Water is one of the most important things in our lives. We use it to wash and drink, but also for cooking and cleaning. However, there are many times when we don’t know if our water is safe or not. There are several different ways you can test your water at home before using it so that you know whether or not your tap water is safe for consumption.
Testing for Coliform Bacteria
Coliform bacteria are a group of organisms that can be found in the intestinal tracts, soil and water. They are not harmful on their own but when they form large colonies they may cause diarrhea and other illnesses. The presence of coliforms requires further testing to determine what kind of coliforms you have in your water supply.
To test for coliform bacteria:
- Fill a container with tap water and let it sit overnight (if possible). When you wake up in the morning, check the color of your sample using litmus paper or another indicator strip that changes color according to pH levels. If there are any greenish-blue bands visible at all times (like those on litmus paper), then there were no detectable amounts present during testing; however if only one band appears occasionally between those two bands then it’s safe to assume some contamination has occurred during storage or use so consider treating this batch accordingly before drinking from it again.
If there are no visible bands on your sample, then it’s safe to drink or use for cooking or cleaning.
Testing for Nitrates
Nitrates are a type of chemical, and they’re found in many things. For example, they can be found in the water supply of your home and may be harmful to humans.
Nitrates contain nitrogen and oxygen atoms bonded together with an oxygen atom at the center of the molecule instead of two hydrogen atoms like all other molecules do. Nitrogen is used by plants as fertilizer because it promotes growth; however, this same property makes nitrate dangerous when it gets into your body or otherwise comes into contact with you through drinking contaminated water. If there is too much nitrate in your blood (also known as “nitrite”), then it can cause health problems for people who have diabetes or kidney disease because these conditions make their bodies unable to break down certain compounds efficiently enough without help from medication such as insulin injections or dialysis treatments (which remove waste from the body).
If you get too much nitrate in your body, symptoms may include: – Nausea or vomiting – Headache – Diarrhea – Muscle cramps or weakness
– Seizures – Coma
– Slow heart rate or irregular heartbeat – Low blood pressure
– Blue or gray skin color (cyanosis) – Excessive bleeding
– Low levels of oxygen in your blood – Confusion or disorientation
Testing for pH
pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline your water is. It’s measured on a scale from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral and anything above that being slightly acidic. The ideal range for drinking water should be between 7.0 and 8.5 (ideal pH levels vary depending on where you live).
The easiest way to test your local pH levels is by using litmus strips—a type of paper strip that changes color when exposed to different substances like acids or bases in liquids (such as urine).
If you don’t want to purchase litmus strips, there are other options. You can use a pH meter, which is a small electronic device that measures the acidity of liquids; or you can send a sample of your water off to be professionally tested by an analytical laboratory.
Baking soda is a chemical compound made of sodium bicarbonate (a base) and carbon dioxide (an acid). When it comes into contact with an acidic solution, such as urine, it releases bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. This causes the liquid to bubble up like a carbonated drink—hence its name.
If you’re concerned about the pH level of your urine, adding a bit of baking soda will help you determine whether or not it’s within the normal range.
Testing for Hardness
Hardness is a measure of the amount of dissolved minerals in your water. It’s measured as grains per gallon (gpg). Hardness is caused by calcium and magnesium ions, which are found naturally in many mineral deposits on earth. The more calcium or magnesium that’s present, the harder your water will be.
Hardness can be a problem for many water-using appliances, especially those that use a lot of water. You may notice build-up on your showerhead, pipes and even your coffee maker.
Test Your Water At Home
Testing your water at home is a great way to ensure that you’re getting clean, safe water every time. You can use a simple water testing kit, which is available in most supermarkets and drugstores.
The first step is to test for dissolved solids (such as minerals and sediment), pH (a measure of how acidic or alkaline the water is), total hardness (the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions), nitrate/nitrite levels (which may indicate excessive algae growth) and bacteria counts using an aquarium salt mix containing aquarium safe iodine.
If the water is safe to drink, simply add a small amount of aquarium salt mix to your drinking water and stir or shake it well. You should always use bottled water when cooking or preparing food items that will be consumed raw.
The amount of salt that you need to add depends on the type of water, but generally speaking you should use 1 teaspoon per gallon. You can also test your water quality using a simple water testing kit, which is available in most supermarkets and drugstores.
If you’re worried about the water in your home, you don’t have to leave it up to a professional to test it. You can do this on your own with just a few simple household items. We hope that these tips and tricks will help you get started on making sure your water is as safe as possible!