Fecal Test Kits
Fecal bacteria is a common cause of illness from contaminated water. The fecal bacteria that cause illness commonly come from birds, geckos, cats, rats, etc. We offer simple, easy-to-use fecal bacteria indicator test kits to test your water for fecal bacteria. These water tests are useful to regularly monitor your water quality and your disinfection units inexpensively at home.
Fecal bacteria indicator water test kits are $5.00.
Chlorine & pH Test Kits
If you use Chlorine (bleach or solid) to disinfect your catchment system it can be difficult to know if you have enough chlorine in your tank to kill the bacteria and viruses. The correct amount of chlorine to have in your tank is between 0.2 parts per million (PPM) and 1.0 ppm. The department of health has recommended 1.0 ppm so that you will have a residual amount of chlorine in your tank to handle contaminants as they enter the system.
It is difficult to find a test for Chlorine that measures acurately at this low level. Swimming pool kits often measure higher concentrations. We found some simple test strips by HF Scientific called "Chlorine Micro Check" which measure low concentrations of Chlorine.
These test strips can be found in chemical supply stores and at the UH CTAHR Cooperative Extension office.
pH testingpH measures how acidic or basic your water is. You can buy pH test kits at most swimming pool supply stores and we also have pH test strips in our office. Normally, rainwater is acidic (low pH), and here on the Big Island, our rain may be extra acidic because of our active volcano. While acidic rain is not considered a health problem, it can leach copper from pipes and turns tubs and sinks blue/green. It can also leach lead from old pipes and other metal roofing materials into the rainwater catchment.
How to Buy a Test Kit
All test kits are available for purchase at the Cooperative Extension office between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at:
UH Manoa-CTAHR Komohana Research and Extension Center
875 Komohana Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Chlorine test kits are $20.00 each for 50 strips. pH Test Strips are $10 for 90 strips
Realizing that many people cannot come in to our office to pick up a water test kit, we can mail you a test kit. Please call or email for shipping costs. (808) 329-2861.
We only accept cash or checks. Checks are payable to: RCUH and can be sent to:
UH Manoa CTAHR Cooperative Extension Service
P.O. Box 489
Kailua-Kona, HI 96745
Need More Information?
For a more thorough water test, we recommend submitting your water sample to a certified water quality lab. Some are listed in the Catchment Services Directory.
Questions? Please call Chantal Chung, Sea Grant Extension Assistant or Pelika Bertelmann, Sea Grant Extension Agent 808 329-2861, or email Chantal.