How Much Does Water Quality Testing Cost? 

Drinking water testing costs vary depending on the tests you choose, and the number of tests can add up quickly if you’re testing for every possible contaminant. Many tests require overnight shipping and the total cost can easily add up if you want to test everything. 

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Basic water test costs $165 

If you have well water in your home, or even a small supply of well water, you may want to test the quality of your water for contaminants. Nowadays, testing your water is easier and cheaper than ever before. While a lab test can cost you hundreds of dollars, online testing services are competitive and affordable. 

The cost of a microbial water quality test can be categorized into four main categories: equipment, consumables, labor, and logistics. Equipment includes durable and reusable laboratory items, such as cotton swabs, absorbent pads, and distilled water. Labor costs include per diem expenses for sample collection. Other costs are associated with transportation and communication, such as fuel and airtime. 

Another option is to pay a professional lab for a comprehensive screening. For about $165, an independent lab can provide you with a basic water quality test and additional contaminants of concern. The testing lab sends a kit with instructions and a return label. 

Signs of poor water quality 

There are several signs that your water might be poor quality, and if they are present, you should immediately have it tested. If you notice that your water is cloudy, it may indicate that it contains chemicals that can cause various ailments. You can also check whether it has an odor, or if it tastes strange. 

Another sign that your water is not of high quality is an oily film. This is a sign that your water is contaminated. Moreover, it indicates that the system is leaking and your filtration is not effective. A plumber can degrease your water supply to ensure that it is safe for drinking. 

The color of your water might also be an indicator of a problem. If your water is green or blue, it may be contaminated with chromium-6, a carcinogenic metal. It could also contain rust, which breeds bacteria. In addition, it may smell like bleach. Chlorine is added to water intentionally because it disinfects it, but it creates byproducts that can be harmful to your health. Trihalomethanes have been linked to kidney damage, while haloacetic acid can increase your risk of cancer. 

Cost of microbial water quality monitoring 

The cost of microbial water quality monitoring varies across countries and regions. The costs are typically divided into four main categories: equipment, consumables, and labor. Equipment costs include durable and reusable laboratory items and consumables such as cotton swabs and absorbent pads. Labor costs cover sample collection and are typically based on per diem expenses. And logistics include transportation and communication costs. 

Monitoring microbial water quality is extremely important to water systems and water resources management. But despite its importance, it can be costly to maintain. Despite the costs, a healthy water system and long-term planning are dependent on regular water quality monitoring. In addition to the environmental and health benefits, ongoing routine water quality testing can ensure the safety of drinking water supplies. 

Microbial water quality assessment is essential to protect public health. The World Health Organization and UNICEF have defined fecal pathogens as the primary global health risk associated with contaminated drinking water. Using this proxy indicator, the World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme have classified water supplies as “improved” or “vulnerable” according to their microbial water quality.