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Posted on May 18, 2010

How Should I Use a Water-Testing Kit to Determine the Acidity of Rain Water?

“Acid rain” is a term that brings with it images of badly polluted water falling from the sky. It almost has a science fiction imagery that goes with it that could give you the idea that the very rain that falls from the sky is something to be feared. There is no question that acid rain is a serious environmental problem. The term actually refers to the level of sulfur and nitrous oxide that becomes part of the rain water we get because of air pollution.

Water contamination is one of the most significant environmental problems we face today. Unlike far away problems that you cannot connect to such as global warming, water contamination is a health risk to you and your family today because it has been proven conclusively that the amount of toxins in the public water supply are dangerously high. Despite the fact that some water processing occurs before the water goes to your tap, the EPA advises all homeowners to install a reliable home water filtration system to protect their families from the dire health threats water contamination poses. Fortunately, you have reliable water filtration companies like Aquasana that have products that can assure the safety of the water that your family drinks, cooks with, or uses for showers.

Generally you think of the sources of water pollution in terms of industrial waste or pesticides and fertilizers that come from agriculture. Those sources do contribute to the pollution of the public water supply but they are not the sole cause of the current water contamination problem. Air pollution that comes from auto emissions, factory smoke, and other sources does get into the water that comes down as rain. That means that one of the most refreshing events in nature, a pleasant spring rainfall, may be soaking the land with water contaminated from air pollution. That contaminated rainwater is what is commonly referred to as “acid rain.”

It is wise to be alert to the level of water contamination in the rain in your area and that is possible using a standard water-testing kit that can tell you the pH level in the water. These water-testing kits are easy to find at a hardware store or online. Your first step in using the water-testing kit is to collect fresh rainwater. That step is not complicated.

Simply put some clean bowls or cans that can collect the rain outside during the next big storm. Since you may only get an inch or so during an average rainstorm, by putting out several clean bowls, you can get enough for use with your water-testing kit. Be sure the bowls you use are perfectly clean and not capable of contaminating the water after it falls. Also put the collection bowls away from the house so you don’t get run off from the house drains which could be contaminated by the drainpipes.

The pH water-testing kit will either have you put a tablet into a designated amount of rainwater or you will dip a chemically treated strip into the water to watch for changes in color. The water-testing kit will also come with a chart that can help you interpret the changes in color to determine what kind of water contamination is coming down with the rain. By using a water-testing kit yourself, you can know for certain how prevalent the problem is in your area rather than allowing internet reports to cause you to get alarmed because of the global problem.

Even if the water-testing kit reports a high level of water contamination in the rain, take into consideration that the water that comes out of your tap comes from the city water supply that goes through a water-processing facility. The “acid rain” that is contributing contaminated water to the public water sources is only part of a larger problem of contaminated water that is filling most metropolitan water reservoirs in this country.

While there are federal agencies and environmental protection groups working to solve this problem, as a parent and a homeowner, the best course of action is to invest in a home water filtration unit such as those provided by Aquasana to be certain that your drinking water is safe and healthy for you and your family. There may come a day when the public water supply is safe and there is no need for private citizens to install water filtration systems in their homes. That is not the case today, however, so it is practical to invest in a good water filter that you can depend on until the time comes with the public water contamination problem is resolved.