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Drinking Water Testing, Water Well Testing

Examination of Water. The following simple tests may be made by any one. Samples should be collected in long tubes two or three inches in diameter which should have been previously rinsed out with a little dilute hydrochloric acid and afterwards with some of the water which it is desired to examine. If river or lake water is the subject of the inquiry, the samples should be taken at various points and beneath the surface, so as to exclude scum, etc., and a note should be made in each instance of the exact locality from whence they are taken. The tubes should be well stoppered and placed in the light, but an inch or two should be left from the surface of the water to the under side of the stopper. They should stand for not less than twenty-four hours and then be examined to see if vegetation is encouraged ; this may be detected by the smell. If this is not apparent, slightly warm the tubes and test them again. A similar tube should be filled with distilled water and placed alongside the others on a sheet of white paper and the colours compared.

If a drop of Condy's Fluid (permanganate of potassium) is placed in the water and it becomes bleached in a short time, it is a sign of the presence of organic matter. A portion of the water may be evaporated and the residue burnt, when if it blackens it indicates the existence of animal organic matter.

If a sample of impure water is put on a gelatine film resting on a plate, organisms will multiply rapidly and are easily discernible under the microscope.

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