We can detect dozens of compounds in water, even at extremely low quantities, thanks to modern chemistry. The ever-increasing number of tests available might be intimidating, and the great majority of them necessitate cutting-edge lab facilities. We don't have to test for everything, thankfully!
For monitoring purposes, a considerably smaller and more realistic set of tests can provide a decent sense of chemical water quality. The good news is that low-tech variants of these tests are available for circumstances where money is tight.
How do you test Water Quality from chemicals?
Water testing procedures must be low-tech, inexpensive, and easy when resources are limited. They must also be reasonably precise. Single-use testing can be useful in some cases, but they are often too expensive for large-scale implementation. In general, these tests exchange some of the analytical lab's accuracy, precision, and quality control for portability: they're portable, easy to use with little or no training, and many of them don't require a power supply, refrigeration, or perfect temperature control.
Commercial water testing products vary in availability from nation to country, and supply chain concerns may make local products more practical than test kits from other countries. Furthermore, low-tech water quality testing is a hot topic of study, particularly for microbiological studies. Every few years, new options may become accessible, either through cooperation with developers or through the commercialization of new products.
Formats for testing
There are three types of low-tech, portable field test methodologies for chemical water quality monitoring:
1-Test strips- These are small, single-use strips that change colour to show a chemical's concentration. The user "activates" the paper or plastic strip by dipping it into the water sample and swishing it around, or by holding it in a stream of water, depending on the test. After a brief delay, the user compares the colour of the test strip to a colour chart to determine the chemical concentration. These kits are very easy to use, but they are less precise than other methods, especially if the instructions are not followed.
2-Colour disc test kits- There are colour disc test kits for a variety of chemical testing. A powder packet or a few drops of liquid reagent are added to a water sample in a reusable plastic tube in a typical setup. The sample tube is then placed in a small plastic viewing box by the user.
A plastic disc with a colour gradient printed on it is included in this viewing box. The user turns the colour disc to identify the section that best matches the sample's colour, and then reads the chemical concentration from the disc. Colour disc kits are a little more involved and expensive, but they're normally more precise. They usually include numerous steps and often have suggested response times.
3-Digital instruments- Water testing can be done with lightweight and portable digital metres, colorimeters, and photometers. They produce the most precise results of these three testing procedures, but they are also the most expensive and delicate of the three. Batteries and calibration are required for this equipment. While digital instruments are useful for field professionals and are an important part of any continuous or remote monitoring network, they are unlikely to be appropriate for "citizen science" or crowdsourced water quality assessment.