Thinking of Buying a Do-It-Yourself Water Test? Read This First.
You've decided you need to test your water. First of all, thank you - the more proactive you are about testing your water, the safer drinking water becomes for all of us.
Amazon.com, Lowes, Home Depot and other hardware stores are full to the brim with a variety of Do-It-Yourself "water testing kits" that claim they'll give you valuable information about the water you test in a few hours, or even just 10 minutes.
However, water testing strips for chemical contaminants have major flaws:
- They do not test with enough accuracy.
- They do not test at low-enough levels.
- They do not test for the contaminants that really matter.
- They often create false alarms.
- They are messy and frankly, confusing.
The US EPA closely monitors environmental laboratories. They enforce strict standards on personnel and testing methods to make sure that results are reliable and valid.. There are good reasons why the EPA does NOT endorse or use testing strips or DIY kits when analyzing public water quality.
If you read some of the paid reviews on Amazon you'll likely see something to the effect of:
"If this doesn't detect it, it's too low to worry about anyway."
This is completely untrue and a disservice to anyone trying to be proactive and conscious about their health.
“What shade of blue is this and what does it mean?”
We're not used to thinking about how very small amounts of something toxic affect our health. We've all learned over thousands of years to trust our senses and only worry about something if it smells, looks, or tastes strange.
But that's not really how chronic water contamination works.
Toxic chemicals like lead have caused our minds and bodies really serious trouble since the Roman Empire. Many of them have no taste, color, or odor.
In addition, businesses and industry are constantly inventing new chemicals every year. We put these chemicals in firefighting foams, furniture, socks, pesticides, plastics, electronics, and pretty much everything else. Most of the time these newfangled chemicals end up in our water supply.
The bottom line is:
Scientific research has shown time, and time again that many chemicals tested by popular DIY kits can seriously increase your risk of cancer or other chronic diseases at levels smaller than one tenth of what those throw-away kits can detect.
If you want to know whether your water contains harmful chemicals at dangerous concentrations then , you are selling yourself short with a DIY home kit.
A bunch of blurry colors with iffy measurements are useless when you're making the really important decision of how to treat your water. How do you know what to prioritize? How do you know what kind of technology it's worth paying for? Are you supposed to trust the Home Depot salesman?
This is why we invented Tap Score. Our team of scientists, engineers, and designers spend their time talking to people whose health had been affected by contaminated drinking water. Between working with the University of California, doing EPA funded research, and working with private water companies, it became clear that the reason people didn't test their water more is because most water tests are pretty bad.
We've made testing easier, more informative, and more actionable.
You have real concerns about your drinking water. We urge you not to throw your money away on ineffective test strips. Test your water with Tap Score.