Water testing is carried out to meet the regulatory requirements and adhere to the safety procedures that are needed for pollutant-free water. This is a broad concept that involves several procedures to analyze and evaluate the quality of water.
Everyone who is affected by the water industry must test water sources. This could be the governmental organizations trying to regulate the quality of water to protect us from the health risks involved with using chlorinated water or it could be homeowners trying to ensure that the water is suitable for consumption.
Water, whether it is meant for business purposes, agriculture, domestic purposes, or is used by public municipalities and private homeowners must be tested regularly in order to keep the source of water safe and free from environmental risks and potential health disorders.
Commonly conducted water quality tests include:
Testing the temperature helps determine the rate of biochemical reaction in an aquatic environment and indeed whether they are able to occur at all. If the water temperature is too elevated, this can limit the water’s ability to hold oxygen and decrease organisms’ capacity to resist particular pollutants.
Measures the acidity of water. Most aquatic organisms are only able to survive within a pH range of 6 to 8.
Chloride is usually present in fresh and salt water. However, its levels can be exacerbated as a result of minerals dissolving and industrial pollution
Measures the total of all non-carbonate salts dissolved in water. Measuring groundwater salinity indicates how salty your topsoil may become if the watertable rises.
Dissolved Oxygen Test
Measures the amount of oxygen dissolved in water. Without this, aquatic life is unable to conduct cellular respiration and is thus a key indicator of water health.
Measures the amount of particulate matter that is suspended in the water, or more simply, how clear the water is. If high levels of turbidity are present, photosynthesis is affected as light is unable to penetrate, increasing water temperature.
Nitrate and Phosphate
The presence of these essential nutrients is a good indicator of strong plant life. However, the addition of artificial nitrates and phosphates through detergents, fertilisers or sewage can be harmful and result in eutrophication, generally in the form of unwanted algal blooms.
We measure whether any pesticides are present and their concentration levels.
The measurement of the reduction-oxidisation potential of a solution, which indicates the electron activity. Micro-organism growth is highly dependent on these levels.
Estimates the total amount of solids dissolved in the water. This can be a good indicator of the level of salinity.
Testing that indicates the presence of a suite of metals which are not naturally occurring in water. Heavy metals (Aluminium, Antimony, Arsenic, Beryllium, Bismuth, Copper, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Uranium, Tin, Vanadium and Zinc) can find their way into water bodies through natural processes or human activities such as mining, processing of minerals, use of metals as containers and transportation through metallic pipelines. Heavy metals are known to harm kidneys, liver, nervous system and bone structure.
Lead poisoning in humans can cause problems in synthesis of haemoglobin, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, joints and reproductive systems and acute or chronic damage to the nervous system. Lead can also cause osteoporosis and weaken bones because it starts replacing Calcium in the bones.
Long-term exposure of cadmium leads to renal dysfunction. High exposure can least to lung cancer and osteodystrophy. Nickel has numerous reported mechanisms of toxicity including redox – cycling and inhibition of DNA repair as well as exhibiting allergic effects.
Exposure to mercury can lead to tremors, gingivitis and other psychological changes with spontaneous absorption and congenital malformation. Mono methyl mercury causes damage to the brain and the central nervous system, congenital malformations and development changes in young children. Vanadium has toxic effects on the liver, kidney, nervous and cardiovascular systems and blood forming organs.