe.
Events such as floods, earthquakes or close proximity to agriculture, drilling or oil field activities are top reasons to test your well water regularly.
Most private wells provide a clean, safe supply of water. Contaminants can, however, pollute private wells. Unfortunately, you cannot see, smell, nor taste most of them. Consequently, you should test your well water on a regular basis.
Most Common Reasons for Testing
A common reason many folks want to test their water is to improve the aesthetic quality of the water and eliminate iron staining, white scale build-up, corrosion, and/or odors.
How to Test Your Tap Water
It’s important to know your local results to decide whether you need to filter your water
How safe is your tap water? Finding out can take some time, effort, and money, but it’s worth doing.
Most people on municipal water who pay their own bill should receive an annual water quality report called a CCR, or Consumer Confidence Report. If you don’t receive yours, call your local water supplier. And if you rent, contact your landlord.
In the report, look for a summary that shows whether any contaminants were found above government cutoffs and, if so, what the potential health risks are, what is being done to fix the problem, and what you should do in the meantime
If you’re on well water, you won’t get a CCR, so you should get your water tested. That’s also a good idea if your home was built before lead-free pipes were mandated in 1986: Even if your CCR says that the municipality’s water is free of lead, it can leach into your water from the pipes in or leading to your house.
The Best Water Quality Test Kit for Your Home
If you’re worried about your home’s water quality—as many Americans justifiably are, in the wake of water scares in Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey—a home water quality test can ease your fears. After 50 hours of reporting, and after testing 11 different home water quality test kits, we’ve found that the SimpleWater Tap Score Advanced City Water Test is the best water quality test kit for your home. It measures a wide range of more than 100 potential contaminants and delivers the results in an easy-to-read, richly detailed report. If you’re worried only about lead, we recommend the much cheaper Safe Home Do-It-Yourself Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit.
The SimpleWater Tap Score Advanced City Water Test is a send-away kit: You take samples of your water, put them into a handful of bottles, and ship them off (using an included mailing label) to a certified laboratory. There, your water is tested for more than 100 compounds, including metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like chloroform; bacteria; and industrial and agricultural compounds like pesticides and nitrates. Tap Score is not the only highly accurate send-away kit, but no other kit we tested delivered nearly as useful a report. Tap Score not only tells you, in plain language, exactly which compounds are in your water (and the amount) but also explains their potential health risks and suggests ways of addressing any concerns. Tap Score also offers unmatched online support. You can chat with a representative, and if your questions go beyond their knowledge, the questions are passed on to experts, who follow up with a detailed email. All of this makes Tap Score by far the most user-friendly and informative home water quality test kit we found.
If for some reason you are unable to use Tap Score, we recommend two runners-up: the WaterCheck CityCheck Deluxe and the Safe Home Ultimate Drinking Water Test Kit. Like Tap Score, these are send-away kits; you put samples into bottles and ship them to a certified lab. We found that the testing was just as accurate as Tap Score’s (and, in fact, National Testing Laboratories, which makes the CityCheck Deluxe kit, is among the more than 60 labs Tap Score partners with). But both of these kits are more expensive than Tap Score, and their reports aren’t as easy to understand. The reports are still much more readable than those of some other send-away kits: They’re color-coded, so you can quickly see contaminant levels of concern. But they lack Tap Score’s clear explanations, actionable advice, and robust online support. The CityCheck kit also lacks an included mailing label, so you’ll have to take a trip to the post office or another shipper.
the Safe Home Do-It-Yourself Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit, doesn’t have to be sent away—you can get the results at home yourself. It tests only for lead, but if that’s your sole concern, this DIY test is a great option. The Safe Home Do-It-Yourself kit is widely available, inexpensive, and fast (the test takes a total of 10 minutes and less than 30 seconds of active work). And it delivers a clear positive or negative result: Your lead levels are either below the EPA standard or above it. You simply dip a strip of test paper into a sample of your water, and the presence or absence of a blue line tells you whether you have a lead problem. If you don’t, you’ll have peace of mind. If you do, you’ll know it’s time to enlist a professional plumber or an environmental service to help you find and address the source of the problem.
We do not recommend any of the more-comprehensive DIY test kits that are available. We tested six of them and found that the tests were so rushed and the results so subjective (you’re asked to match the color of your test sample to a chart by eye, with only seconds to do so) that we didn’t trust our ability to interpret them. If you want a complete picture of what’s in your water, we strongly recommend that you go with one of the send-away kits and let a professional lab do the testing.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT WATER FILTER FOR YOUR HOME
You have made the wise decision to install a water filter system into your home. Water is what you drink, cook with, and bathe in, so having poor water can easily make you and your family sick. The more proactive you are about your home’s water quality, the more proactive you are about your health.
Water filter systems change many noticeable properties in water, including turbidity, taste, color, iron content, and odor. Dirty or chemical-filled water is easy to change with a simple water filter, but finding the right home water filter to fit your needs best can be tricky. At Clearwater Systems, we believe that each customer has a unique situation, so the “one size fits all” concept does not apply to water systems.
Find Your water’s problem before purchasing a filter
A free water test can easily determine what, and how severe issues are with your water filter. A free water test can detect iron, hydrogen sulfide gas, acidity, chlorine, and many other issues. After receiving the results from the water test, determine what factors are important to you. Is a pH balanced water supply important when deciding the type of filter to purchase? If so, consider a water filter that concentrates on that issue. If reducing chlorine is your biggest concern, then finding a water filter that can remove chlorine is a smart investment. Many filters can remove a combination of problems, and your water filtration company can help you find a system that fits your unique needs
Typically, after a home has been built, it is difficult and more expensive to install a water filter for both your indoor and outdoor water supply. Usually installing only an indoor filter is more cost effective and simple. If your primary concern is to only filter water indoors, let your water filtration company know to concentrate on systems meant for indoor use only. If you are hoping to filter outdoor water as well to improve landscaping or ensure your children’s water toys are not spreading germs and hoarding unwanted chemicals, your water filtration company can find a system desired for both indoor and outdoor use.
Know Your Flow Rate
Similar to water softeners and water heaters, it is important to understand how much water your household uses on a daily basis. As with all home water filter systems, a single person living alone will most likely use less water than a family of four. Considering the technology and the size of each system helps save money and conserve water in the long-run.