Diligence in monitoring water quality always makes sense and it really makes sense if you live near industrial complexes, manufacturing facilities… or in this case a mining operation. ‘Andre’ wrote in and asked,
I want to send a sample of river water downstream from a mining opeation to see if and what the chemicals and water is composed of…we fish on this river and would like to submit samples for testing..we are on a budget but still would like to know what is in the water??
and the cost of sending in samples of the river water..thanks
In a situation like this we would suggest submitting a sample to a company like National Testing Laboratories which offers several levels of testing packages. For more information on this company, please refer to a previous article called Who is/are National Testing Labs?
Given the wide range of potential contaminants that could get carried by runoff from the area around a mining operation, we suspect that you will want to run as many tests as possible. National Testing Labs has a 103-Contaminant Test Kit available for around $200 and an 83-Contaminant Test Kit available for around $160.
Basic testing options for day-to-day monitoring?
Once you have established a baseline reading by getting the water tested by a qualified water testing laboratory you will want to keep tabs on the water’s quality by using basic test kits from companies like SenSafe and WaterSafe.
While basic, at-home drinking water test kits will not test for nearly the number water contaminants as laboratory testing, many basic water tests serve as potential indicators of more serious water quality issues.
* TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)
We suggest keeping an eye on the total dissolved solids level in a water source with a simple TDS Meter and monitoring for sudden spikes in TDS levels. Massive changes mean something has entered the water supply.
While that ‘something’ may just be silt kicked up by heavy rains, one should get curious if the levels spike at times other than after rainstorms or other plausible explanations for elevated TDS levels.
* Dissolved Metals
Sudden changes in dissolved metals concentrations should certainly raise a few red flags and Heavy Metals Test Strips make monitoring dissolved metals levels in water a quick, safe and easy process.
* Multi-Parameter Monitoring
If you want to perform a wide range of water tests on a regular basis we suggest investing in a kit like the Well Driller Master Test Kit since it allows users to test up to 50 samples of water for critical water quality parameters.