Using a Water Testing Kit on the Homestead

Our little homestead is off-the-grid, meaning, we do not get our main utilities such as electricity and water from the city or county. Our electricity comes from a solar power system, and our water source is a natural spring located just a mile or so down the road. We haul in about 1000 gallons of water each week from the natural spring to fill our cistern. Although the natural spring has been used by many of the locals for many years before we started using it and has been tested for safety by others, having access to a water testing kit has been quite helpful recently because we discovered a small leak in our cistern. We had to empty our cistern, clean, and repair it before we could fill it with water again.

water testing kit

Disclosure: I received a free water testing kit for this review. I was not required to post a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Also, affiliate links may be used in this post.

We received these 4-pack water testing kits from, which was not only perfect to test our natural spring water source but also a great resource for science experiments and lessons in our homeschooling. These water testing kits are easy and safe to use and recommended for children in grades three through nine.

Each 4 Test Kit set features four sample containers and a total of 12 test strips with an easy to use instruction guide, comparison charts, and an electronic TDS/Temperature meter. The instruction guide can also be used to track your results while testing each water source.

The kit tests for the following:
• Chlorine (Cl)
• Copper (Cu)
• Nitrates
• Nitrites
• Alkalinity
• pH
• Hardness
• Iron (Fe)

We used the at home water testing kit to test the natural spring that we haul water in from for drinking, bathing, cleaning, etc.

water testing kits
Collecting a sample for the water testing kit from the natural spring.

What did we find out about our natural spring water source after using these Water Testing Kits?

water testing kits
Using the comparison charts to find out the results of the water test.

Our results for the natural spring were:

  • Alkalinity – 120ppm
  • Hardness – 6 Grains/100ppm
  • pH Level – 8
  • Iron – 0ppm
  • Total Chlorine – 0ppm
  • Nitrate Nitrogen – 0ppm
  • Nitrite Nitrogen – 0ppm
  • Copper – 1.3ppm

And what exactly do all of those numbers mean? First, the Nitrate and Nitrite levels are as low as they can be and that is an excellent thing. Elevated levels of Nitrates and Nitrites can be due to exposure to pesticides. The EPA has set the Action Level of Copper in drinking water at 1.3ppm, which is where ours is. The chlorine levels of the natural spring are obviously below the EPA standards; however, we do add a bit of chlorine to the water when it is in the cistern. We have not tested this yet, but that is on our to-do list to ensure that we are not adding too much.

All in all, the natural spring is a very safe source of water.

We also used the water testing kit to test the water that is in our rainwater catchment system. We don’t drink this water; it is strictly used for watering the garden and farm animals.

Our rainwater catchment system for watering our garden and farm animals.

The results were very similar to the results of the natural spring.

  • Alkalinity – 80ppm
  • Hardness – 3 Grains/50ppm
  • pH Level – 7
  • Iron – 0ppm
  • Total Chlorine – 0ppm
  • Nitrate Nitrogen – 0ppm
  • Nitrite Nitrogen – 0ppm
  • Copper – 1.3ppm

With the results of both water sources being so similar and in the “safe” zones, it makes you wonder why harvesting rainwater for consumption is illegal in many states. But that’s a topic for another time 🙂

If you are interested in learning a little more about your homes water source, I recommend heading on over to

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