Even with all of the technological advances one would find in a water treatment facility these days the fact remains that even the best and most expensive chemical dispensing and chemical monitoring equipment must get calibrated at some point… and technicians use old school chemistry methods to do it.
It seems that test kits using liquid, powder and tablet reagents will most likely never get phased out no matter how advanced and technologically advanced the art of water purification gets.
Companies like Taylor Technologies really like the sound of that, too.
KETCHIKAN — Ketchikan officials hope to start operations at the city’s new water treatment plant within the next month.
Water Division Manager John Kleinegger said state environmental regulators have given the city permission to operate the plant for testing purposes to ensure computers are working correctly.
He said the new treatment program has not yet received the go-ahead from the state. ( source )
What does all of that mean for the folks in Ketchikan, Alaska? Simple. A series of tests performed using very strict protocols will take place before the new water treatment plant can begin processing water and distributing water to the public.
Does water testing stop once the plant goes online?
Absolutely not! State and Federal guidelines require plant operators to perform and document routine testing from the time the plant begins operations to the very last day it pumps out water to the public. To make sure that all required testing gets done, State, Federal and sometimes third party auditors will occasionally drop in to check the records of a water treatment facility. Any discrepancies or peculiar anomalies in a facility’s record keeping can jeopardize the facility’s ability to stay in business… and plant operators know this.
Therefore most take extra precautions to make sure all the t’s get crossed and i’s get dotted in their testing log books.
If all that testing gets done, why should I test my tap/city water?
As we have said many times before, your tap water may leave the water treatment plant wholesome and clean, but it has many miles of (often older) piping to get through before it gets to your faucet.
All that travel through piping (that may have gone into the ground 40 or 100 years ago) whose integrity you have no control over and no ability to monitor leaves plenty of opportunity for water to pick up dissolved metals or other common drinking water contaminants.
Best way to test drinking water?
Experts will disagree on the ‘best way’ to test your drinking water if you choose to do the testing yourself. Some will argue that water testing meters have the accuracy and reliability required for the task, others will say that traditional reagent-based test kits using time tested liquid, tablet and powder reagents provide the most reliable results, and a third group believes the convenience, portability, affordability, and simplicity of water test strips the most useful water testing option.
Experts will agree, though, that the best testing will get performed by an independent certified water testing laboratory such as National Testing Laboratories