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WaterWorks 9 Way Water Quality Test Kit

WaterWorks Home Water Quality Analysis Test Kit Nitrate Nitrite Iron Hardness Chlorine pH Alkalinity Copper
 
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IT-WW18K
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PRODUCT DETAILS EDUCATIONAL INFO
 

Features

  • Easy to use kit provides a convenient way to check your water for 9 contaminants.
  • Do-it-yourself test kit. Everything needed to perform and analyze the tests are included.
  • The tests are fast and provide you with results right at home in seconds.
  • Clear directions, easy methods and top quality non-toxic test ingredientsassure you of reliable test results.
  • Two of each test allows you to perform the tests over time to monitor changes in water quality.
  • EPA-based, laboratory certified test kit includes:
    • 2 - Nitrate Tests
    • 2 - Nitrite Tests
    • 2 - Iron Tests
    • 2 - Copper Tests
    • 2 - Total Hardness Tests
    • 2 - Free Chlorine Tests
    • 2 - Total Chlorine Tests
    • 2 - pH Tests
    • 2 - Total Alkalinity Tests

Contaminants Tested

Nitrates/Nitrites

Nitrates and nitrites are nitrogen-oxygen chemical units which combine with various organic and inorganic compounds. Once taken into the body, nitrates are converted into nitrites. The greatest use of nitrates is as a fertilizer. Most nitrogenous materials in natural waters tend to be converted to nitrate, so all sources of combined nitrogen, particularly organic nitrogen and ammonia, should be considered as potential nitrate sources. Primary sources of organic nitrates include human sewage and livestock manure, especially from feedlots. The primary inorganic nitrates which may contaminate drinking water are potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate both of which are widely used as fertilizers. According to the US EPA Toxics Release Inventory, releases to water and land totaled over 112 million pounds from 1991 through 1993. Since they are very soluble and do not bind to soils, nitrates have a high potential to migrate to ground water. Because they do not evaporate, nitrates/nitrites are likely to remain in water until consumed by plants or other organisms.

Health Effects - Excessive levels of nitrate above the maximum contaminant level in drinking water has caused serious illness and sometimes death from short term exposure. The serious illness in infants is due to the conversion of nitrate to nitrite by the body, which can interfere with the oxygen-carrying capacity of the child's blood. This can be an acute condition in which health deteriorates rapidly over a period of days. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin. Long-term exposure to excessive levels of Nitrates and Nitrites have the potential to cause diuresis, increased starchy deposits and hemorrhaging of the spleen.

EPA Recommended Contaminant Level for Nitrate

  • Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 10 parts per million (ppm).
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 10 parts per million (ppm).

EPA Recommended Contaminant Level for Nitrite

  • Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - 1 milligram per liter (mg/L) or 1 part per million (ppm).
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - 1 milligram per liter (mg/L) or 1 part per million (ppm).

pH

A measurement of the degree of how acid or alkaline the water supply is based on a pH scale of 0 - 14. A pH reading of 7.0 is considered neutral and neither acid or alkaline. Numbers below 7.0 are considered acidic, numbers above 7.0 are considered alkaline. Each full number change in the pH scale up or down represents a 10 fold increase in degree of acidity or alkalinity. For example, a pH reading of 4.0 is 10 times more acidic than a reading of 5.0 and 100 times more acidic than a reading of 6.0. There can be many causes for acidic water including acid rain (high carbon dioxide), acid source water from absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide and from decaying vegetation and no acid buffering characteristics in the water. Alkaline waters can be caused by unwanted substances such as alkali or ammonia from nitrate fertilizer finding its way into your water and excessive carbonates. pH is a non-mandatory secondary water quality standard and guidelines are provided to assist in managing drinking water for aesthetic considerations such as taste, color and odor as well as for corrosion control.

Aesthetic Effects - Excessive levels of alkalinity can produce a "soda" taste and have a drying effect on the skin because of the tendency to remove normal skin oils. Water that is acidic or very alkaline will tend to be corrosive. This corrosive water will begin to dissolve metals such as lead, copper, brass and zinc in the plumbing lines and carry them in the water to the faucet or water appliance such as washing machines, water heaters and plumbing fixtures.

EPA Recommended Contaminant Level

  • Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) - pH 6.5 to 8.5.

Chlorine

Chlorine is used an an oxidizing agent to change the chemical composition of targeted substances. It is helpful in the removal of Iron, Manganese and Hydrogen Sulfide from water and it is also used to disinfect water and kill microorganisms. Chlorine is added in municipal water treatment and may also be used on a small scale in residential water treatment systems. Chlorine added to the water will first react with Iron, Manganese and Hydrogen Sulfide through the oxidation process and then some of the Chlorine will be neutralized by any organic matter and bacteria present in the water, this is the "Chlorine Demand". The remaining Chlorine present in the water is called "Residual Chlorine". If any Ammonia is present in the water, Residual Chlorine will react with it to form Chloramines. If no Ammonia is present, the remaining Chlorine is called "Free Chlorine". "Total Chlorine" is the combination of the Residual Chlorine that has formed Chloramines and Free Chlorine levels. Today, most municipalities are turning to the application of Chloramine, a compound of chlorine and ammonia, instead of Chlorine products to help reduce the amount of disinfection byproducts. However, this treatment method still leaves "Free" Chlorine present in water.

Health Effects - Chlorine can react with organic matter in the water, such as from vegetation decay, and form disinfection byproducts called Trihalomethanes (THM's). THM's are suspected human carcinogens. Chlorine may also create objectionable taste and odor problems in water. Chlorine can be irritating to the skin upon contact as well as an eye, nose and lung irritant when exposure to the air is encountered. Ingestion of Chlorine can cause stomach discomfort.

EPA Recommended Contaminant Level

  • Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) - 4.0 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 4 parts per million as free chlorine.
  • Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - 4.0 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 4 parts per million as free chlorine.

A US Geological Survey indicates hard water is found in over 85% of the United States. Hardness is a common water quality problem that relates to the amount of dissolved minerals present in water. As water travels through the ground, rock and soil, it picks up minerals along the way. The primary mineral substances that are associated with water hardness are calcium and magnesium. These minerals are not found in nature in their elemental form but found in water principally as chlorides, sulfates, carbonates and bicarbonates.

Aesthetic Effects - Hardness reduces a soap or detergent's ability to clean and lather by causing the development of insoluble precipitation in water. This is the soap scum seen in the shower, toilets and on tubs as well as whitish scale deposits in pipes, water heaters and coffee makers. Water hardness makes washing clothes, bathing and shampooing more difficult and less effective. More soap will be required in hard water to have the same effectiveness as in soft water. Hardness will also cause scale buildup on water lines and in appliances such as water heaters. It can cause the reduction in water flow through pipes and make heating appliances less effective and more costly to run due to the poor heat transmission through the scale buildup.

WQA Hardness Standards

  • No EPA standards exist for the municipal control of water hardness. The Water Quality Association (WQA) has established hardness standards. The measurement for water hardness is either in grains per gallon (gpg) or milligrams per liter (mg/L)/parts per million (ppm).

Hardness Level

gpg

mg/L or ppm

Soft

less than 1.0

less than 17.1

Slightly Hard

1.0 to 3.5

17.1 to 60

Moderately Hard

3.5 to 7.0

60 to 120

Hard

7.0 to 10.5

120 to 180

Very Hard

10.5 and above

180 and above

Iron

A very common element in groundwater and an EPA Secondary Drinking Water Regulated Contaminant. Considered one of the "Troublesome Trio" (along with Manganese and Hydrogen Sulfide) because of the complexity in removing this excess contaminant. More common in private wells than municipal water supplies. Iron can be present in four different forms in water. Ferrous Iron is colorless and is the result of changing the insoluble element Iron to a soluble form in acidic and low oxygen environments. Ferric Iron is the result of air exposure to form insoluble Iron (rust) and red-brown staining of plumbing fixtures and laundry. Organic Iron or Iron Bacteria occurs when specific microorganisms utilize Ferrous Iron and air to produce a gelatinous compound. Colloidal Iron is observed as suspended matter causing red-pink discoloration to water. Iron is a non-mandatory secondary water quality standard and guidelines are provided to assist in managing drinking water for aesthetic considerations such as taste, color and odor as well as for corrosion control.

Aesthetic Effects - Excessive Iron will create a rusty color with reddish or orange staining of plumbing fixtures. A metallic taste may also be present with excess Iron. If Iron Bacteria is present, gelatinous sludge may be present on plumbing fixtures or cause pipe encrustation.

EPA Recommended Contaminant Level

  • Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) - 0.3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or .3 parts per million.

Copper

Copper is an essential nutrient for good health when ingested in very small quantities and is a naturally occurring element found in natural deposits as ores containing other elements. Copper is also used extensively in household plumbing. Copper can be found in drinking water by contamination from mining operations or municipal incineration deposits leaching into groundwater. According to the EPA Toxics Release Inventory, 40 million pounds of copper compounds were released to the land and water between 1987 to 1993. Corrosion in household Copper plumbing from acidic water is another source of excess copper levels in drinking water.

Health and Aesthetic Effects - When people are exposed to Copper above the EPA Action Level, short term exposure can cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and vomiting. Long term exposure can cause liver or kidney damage. Excessive levels of Copper can cause blue/green staining of plumbing fixtures and a metallic taste.

EPA Recommended Contaminant Level

  • Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - 1.3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 1.3 parts per million (ppm).
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - 1.3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 1.3 parts per million (ppm). If more than 10% of tap water samples exceed the action level, water systems must take additional steps.

Alkalinity

A measurement of the capacity of water to neutralize an acid. For example, how much acid can be added to a liquid without causing a significant change in pH. Alkalinity is different than pH because water doesn't have to be highly basic (high pH) to be considered to have highly Alkalinity. Moderate concentrations of Alkalinity are desirable to balance any corrosiveness effects of acidity. Alkalinity (as Total Dissolved Solids) is a non-mandatory secondary water quality standard and guidelines are provided to assist in managing drinking water for aesthetic considerations such as taste, color and odor as well as for corrosion control.

Aesthetic Effects - Excessive levels of alkalinity can produce a "soda" taste and have a drying effect on the skin because of the tendency to remove normal skin oils.

EPA Recommended Contaminant Level

  • Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) - 500 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 500 parts per million (ppm) measured as Total Dissolved Solids. Less than 50 mg/L are not objectionable, over 100 mg/L may give water a "soda" taste and over 400 mg/L may cause dry skin and hair when bathing.

Definitions

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. This is the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to control this contaminant should it occur in drinking water at their customer's home taps. MCLs are enforceable standards.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) - The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) - Non-mandatory water quality standards for 15 contaminants. EPA does not enforce these "secondary maximum contaminant levels" or "SMCLs." They are established only as guidelines to assist public water systems in managing their drinking water for aesthetic considerations, such as taste, color and odor. These contaminants are not considered to present a risk to human health at the SMCL.

Testing Procedure

Important

  • Keep tests out of reach of children and pets. Do not ingest anything from this test kit. Do not drink water sample used for testing. Store and use at room temperature (60-86 F).
  • Do not open packets or a vial until you are ready to perform the tests.
  • Do not touch test pads.
  • Do not use on hot water or water containing bleach detergents.
  • Do not re-use any part of the test kit.
  • Read and follow all instructions carefully.

pH, Total Alkalinity, Total Chlorine and Total Hardness Instructions

  1. Dip one test strip into water sample with constant, gentle back-and-forth motion for 5 seconds.
  2. Remove, shake once briskly, wait 20 seconds.
  3. Match color for pH, Total Alkalinity, Total Chlorine and Total Hardness in this order with provided color chart in kit.
  4. Complete color matching within 10 seconds.

Nitrate/Nitrite Nitrogen Instructions

  1. Dip one test strip into water sample for 2 seconds
  2. Remove, wait 1 minute (2 minutes if water temperature is below 55¡ãF), then match colors for Nitrate/Nitrite Nitrogen with provided color chart in kit.
  3. Colors are stable for 2 minutes.

Free Chlorine Instructions

  1. Dip one test strip into 2 oz. water sample with constant, gentle back-and-forth motion for 20 seconds.
  2. Remove, shake once briskly, wait 20 seconds.
  3. Match color for Free Chlorine with provided color chart in kit.

Iron Instructions

  1. Dip one test strip into a 8oz. water sample for 5 seconds with a constant, gentle back-and-forth motion.
  2. Remove the strip and shake once, briskly, to remove excess water.
  3. Wait 15 seconds then view through the aperture to match with closest color.
  4. Complete color matching within 15 seconds with provided color chart in kit.

Copper Instructions

  1. Dip one test strip into a 8oz. water sample for 15 seconds with a constant, gentle back-and-forth motion.
  2. Remove the strip and shake once, briskly, to remove excess water.
  3. Wait 30 seconds then view through the aperture to match with closest color.
  4. Complete color matching within 15 seconds with provided color chart in kit.

Specifications

Test

Sensitivity

Test Range

Result Time

Iron

0.1 ppm

0 to 1 ppm

15 seconds

Copper

0.5 ppm

0 to 2 ppm

30 seconds

Nitrate

2.0 ppm

0 to 20 ppm

1 minute

Nitrite

0.2 ppm

0.15 to 10 ppm

1 minute

pH

1.0

6 to 11

10 seconds

Total Alkalinity

40 ppm

0 to 720 ppm

10 seconds

Total Chlorine

0.2 ppm

0 to 5 ppm

15 seconds

Total Hardness

50 ppm

0 to 425 ppm

3 seconds

Free Chlorine

0.05 ppm

0 to 5 ppm

15 seconds



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