We knew that this question would come along sooner or later. ‘Lisa’ wrote in and asked, “can my daughter use the arsenic water testing kit on juice? can you recommend any ideas for a science fair project?”
While we have no evidence to support the notion that Arsenic Quick Test Kits will function properly with juice as the test specimen rather than water, we have used the kits extensively and know that the color of the juice ought not affect the results since the test pads react with ‘arsenic gas’ liberated from the sample inside the reaction vessel and not the actual water sample.
Note: We contacted the makers of Arsenic Quick Test Kits about the effectiveness of their Arsenic Quick Test Kits with juice as samples and will most certainly share any definitive information we learn.
Getting back to the topic of using Arsenic Quick Test Kits, at first the process may sound a bit complex — but trust us when we say it really does not take a rocket scientist to perform the testing. Hence the reason why a number of people, including folks at the USEPA and other high profile government (as well as non-profit) agencies, have recommended this kit as a viable and useful field testing option when faced with situations where a water source may contain inorganic arsenic as a contaminant.
At this point you may find yourself asking, “Wait, didn’t you say the test liberated arsenic gas?”
Yes, Arsenic Quick Test Kits do liberate small amounts of arsenic gas in the test vessel but the amounts generated should not pose a problem as long as the testing takes place in an area with proper ventilation. In other words, open a window, test in the garage w/ the door open or perform your testing outdoors.
Arsenic Quick Test Kits do not require typical controlled laboratory environments in order to yield quality results.
What about the science projects?
So glad you asked! Depending on where you live, Lisa, and how many bodies of water you have access to for sampling purposes, you could have quite a few really cool science projects for your daughter to work on.
A company called Water Safe manufactures a test kit called the Science Fair Project Test Kit which gives young (or old!) experimenters the ability to test up to 10 bodies of water for the following important drinking water parameters:
|Lead||Below 15 ppb|
|Pesticides||Below 3ppb (atrazine), Below 4ppb (simazine)|
|Nitrite||Below 1.0 ppm|
|Total Nitrate/Nitrite||Below 10.0 ppm|
|pH||6.5 to 8.5|
|Total Chlorine||Below 4 ppm|
|Total Hardness||50 ppm or less|
Do other options exist for more testing? Of course they do… but the WaterSafe Science Fair Project Test Kit offers a good sampling (8 parameters for 10 bodies of water) of tests for a reasonable cost — around $80. If that option does not suit your budget, WaterSafe also makes the same kit in a smaller size that tests up to 4 bodies of water for the same water quality parameters for around $40.
Got bigger testing plans?
If you believe you will want to perform long-term testing and will need 25 to 50 tests per water quality parameter, SenSafe manufactures a par of kits called the Well Driller Standard and Well Driller Master test kits which both come with plenty of testing supplies to keep testing projects of longer duration well-stocked.