How Do I Test My Water?

 Min read
November 1, 2022

Are you a homeowner who thinks there’s something not quite right with your water, but not totally sure what that may be. Do you have poor water quality and fear you may have a contaminant, but not sure how to find out what it is? Fortunately, there are a number of different tests available for finding out what’s in the water. Let's talk about why you want to test your home’s water as well as the different testing options and what you can do if you find out there is a contaminant in your water and how Rusco can help you out.

When it comes to testing water quality, there are a number of different methods available. ETR Laboratories lays out what some of the different options are, the first of which is test strips. This is one of the options that a homeowner, can purchase for testing on their own. Test strips detect the presence of certain chemicals in water and ultimately change colors depending on what is in there. Once the strip changes colors, it can be compared to a chart that can help show the concentration of a chemical. Many times, these tests are used to determine the pH or the amount of chlorine in water.

Another option for testing water quality is a color disk kit. With this test, a homeowner obtains a sample of water in a plastic tube and then adds either powder or a few drops of liquid reagent into the tube. The water ends up changing color depending on the elements found in it. That color is then compared to a color gradient disk that provides a closer reading of the concentration of the chemical than what a test strip would.

Handheld digital instruments can also be used to test a home’s water. While these do provide accurate results, they are more costly than either the test strips or the color disk kits. Typically, you want a professional to handle these instruments as they take proper training as well as calibration to get accurate results. Within this category, you have luminescence testing devices, which can provide quick screening of bacteria in the water as well as electrochemical testers, which help determine the pH, dissolved solids and salt, dissolved oxygen, and electrical conductivity of water.

Of course, the most thorough way to get an analysis of your home’s water is to send a sample to a professional water testing lab. There are a lot of test options to pick from, including a standard scan to see how the water compares to EPA drinking standards to comprehensive and health scans that are helpful for determining whether or not additional filtration is needed for drinking water.

After having a test conducted of your home’s water, you’re likely to discover that there could be a number of different things in there. One such item that you may find to be present in your water includes sediment or contaminants. Some people may think that these are two totally different issues, but that is not always the case.

According to, many contaminants adhere to sediment rather than readily dissolving in water. Once retained, these chemicals can remain in sediment for years, including long after they are no longer detectable in water. The types of chemicals of concern here are sometimes referred to as hydrophobic, and include a number of legacy contaminants such as DDT, PCBs and Chlordane. These were banned decades ago, but to this day can still be found in lake and stream bed sediment. Currently, there are other hydrophobic contaminants being released into the environment including the pesticide bifenthrin, flame retardant chemicals, as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Many metals, such as lead, zinc and cadmium, are also concentrated in sediment instead of water.

If any of these contaminants are present in the sediment in your drinking water, it’s important to take it very seriously. According to, a public service of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Technology Innovation and Field Services Division, contamination of sediment with heavy metals, as an example, can lead to kidney and nervous system damage. It can also lead to impaired development in human receptors.

The good news is that if any contaminated sediment is present in your home’s water, a Rusco Spin-Down Filter or Sediment Trapper can help you get rid of it! Rusco offers filters in four different sizes as far as the inlet and outlet goes. There is a ¾", 1”, 1-½"and 2” size depending on what your home’s water system requires. There are also a number of different mesh sizes depending on the type of sediment you’re dealing with, from more coarse options to really fine ones. Rusco has also more recently introduced a few new filter options, including melt blown, pleated and activated carbon screens. An activated carbon filter specifically is good for removing chemicals from water. Regardless of what you’re trying to remove from your water, a Rusco filter can work wonders for cleaning it up.

If you suspect that your water is contaminated be sure to get your water tested, whether it be with a home kit or by a professional. If you do find problems in your water, give Rusco a call at 1-800-345-1033, where a customer service rep can help you figure out the best filter for your situation and recommend a distributor for purchasing.

Source Notes: All information in this article relating to different water testing methods came from ETR Laboratories. Information regarding the type of contaminants present in sediment came from Information relating to the health effects of contamination in sediment came from

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