Are you aware that, your water supply can contain many potentially harmful contaminants?

Do you also know that you can test your water for hardness and harmful causing substances? So why not test the water? It can help you and your family to discover what is there…!

In this article, we are going to see several ways you can use to tell whether if your water is contaminated or has hard causing minerals.

Note: My friend mike beebe contribute this article. He writes more awesome tips about water filtration in his website.

Testing water for different contaminants

I know many people who have wondered what is actually in their home water supply are now finding this article useful. We assume that the water is clean or pure unless there is an obvious smell or discoloration.

However, as many people know, almost all water contains impurities (dissolved minerals or organic compounds). Whether hard water is a problem or not but it depends on which impurities are in it and whether it is a health risk for you and your family.

Here are some common signs to tell whether your water has;

1. Orange looking likes stains

Some impurities, such as iron and manganese, are a nuisance, but not a health threat. Excessive amounts of iron in water can cause orange stains on bathtubs and sinks as well as laundry or dishes that are often exposed to water.

2. Brownish black spot

Manganese can cause an ugly brownish black spot and can make the water cloudy.

3. Rotten egg smell

Other interfering compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and sulfate-reducing bacteria may give a characteristic odor of rotten eggs. Hydrogen sulfide is particularly noticeable when water comes out of the faucet, but it evaporates quickly after exposure to air.

The problem with high levels of hydrogen sulfide, however, is that, due to its acidic nature, it can lead to corrosion on pipes.

4. High usage of soap

Hard water with a high level of calcium and magnesium compounds can particularly be painful to manage. When Soap is not foaming well is an indication of hard water. Other hints include greasy, dirty rings in tubs and sinks or grubby laundry with a harsh feel.

The excess calcium and magnesium, which causes lime scale,   can accumulate in water heaters and clog pipes, causing great problems requiring repairs of several hundred dollars.

5.  Tasty water

High levels of chlorine can also be a problem and can give the water a distinctive “chemical” taste. While chlorine is an effective disinfectant and kills most bacteria, high levels have been linked to cancer-causing compounds and other potential health hazards.

However, the worrying concern is the possibility that harmful contaminants may be present without a clear indication of a problem. Low pH causes corrosion of copper pipes, resulting in high copper contents.

Excessive sodium in water can cause significant problems for residents struggling with hypertension.

Using test kits to measure the water hardness

When using the test kit, water hardness is usually measured in grains per gallon or milligrams per liter.

If measuring using a test kit that uses milligrams per liter, you have to take the total hardness and divide it by 17.1 when you want to record your findings in grains per gallon.

What you will need

  • A water hardness test kit bottle or a small glass bottle of ideal size and must have a tight cap
  • Any measuring device such as a marked glass in ml.

The procedure

Though this procedure may be different according to the test kit you are using, if you use a colored test kit, just wet it with the measured volume of water and note the color changes. If changes to green or blue, you can judge the level of hardness according to the scale

Most test kits come with their instructions and testing for harness while using them will not be a problem

Final verdict

For the above signs to tell if your water is impure, make sure that you understand the type of test, the measured water condition, and the significance of the test results.

The exact measure of level of water hardness can be done even without the need of external test equipment. If you consider doing it yourself, some water hardness test kits are available through water suppliers.