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RE: New test kits from Hagen

Richard (in Ontario) asked:

> I also tried to test my tap
> water, but with
> same result (110ppm). Is it possible to have Nitrates in tap
> water? Does anybody
> has experience with the Hagen test kits? How can I find out how
> accurate it is?

You say that you tested both your aquarium water AND your tap water an
obtained a reading of 110ppm?

It is quite possible to have Nitrates in tap water, but Ontario is an
awfully big place.... it would help to know the exact town or city you are
living in. Any municipality within Ontario will gladly (well, at least they
will send it) send you a copy of the latest (could be several years out of
date) water analysis of the water as supplied from the treatment plant.
That's the place to start. B.T.W., in Toronto, the water contains between
0.511 - 0.283 ppm Nitrate and the Ontario Drinking Water Objective is a
maximun of 10ppm Nitrate. So I rather doubt that this is an accurate reading
from your test kit, if you live anywhere with a municipal water supply.

If you are on a well, and live in an agricultural area, the high nitrates
could be contamination from fertilizer run-off. But you should not have been
able to get a permit to use such a well (given the high nitrate reading, if
it is accurate).

It could also be either poor/improper handling procedure when conducting the
test or out of date reagents (it happens). Take a water sample into the
place where you bought the test kit and ask that they test it, preferably
with a test kit other than Hagen's. If there is a difference, ask for your
money back.

James Purchase