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How to Determine the Quality of Tap Water by Spending a Minimum of Time

1 out of 10 people on Earth does not have access to clean water. However, the presence of a water supply does not always guarantee the quality of water and the absence of impurities. On the network and word of mouth walks many ways to check the water at home.

Editorial Happy Worthy Life check out the most popular of these methods is that to understand which of them can be used every day. In the end, we have prepared a bonus for you with simple tips on checking the quality of water.

1. Weighing

How to Determine the Quality of Tap Water by Spending a Minimum of Time

The bottom line: pour the same amount of water from different sources (tap, filter, and so on) and weigh. Better water will be lighter than other samples.

Result: we measured several times 200 ml of cold tap water with a glass, and each time we got about the same figure – 253 g. Despite the presence of a measuring glass, it is impossible to pour the same amount of water with provisional accuracy: one drop can settle on wall and ruin the whole picture. The second sample is water from the filter. In general, its weight was really less than the tap water by about 1–2 g –– 252–251 g.

The weight of boiled tap water turned out to be the same as that of unboiled tap water – 253 g. For the sake of interest, we measured the weight of coffee with milk – 258 g. It makes sense to conduct such an experiment only in laboratory conditions: the smallest error can ruin everything, and the experiment will be meaningless.

2. Handwashing

How to Determine the Quality of Tap Water by Spending a Minimum of Time

The bottom line: if a large amount of foam forms when washing hands with soap , the water is soft. Little foam – hard water.

Result: we conducted an experiment with tap and well water. Water from the well is only mechanically cleaned with filters. It took more time to soap the hands in it: the foam disappeared from time to time, and after that I wanted to apply the cream as soon as possible. In tap water, soap gave more foam, and hands were not so dry.

Hard water is believed to have a bad effect on hair, but the mere presence of calcium and magnesium salts in water (this is the kind of water called hard) does not make the hair weakened. If you notice that water affects your hair, it is most likely not just a matter of stiffness: impurities or a change in diet can have an effect. But the skin condition due to hard water may worsen: the protective functions of the skin are reduced. With prolonged exposure, the skin becomes more prone to infections and eczema.

3. Determining the color of water using a sheet of paper or a book

How to Determine the Quality of Tap Water by Spending a Minimum of Time

The bottom line: put a glass of water on a white sheet or opposite it and evaluate the color: some impurities give a dark color. Another option is to put a glass of water on a book and try to read the text through it.

Result: in the photo on the left – water from the same source as in the previous paragraph. Cold water is absolutely transparent, there are no extra shades. In the right photo – tap water without a filter. The text is well read, but the question arises: how polluted should the water be so that the text cannot be read through it? The method does not allow to determine the hardness of the water, therefore, it works only half.

4. Freezing

How to Determine the Quality of Tap Water by Spending a Minimum of Time

The bottom line: freeze water, then examine the ice. If it is transparent, there are no impurities in the water.

Result: the ice turned out to be not entirely cloudy, but it is difficult to call it transparent. It is better to consider ice twice: right after they got out of the freezer, and when it starts to melt. This will help to better evaluate the result. In Estonia, where this test was conducted, information about water quality is publicly available. In our case, it is quite tough and with impurities: it contains fluorine, calcium and iron. It was great to show the child a simple and working way of analysis, then confirming the findings with scientific data.

5. Filtering through paper or filter bag

How to Determine the Quality of Tap Water by Spending a Minimum of Time

Essence: take a filter bag for a coffee maker or a paper towel, place in a funnel and pour water. If particles, stains remain on paper, then the water is of poor quality.

Result: we checked the water in one of the cities and used paper towels, pouring 200 g of water through them into a bottle. When the paper dried, there were no streaks or debris on it. Either the water is of such good quality, or the verification method does not work. We do not recommend using it, because the analysis requires too much time: it is difficult to draw conclusions about pollution with a wet funnel, and it dries up for several hours.

6. Check with liquid soap

How to Determine the Quality of Tap Water by Spending a Minimum of Time

The bottom line: pour liquid soap into glasses with tap and bottled water . If, after dissolution, the water becomes cloudy, then there are impurities in it.

Result: in the experiment we analyzed water from the Bulgarian capital. Bottled water on the left, tap water on the right, the glasses look the same. In Sofia, the water is not hard, which is noticeable by the condition of the skin and hair. The method of determining water quality is not the best, because stiffness is much easier to determine simply by washing your hands with water and observing their condition.

Conclusion: you can check the quality of water at home, but not all methods are suitable for this.

We have not tested all the existing methods of home water testing. Of those that we tested, the most effective were checks using foam, freezing and a sheet of paper. The rest were either unreliable or too complex.

Bonus number 1: how to protect yourself and your family from low-quality water

If you do not want to bother with checking the water, you can use this card to estimate the approximate level of water pollution and understand what impurities are in it. The corresponding health risks are also noted there . This resource analyzes water quality in Europe. If you want to get more accurate information, contact a specialized laboratory. This information will help you choose the right filter : each of them eliminates only specific components.

A universal method of cleaning is boiling, and you can boil water several times: this will not affect its quality in any way. But disposable bottles cannot be used twice: substances from the shell can get into the water, and after opening, bacteria begin to multiply inside. It is more practical to carry water in a reusable container.

Bonus number 2: how to understand the types of bottled water

Bottled water is the first and highest category. In the first there are no (or very few) useful substances – calcium, magnesium and so on. Water of the highest category contains these substances. Popular brands indicate on labels that their products are purified tap water.

In addition, water is divided into mineral, artesian and thawed. Mineral is drunk for medical reasons : it contains many trace elements, salts and other useful substances. In the “mineral dining room” and “mineral drinking” they are much smaller. Most often this is ordinary artesian water, which is extracted from wells. It is filtered by passing through several layers of soil. Melt or glacial water must be mined in areas where there is a glacier.

And by what criteria do you choose drinking water or filters for tap water?

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