If you live near a mining facility you may want to check your well water for cyanide.  Why?  Because cyanide can enter your water from the runoff of a mining facility.  Cyanide works quite well as a dissolving agent for certain highly desired metals like gold (reference).  Granted federal regulations require all mining facilities in the United States to appropriately recycle the cyanide used in their process, but as we all know, accidents can happen.

Cyanide may also show up in the runoff or discharge of a metal plating facility because. . .

“Cyanide compounds are used in plating baths because they accomodate a wide range of electrical current, remove tarnish or other undesirable films from surfaces to be plated, and cause an even metal deposit to form that has lower sensitivity to impurities present in the the bath. Metals coatings of cadmium, iron, gold, and zinc often use cyanide compounds. Cyanide is typically found complexed with plating metals, or as sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide, which is added to the bath.” (source)

How can the average consumer make sure the water in their well has not fallen victim to an (un)announced industrial accident or poor enforcement of cyanide discharge laws from local industry? cyanide emergency test kit

Recently a company came out with a presence/absence test for cyanide that has a sensitivity as low as 0.2ppm and as high as 1,700ppm for free dissolved cyanide:

* Cyanide Emergency Test Kit — This kit utilizes EPA/ETV Test Verified chemistry and makes testing for the presence of cyanide in drinking water as simple as dipping two strips in a vial and seeing if the second strip turns colors.  A change in color on the test area of the second strip indicates the presence of cyanide in the sample.

* eXact® Strip Cyanide For those who need more precise numbers when testing for the presence of cyanide in water, the makers of the above kit also offer a cyanide detection kit designed to accurately determine cyanide concentrations in effluents and surface waters.  The eXact® Strip Cyanide Kit requires as little as two minutes for cyanide colorimetric analysis and has a detection range of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, >10, >20, <200 ppm (mg/L).

Both kits use the same laboratory tested chemistry and yield reliable, repeatable results.  If you worry about, or suspect, the possible introduction of cyanide into your drinking or well water by local industry, then these kits will help you to quickly and easily put those fears to bed or determine that you might want to investigate further using a certified laboratory’s more advanced testing methods.

Need to test for other metals?

The following metals in water test kits currently available in our Water Test Kit Store ought to help!

John's Total Copper in Water Test
Total Copper in Water Test

Chromium in Water Test
Chromium in Water Test

Boris' Mercury in Water Test
Mercury in Water Test