Categories Water Testing

How is Water Tested for Contamination

Water become susceptible to contamination due to the diverse avenues it has to go through before being consumed. A contaminant is any substance whether chemical, physical or biological that forms the total volume of water. Research indicates that not all contaminants are harmful to human health.

Let’s look at the various types of contaminants and how they can be identified. In addition, I will talk about the need for getting your water tested for contamination. Types of water contaminants Major water contaminants include: solid, bacterial, gases, biological, metal, chemical, physical and radioactive contaminants, in each one of them I will give one example.


Chemical contaminants include herbicides. Biological contaminants include viral or fungal contaminants which may originate from for instance dead bodies. Gases contamination may include sulphur. Radioactive contaminants may be resulted from chemical contamination as listed above. Physical contamination is categorised in refuse contamination such as plastic materials and cans. Metal contaminants include, lead, iron, mercury zinc, etc. Bacterial on the other hand include sewage contaminants such as coliform.

Ways of testing

There are several ways of testing water contamination that include domestic and commercial options. At the domestic level, one can identify water contaminants by simply filtering the water and researching the residue. To identify bacterial elements that are in water, one can carry out aerobic and sulphate reducing bacteria tests. This test identifies a bigger percentage of elements associated with bacteria in water.

Another common way of identifying contaminants is lab consultation. Almost every town has water authorities who take water samples and carry out tests. Public water supplies are taken to water treatment plants and tested for availability of contaminants.  Here is how to test your water.

Need to test

Water contaminants lead to pollution and consequently results to illnesses. Viruses, bacteria, parasites, chemicals and toxins found in water pose a major threat to the health of the consumer. When consuming untested water, one should be worried about vices such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Cryptosporidium, Hepatitis A, Shigella and E. coli.

Water testing whether, domestic or commercial, must be tested basically so as to regulate and safeguard health risks among the consumers. Water authorities should stay updated on the various issues causing water contamination and apply the necessary methods of control and treatment in their water supply plants. Water supply authorities and health departments should create awareness on health risk associated with contaminated water. Many of the risks associated to water contamination are sourced from the major sources of water that include oceans, streams, ponds and lakes among others.