“All water supplies that are not chlorinated or disinfected should be checked, especially surface water and shallow wells which are prone to contamination from the surface,” says Ross Muggeridge, Commercial Pump and Technical Services Leader at PASLR’s supplier Davey. “It is also alarming the number of municipal councils around the country where water is not tested regularly.”
What’s involved in a water test?
Firstly, we’ll ask a lot of questions. This is vital to ensure we have an accurate picture of what’s happening with your water and helps us to pin-point the cause of the problem. Because your home pressure system has lots of components to it, considering the whole system is really important.
For accurate results we…
- Use a sterile testing container to avoid cross contamination
- Ensure the sample is sealed so as not to expose it to oxygen
- Clearly label samples and include all key information
- Keep a record of your results to build up a profile of not only your water but the water in your area. This also means you can access your results years down the track.
Bores and well water testing
Common problems in bore and well sites include:
- Iron build up (orange staining)
- Excessive copper (blue staining)
- Lime (calcification)
- Bugs (will get through any filter)
Flushing the bore for 20 minutes prior to taking the sample stops contaminants from consolidating and gives us a more accurate sample. We’ll take the sample as close to the bore as possible.
Rainwater tank water testing
Common rainwater tank problems:
- Iron build up on the copper spring check valve
- Cysts and other micro bacterial bugs
- Calcification build up in the tank
- In warmer months plastic tanks above ground can grow bugs due to heat
- Concrete tanks will have a certain amount of calcium build up (lime)
Again, we’ll ask you to drain your tank for 20 minutes prior to us taking a sample from both the tank and the closest tap to the tank. It’s important to let us know if you’ve recently treated the water in the tank before we take the sample. Accuracy is key!
Water tests we perform – when, why and how
Softener/Resin Test (SRT) – if you have orange stains in your sink or bad tasting water you could have high levels of iron and manganese. The SRT is a quick test we perform on site with instant results to determine whether further testing is required back at the lab.
If you have blue/green stains, we’ll take samples from both your bore and the hot tap. Why? Because copper pipe from your hot water cylinder could be affected. Sometimes your bore water will run clear, which means the problem could be coming from the pipes leading into the house.
Samples for E. coli need to be tested within 24 hours (48 hours if the sample is kept in the fridge) or the bugs die. Samples must be taken in a sterilised bottle to avoid cross contamination and ensure accuracy of results. *Sand filters are great incubators for E. coli.
Positive test? Doesn’t have to be a negative!
Whatever your results, we have a range of solutions tailored to treat your water so it is fit for use – whether that be drinking, cooking or bathing. Click here for more information about filtration, disinfection and purification and some of the options we have available.