It sickens us to read about valuable resources such as water testing kits sitting idle on shelves so long that their components age beyond expiration dates… especially when it happens in an economically depressed or otherwise challenged area such as rural India.

Forget about the wasted money. Think, instead, about the waterborne illnesses that water quality testing could possibly have prevented. THEN think about the money spent treating those diseases which more than likely exceeded the cost of the test kits by ten or twenty-fold!

These kits were meant to test water samples to ensure clean and drinkable water in rural areas. But in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district, the field testing kits — provided under the Rajeev Gandhi Rural Drinking Water Mission — were not used till their expiry date.

The kits, worth around Rs 25 lakh, have now been rendered useless. The district administration is conducting a probe as to why the kits were not distributed on time. ( source )

Water testing kits have expiration dates and we suggest that anyone who owns a test kit check the dates on reagents periodically to make sure all reagents have adequate shelf life remaining. While some reagents have very long shelf lives, others (i.e. certain liquid test reagents) lose potency very rapidly and must get replaced often.

Basic Residential Pool Water Test Kit
Basic Residential Pool Water Test Kit
for Total Chlorine and pH

As an example, Phenol Red & OTO reagents found in most basic 2-way pool water test kits should get replaced each new swimming season and/or if they sit in direct sunlight for too long, sit for too long with their caps not put on tightly, or get stored near strong oxidizers such as chlorine or bromine.

While on the topic of replacement reagents for pool water test kits, if you own a Taylor Pool Water Test Kit, you will definitely want check out this Taylor Test Kit Reagents Page before next pool season begins.

In conclusion

You count on your water test kits to tell you if you have safe pool water and safe drinking water so it would only make sense that you would want the components in that kit working at optimal levels. Expired test kit reagents may or may not give you the performance needed to guarantee accurate, dependable results!