Testing Water yourself – Test Strips or Laboratory Analysis?

If you drink tap water, you should check this regularly yourself. Drinking water is one of the most rigorously tested foodstuffs in the United Kingdom. Still, the waterworks are only responsible for their quality up to the house connection. Impurities that only enter the water from this point (due to contaminated house pipes or fittings) can then be detected with a water test. Different procedures – from self-testing to laboratory analysis – exist because not all water tests are equally suitable.

When should a water test be carried out?

A water test can be used in many situations. It also benefits households with babies, small children and pregnant or sick people. These groups of people are susceptible to pollutants, germs or even heavy metals. Residents of old houses should also test their water, as they often still contain lead pipes that contaminate the water with heavy metals. But the water should even be tested in new buildings, where copper pipes are a potential source of danger. Another reason for having the water tested is anomalies such as an unusual taste or smell and colour differences.

Analyse drinking water with test strips yourself

A water test can be carried out quite easily using drinking water test strips. These test strips can test the water for ten or more components. They are simply held in a sample of the water to be tested. There are different test sets for this, which are usually available in online shops, but also from pharmacies. The test sets come with operating instructions, which provide information about the results. For example, the water can be tested for bacteria, pesticides, nitrites, and heavy metals such as copper.

They also act as pH test strips for the water and determine the pH value. Users should obtain precise information about the test in advance, depending on the parameters to be tested. If only the hardness of the water is to be analysed, water hardness test strips can be used. These can be purchased online, for example.

Have water professionally tested in a laboratory

Water can be analysed in the laboratory for highly accurate test results and more tested parameters or if an expert opinion is required. A water sample is taken at home and sent to a specialist laboratory. The user receives a precisely evaluated result of their water quality in just a few days. The range of pollutants tested for is more extensive in these water tests, and the results are more accurate. Temperature-related results are also possible here. Thanks to a cool box, cooled water samples can be sent in and analysed relevant to a specific temperature. For example, the water can also be checked for pharmaceutical residues, pesticides, lead or legionella. Some providers even offer free expert advice. It is essential to carefully follow the individual steps in the enclosed instructions.

A water test of IVARIO can show exactly which substances (e.g. lead, nitrate, nitrite, iron, arsenic, phosphate, germs) are present in tap water and in what concentrations. The analysis results are easy to understand and are clearly presented.

Have the water test carried out by the health authority

In addition to the options already mentioned, it is also possible to have the water tested by the health authority. However, the health authority is only the point of contact; external companies are commissioned for the test. This is because the test by the health authority is comparatively expensive and time-consuming, as external specialists come to the user’s home to take the water sample. Therefore, this test is more suitable if other water tests have already been carried out and more precise results are now required.

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