Testing your tap water in the Year 2000

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Some people have been emailing me and asking how they might begin to test the level of chlorine and ammonia contamination in their city water. Shortly, I'll be updating the 14 days of Prep sheet with this information.

Large pet stores or aquatic pet stores sell chlorine and ammonia testing kits for aquariums. The test kit usually includes a plastic vial, tablets, and a color guide to the levels of chlorine and ammonia in your tap water. While fish (i.e. gold fish, etc.) can only tolerate low levels of chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia, the test usually can provide an accurate reading of twice the toxic level that would kill fish instantly. It can also give some indication beyond that level. The way the test proceeds, you fill the vial with tap water, add a tablet and shake it up (or swirl a test strip in the vial) for so many minutes. The higher the cholorine or ammonia level, the quicker the color of the test liquid will change. In some cases, I have had the test liquid change within a few seconds before a tablet was half way dissolved. In such cases, I don't drink the water.

In the next few days, I will be researching what level of chlorine and ammonia is considered harmful to human health. I'll make another post about this when I find out the answer. If you already have the answer, please email me your answer with your source.

Warning: if you decide to pick up the test kits and happen to see aquarium chemicals for dechlorinating tap water, DO NOT GET AQUARIUM DECHLORINATORS FOR YOUR USE OR GARDEN USE. These chemicals are highly toxic to non-fish life (that means you and your pets).

Stan Faryna

Got 14 days of preps? If not, get started now. Click here.

-- Stan Faryna (faryna@groupmail.com), October 01, 1999


Good idea Stan!

Thanks for being the info scout!


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), October 01, 1999.

Typhoon blue posted his experience witha product called PurTest. I think I found an online source for it:


Several test kits available for different conataminants.

No endorsement implied.

-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), October 01, 1999.

Lehmans Hardware have water test kits in stock at their store in Kidron, Ohio.

As a matter fact their store is fully stocked. While their mail order may be bogged down, it appears to me that they are still maintaining full stock on all items at their store.

-- Bill P (porterwn@one.net), October 01, 1999.

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