There are many ways that an individual may arrive at the decision to have their water tested. For example, you may visually see a problem; there could be an odor or an odd taste. People in the home may be getting sick, and you suspect it's correlated with your water. There could be staining left behind in the sink, home equipment such as a water heater emits a sulfur smell, or your pipes are becoming corroded. Also, there may not be any obvious issue with your water, and you simply want to be proactive in having the peace of mind that your home drinking water is safe.
There are multiple levels of testing that you can choose from, including simple self-testing to a certified lab testing that requires chain-of-custody. The following describes the 4 Levels of testing that you can choose from depending on your needs. You may find a lower-level test satisfies your need, or a lower-level test may reveal that higher-level testing may be required.
Also, the results of any test can be used as a guidance that you can then share with a water professional in order to develop a treatment solution.
Level 1 Testing is done with simple observations that an individual can make using their senses of sight, smell, taste, and touch and readily available information about the home. These observations can be made in the moment or monitored as they change over time. For a thorough Observational Self-Test we recommend using our free Self-Test Web App below.
Level 1 | Self-Diagnostic Drinking Water Testing Tool
For a thorough Observational Self-Diagnosis of your water click the button below.
Once you've completed an Observational Self-Test of your water, depending on the results, you may want to further clarify and validate your results by conducting a Level 2 Test (See below).
Level 2 Testing is Do-It-Yourself testing that can be done in your own home using a Testing Kit. After you’ve done Level 1 Testing, Level 2 Testing can further clarify if your observations are correct. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best Treatment options or continue to Level 3 Testing (See below).
Level 3 Testing is done through an accredited Water Testing Laboratory. With Level 3 Testing, you can order a testing kit that is used to prepare your sample and submit it to the lab. By utilizing a lab, you have the assurance that a water expert had conducted your test. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best Treatment options or continue to Level 4 Testing - Certified Testing (See below).
Level 4 Certified Testing uses chain-of-custody with a water professional coming to your home to prepare the water sample. They then work with an accredited laboratory to certify your test results. This type of testing not only gives you the highest level of assurance in the accuracy of your test results but can also be used as evidence in legal cases. If you are concerned about an existing or proposed activity that may or could impact your drinking water quality you should seek Certified Baseline Testing. (See Below)
Contact a Know Your H2O Recommended Professional
If you're interested in Certified Testing, contact us to be connected with a KnowYourH2O-Recommended Professional.
The primary difference between Certified Testing (See previous section) and Baseline Testing is that baseline testing is Certified Testing to establish your water quality ideally before a proposed activity that may or could impact your drinking water quality. The goal is not just to confirm that the well meets drinking water standards, but to document the conditions or contaminants in the well to which future changes can be compared.