We have well water which we had tested by a local lab a year or two ago. I like to have the water tested regularly, mainly for bacteria, but the local lab charges $100 (if we want lead testing included, it's $200). I ordered this test kit thinking that I'd compare it to the results we got from the lab when we last had our water tested. If anything looked weird or came back abnormal, we'd pay the local lab to test the water.
The tests that I've done so far have given results that are in line with what we were expecting. The local lab gives some directions that I followed when pulling my water samples. They include the following:
1) Use cold water only. 2) For the bacteria test: let your water run for 5 minutes before you take a sample. Don't take a sample from a swivel faucet (commonly found in kitchens). They told me that it's best to take the water sample from the bathroom faucet or tub. 3) For the lead test: Take your sample at a point where the water has been sitting in the pipes for at least 6 hours. They recommended first thing in the morning, before flushing the toilets, etc.
The instructions included with the test kit were fine, but I would have appreciated something a bit more in depth, like those provided by our local lab. Still, this test is a fraction of what the local lab charges, and at least from what I can see, it appears to be fairly accurate.
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