Arsenic in tap water

How to Test Water for Arsenic

Elsie Goycoolea
By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Test Water for Arsenic

Unless you use a water filtration system on your tap water, you might be drinking water containing unsafe levels of heavy metals. One compound that can be found in drinking water is arsenic. Arsenic is a poisonous metalloid that can get to drinking water wells as a result of natural erosion processes and other man-made practices. It tends to remain in the body and it can have a damaging cumulative effect in the body. Therefore, it is important that you know how to test water for arsenic and learn how safe is your drinking water.

In this OneHowTo article we explain how to test water for arsenic.

You may also be interested in: How To Lower pH Levels In Water Naturally

Steps to follow:


In the past, arsenic measurements could only be performed by professional businesses that used specialized instruments. Today, there is way for an average consumer to test their home’s arsenic water level and pH levels.

How to Test Water for Arsenic - Step 1

In the market you may find inorganic arsenic testing kits that are patented and will give you accurate results. Some of the most popular ones are provided by LaMotte and PureEarth Technologies.

The test kits will test for inorganic arsenic compounds that are reduced to arsine gas when a water sample interacts with multiple reagents.


You will be supplied with a water bottle, several powders known as reagents and test strips to measure the concentration sample. Alongside you will find some detail instructions that you must follow carefully.

How to Test Water for Arsenic - Step 3

You will be asked to fill in the water bottle. Make sure that the water sample is accurate to the water that you drink on a usual basis. If needed let it run for a few minutes.


Then you will start adding the reagents. Add one at a time as indicated by the instructions and shake the bottle each time.


After you have added the reagents, take a test strip and introduce it in the bottle as required. Then wait between 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful with this step as there are very harmful compounds and gases inside the bottle.

How to Test Water for Arsenic - Step 6

Once you have dipped your test strip and waited, use your color chart to compare the color of your test strip with the arsenic level measurement. Most testing kits produce accurate results up to 0.3 ppb of arsenic.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed a safe limit of 10ppb (or micrograms per liter) for drinking tap water and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a maximum of 5ppb for bottled water.

If your test results show a high level of arsenic in your drinking water you may be interested in installing a water treatment system in your home. The options include using professional water filtration systems that monitor daily arsenic levels, distillation processes and reverse osmosis systems that can reduce arsenic III and arsenic IV compounds.


We also suggest that you talk with your local or regional authorities in order to investigate the causes of high arsenic levels in your building's water system. It is possible that the contamination may have originated from a leakage in private wells and thus this problem may be affecting more people.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Test Water for Arsenic, we recommend you visit our Healthy living category.

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How to Test Water for Arsenic