I purchased a First Alert® Drinking Water Test Kit. This is a home testing kit that checks your water to ensure the levels of nitrates, bacteria, chlorine, pesticides and calcium are within federal limits for safe drinking water.
I ended up purchasing the kit from Amazon. There were several choices available for such a kit, but I chose First Alert’s version because it seemed to test for the largest number of substances and it had a fairly high review.
Initially, I wanted to purchase the kit from my local drug store because I thought it would be considered a health product. However, after trying a couple of drug stores they didn’t have this type of kits available in their stores. In the future, this might be something I could purchase from a hardware store, although I didn’t look there when I was searching for this item.
The kit cost $11.99 plus $5.10 in shipping costs. I will need to spend an additional $30 plus shipping if I want to send the water sample away to find out exactly how much of each substance is in my water. The home testing kit merely tells you if the water contains the substances within federal limits, it does not specify exact amounts of each. That requires lab testing, and I would have preferred to find a kit that did tell me that information. I wasn’t able to find a reasonably priced kit that tested and provided those details. I’m assuming that the scarcity of such a thorough kit occurs because these are considered one-time use items, and that very few people are testing their water on an ongoing basis. They test it once to ensure it’s safe and then they don’t test it again, therefore, manufacturers believe most people want the simpler, less expensive test.
Overall, I felt $11.99 plus shipping was reasonable for this product. As I mentioned, I would have paid more (up to $75) for a test kit that could tell me exact amounts of the substances. But this particular kit seemed worth the money.