First off you will need to start by doing what’s called sensory analysis.
The quality of water can easily be evaluated with the help of the senses. Even professionals like water engines will examine water by smelling, tasting and touching it before coming up with a verdict.
Though this kind of practice is not 100% accurate as compared to a test kit, it can also provide valuable information.
Sense of Smell
It is very critical to smell water since different scents can show different contaminants. When water smell likes bleach, this should be disinfected by the local water treatment facility with chlorine. When water is exposed it will be easy for the scent to dissipate.
When water smells like rotten eggs, this may indicate that bacteria has developed on the way to the faucet. This can be tested by filling a glass with water then taking it to another location in the house.
After a few minutes, if the water smells like sulfur, this may have come from the drain and therefore, this should be cleaned. When both hot and cold waters have a rotten egg smell and continue to have this scent in different places in a house, then the contamination can be traced back to the municipal pipes.
Water that smells earthy or musty must likely be brought about by decay or decomposition of organic matter. This can be tested like the water with the rotten egg smell by filling a glass with water then taking it to another part of the house to ensure that the scent does not come from the drain. Though such smell is unpleasant, it is harmless.
Sense of Taste
When it comes to tasting water, it is important to remember that water that tastes foul should not be swallowed. When water comes with a metallic taste, it has a low pH level or contains too many minerals. When the water tastes like bleach, it has been been treated with chlorine. If it is salty, sulphates or chlorine ions may be present in the water. Such compounds show an industrial / irrigation drainage.
Sense of Sight
Another way to test the quality of water is to fill a glass with water and hold it where there is light. The water may have some particles floating in it or look cloudy. If the particles are brown, orange or red, the pipes / fixtures may be rusty. If they are black, this may be because of the hoses through which water flows through.
Hoses can deteriorate over a period of time because of chlorine. If the water is cloudy or has white and tan particles, this shows that it has a high level of hardness. Generally, hardness is caused by too much calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate in water. It is important to use the eyes in closely examining the color of water.
Before filling a glass with water to test, it would be best to allow water to run for a number of minutes to let possible buildup in fixtures pass. Then when the glass is held in a well lighted place and it shows that water is brown, discolored or murky, it is contaminated. This may be caused by rust on pipes or upstream pollution, among others.
It is also easy to see if fixtures and pipes are in good condition and if they function well. If it has a buildup of minerals or corrosion, this might penetrate the source of water and pollute it. In case the pipes are on top of the ground, they must be checked for leaks as well as blue or white sediments.