Rapid screening and testing with test strips.

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A number of key parameters can be measured in water using test strips. Test strips are a cost effective, convenient and easy to use supplement to chemical test kits and instrument tests. Test strips are very useful for screening purposes for example to make sure that a sanitizer has reached an effective level or has been reduced by rinsing to a minimal level. Most require only a single step but a few require use of a small number of reagents. Test strips with reagents are usually self contained and are designed for ease of use and can be used in the field.

Applications for test strips are in drinking water, aquariums and aquaculture, hydroponics, environmental water quality monitoring, swimming pools and sanitation for food processing to name a few!

Here are a few examples of types of test strips.

pH. pH is one of the most important factors to measure in water supplies. Many important processes in water change the pH, for example poor aeration. Also the pH of water can determine other aspects like metal solubility and disinfection efficiency. Choose pH Fix test strips for low buffered solutions that can include drinking water. The pH-Fix strips at pH 4.5 to 10 can test the common range for pH in water for industrial or domestic use. See them at pH test strips.

Macherey Nagel Duotest pH test strips are supplied in tear off 5 m reels. They have improve accuracy over a narrow range. Duotest test strips for several pH ranges are available.

See details for Duotest test strips at Duotest pH test strips.


Aquariums / aquaculture

Ammonia. These test strips measure total ammonia and ammonium. Ammonia comes mostly from decomposing organic matter. Decomposition uses up oxygen. If there is enough oxygen the ammonia is usually removed. But if there is too much organic matter then ammonia levels can build up. Ammonia levels are therefore a good indicator of water quality and are important particularly for drinking water quality and aquariums. See them at Hach Aquachek ammonia test strips.

Macherey Nagel Quantofix ammonium test strips.



Nitrate / nitrite. Applications are aquaria and water quality monitoring. Usually elevated levels of nitrate indicate some contamination of water supplies. Levels should not exceed 3 mg/l nitrite for drinking. Nitrite is the more serious problem in drinking water. Generally if water is well oxygenated nitrite will not build up. High nitrite is therefore often a symptom of anaerobic conditions. See them at Hach Aquachek nitrate / nitrite test strips.


Arsenic. Many water supplies that come from underground sources contain arsenic. See them at Macherey Nagel Quantofix arsenic test strips.

Hardness. Hardness in water is mostly a measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium ions present. The amount of calcium and magnesium in water impacts industrial applications, drinking water quality and irrigation water quality. See them at Hach Aquachek total hardness test strips.


Swimming pool

Free and total chlorine. When chlorine is used to disinfect water the goal is to leave a minimum level of around 0.5 mg/l free chlorine. If the water contains any ammonia, which is sometimes the case in rural supplies, some of the chlorine will react with the ammonia. Although the resulting chloramines have a reduced disinfecting effect they are more stable. Chloramines are sometimes preferred in larger water distribution systems. The difference between total chlorine and free chlorine is the chloramines. See them at Hach Aquachek free and total chlorine test strips.

The Hach Aquachek 5 in 1 test strips will test for alkalinity and 4 other factors free and total chlorine, total hardness and pH. See them at Hach Aquachek test strips.


Water quality

Total dissolved iron. Because iron levels affect water quality for drinking, irrigation and beverage production measuring the iron content is important so the most appropriate method of treatment can be used. See them at Hach Aquachek total dissolved iron test strips.

Copper. Copper levels are often monitored in home water to detect corrosion in a plumbing system. See them at Hach Aquachek copper test strips.

Alkalinity. This is an important factor in applications such as swimming pools, brewing and aquariums. Hach Aquachek Total Alkalinity test strips.



For many CIP Clean-in-Place applications, peroxide and peracetic acid disinfectants are used. Peroxide test strips are available in 3 ranges, 25 ppm, 100 ppm and 1000 ppm. The lower range strips test for low to trace amounts of peroxide and are designed to test for any remaining peroxide in food and beverages. The higher range peroxide strips are designed for testing effective sanitation levels in wash solutions. See them at Macherey Nagel Peroxide test strips.

Peracetic acid PAA test strips are designed to detect effective PAA in sanitizing solutions. The Lamotte 160 ppm PAA test strips tests in the low range and the Lamotte 1000 ppm PAA test strips test in the high range for disinfecting solutions. Read about them at Lamotte PAA test strips.

See the full range of test strips at Test strips.

Where to now? Read The two most important factors in water quality.

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