KC had a few questions for us and wrote…

I have 2 questions that I am not finding answers to on this blog. I could be overlooking the answers. 1) is there a home test kit for THM’s and HAA5? 2) I purchased some property & I would like to test a pond on the property for contaminates other than the drinking water quality home test kit variables such as fossil fuel/petroleum contamination and other pollutants.

For those who do not know, THM’s stands for trihalomethanes and HAA5 stands for haloacetic acid. Both compounds fall in the category of disinfection byproducts, or chemical products created when a disinfectant acts on a contaminant in water. In recent years health officials have determined that exposure to these compounds can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.

National Testing Laboratories WaterCheck Test Kit: 83 Contaminants

With regard to KC’s question about THM and HAA5 test kits, we do not know of any at-home drinking water test kits for these compounds. Testing for disinfection byproduct levels requires a laboratory environment.

If you wish to test for these two compounds you will have to use a kit that you mail into a certified drinking water testing laboratory such as National Testing Laboratories. Within about (2) two weeks after receiving your water they will issue a lab report telling you all sorts of interesting things about your water — including how many disinfection byproducts your water contains, if it has any at all.

National Testing Laboratories offers several different testing options, but their most popular water testing option provides sample submitters with analysis of their water for a total of 83 different water quality parameters:

  • Bacteria (presence/absence for coliform and E.coli),
  • (19) heavy metals and minerals,
  • (6) other inorganic chemicals,
  • (5) physical characteristics,
  • (4) trihalomethanes and
  • (47) volatile organic chemicals.

Worried about other things such as pesticides, herbicides and PCB’s? National Testing Laboratories offers a water testing option that includes all of the above tests plus an an additional check for (20) pesticides, herbicides and PCB’s. They gave it a really long name, WaterCheck with Pesticides Laboratory Analysis Water Testing Kit, and it test for a total of 97 different water quality parameters.

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