Water testing is very important for the health and safety of all individuals exposed to pool water. Once believed to be essential only for drinking water, it is now commonplace for most people to test their pool water as well. Since water is absorbed through the skin, you want to be sure your body isn’t taking in harmful chemicals or other harsh contaminants through pool water as you swim.
What is a Pool Water Test?
A water test for your pool is simply a test that can be performed to identify what is in your water. The test results can reveal if your water has any pathogens present or it can tell you if your water has run out of chlorine. If chlorine has run low, be sure to add more as the water can become very unhealthy without it. Children, those with a suppressed immune system such as Diabetes, and the elderly are especially prone to illness.
Each test kit comes with a variety of chemicals and test strips used to test the water quality (hard water, total alkalinity, etc). The kit will also test for Bromine levels as well as Free and Total Chlorine. The testing products come in a hard plastic case with an instruction card that’s easy to follow. if your water needs to be treated, simply follow the instructions to correct the issue. If you have a spa you can use the water test kit on other water sources too.
Why to Test
In order to provide a safe swimming environment for swimmers of all ages, it’s important to monitor the water for any potential pathogens that may pose a health threat. When chlorine is at its proper level it only takes less than a minute for E. Coli to be eradicated, 16 minutes to harness the Hepatitis A virus, 45 minutes to destroy the Giardia parasite and more than ten days to wipe out the Crypto parasite. By testing your pool water for things such as proper chlorine levels you safeguard yourself and others from getting sick or spreading illness to others.
What to Test
One key thing to test pool water is for proper chlorine levels, (a pH level between 7.2 – 7.8 and the ratio should be 1-4 parts per million of chlorine), which dissipates under direct light from the sun. You’ll also want to test the alkalinity of the water, the calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid levels. In some instances, you may also need to test the mineral content. In rarer circumstances, specific tests such as acid or base demand tests may need to be performed.
You should plan on testing your water at least twice per week, although most professionals would agree that testing every day is ideal. For commercial pools, a water test should be performed every hour and properly recorded. Be sure to have chlorine on a continuous flow into your pool and test frequently to ensure your pool water is safe for all individuals exposed to it.