How To Test Drinking Water: 2 Quick Ways

If you’re looking to test drinking water and test tap water in your home (UK), there’s a couple of quick ways to do this without the need for professional help or needing specialist laboratories.

Testing your tap water is important, especially if you don’t feel like the quality of your drinking water is up to standard, or your drinking water has a funny taste or smell to it. In this article, I will go through the benefits of testing your home tap water, why you should always test your drinking water in certain circumstances, and the products and steps you’ll need to take to successfully test your tap water.

It is worth noting that all tap water in the UK is safe to drink, so testing your water and then deciding on whether you want to use a filter will be entirely to improve the taste, smell and appearance of your water.

Below is a handy table of contents. Clicking on any of the article headers below will jump you straight to the place on this page you are interested in. I am an Amazon Associate, and earn commissions on qualifying purchases.

Test Drinking Water & Test Tap Water: The Benefits

how to test drinking water tap water uk

There are many benefits of testing drinking water in your home, here are just a few of them:

  1. Health and Safety: One of the primary benefits of testing drinking water is to ensure its safety for human consumption. Water can contain various contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides. Testing helps identify any potential health hazards and ensures that the water meets the required safety standards. Regular testing helps protect individuals from waterborne illnesses and other health issues.
  2. Water quality issues may arise due to various factors, including contamination, ageing infrastructure such as old pipework, or environmental changes. Regular testing allows for the early detection of any problems or changes in water quality. It helps identify potential sources of contamination, such as malfunctioning treatment systems or nearby pollution sources. Early detection enables prompt corrective actions such as the use of filters, preventing further deterioration of water quality and potential health risks
  3. Protection of Vulnerable People: Some individuals, such as new borns, infants, elderly people, or those with compromised immune systems, are more susceptible to the health effects of contaminated or poor quality water. Regular testing helps protect these vulnerable people by ensuring that the water they consume is safe, up to standard and meets their specific needs.
  4. Peace of mind: There’s nothing better than knowing the water you and your family consume is safe and meets the required standards.

So there are many reasons why people test drinking water in their homes, and below I’m going to show you two different methods of testing drinking water or testing tap water quickly and easily yourself at home.

All-In-One Water Testing Strips

This all in one water testing solution comes in strips that test for a variety of contaminants in your water.

These are strips which you place in a glass of water for a few seconds, and the squares indicating each parameter will change colour. Then all you need to do is compare the colours to the chart provided, which will give you an indication of how pure your drinking water actually is.

There’s also an ‘ideal’ range marked on this chart to give you an idea if the range that is displayed is in an acceptable area, or over the accepted area.

Contaminants that show up as above the acceptable area will contribute to tap water that doesn’t taste great, doesn’t smell great and doesn’t look great, and from here you can make an informed decision on whether a water filter is worthwhile or not.

Water Testing Kits for Drinking Water 125 Strips - 16 in 1 Drinking Water Test Kit - Water Test Strips with Hardness, Lead, Iron, Copper
2,466 Reviews
Water Testing Kits for Drinking Water 125 Strips – 16 in 1 Drinking Water Test Kit – Water Test Strips with Hardness, Lead, Iron, Copper
  • 【Calling for Health】We needs to identify and ensure that our home drinking water is safe and clean, free from common contaminants, and not contaminated above EPA Recommended Safe Levels (Maximum Contaminant Levels) to protect our health.

The parameters measured with these testing strips are as follows:

  • Nitrate content
  • Nitrite content
  • Free chlorine content
  • Total chlorine content
  • Bromine content
  • MPS content
  • Copper content
  • Iron content
  • Lead content
  • Nickel content
  • Sulphite content
  • Cyanuric acid content
  • Carbonate content
  • Total alkalinity
  • Total hardness ppm

For most people, this will give a good indication of the quality of your tap water, and the steps you need to take to improve it.

This is highly recommended and is well-reviewed. You can check the latest price, reviews and more information by clicking here: Water Strip Home Testing Kit (

Digital TDS Tester

This digital Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) tester will give you a reading to the closest 1ppm of the hardness or softness of your water. This will only give you the TDS readout, and will not give you any other information.

But what does TDS mean?

TDS is a measurement of how hard or soft your water is. You’ll have no doubt heard the words ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ to describe water, and it simply means the amount of solids that have dissolved into the water. The higher the TDS, the ‘harder’ the water is (and the more unpleasant it is).

The lower the TDS, the ‘softer’ your water is (and is more pleasant to drink).

TDS is all to do with where your water comes from and what minerals and contaminants are dissolved into the water, and this is highly dependent on your geographic location.

Simply dip the end of the tester in some water, and it will give you a numerical readout, which you can then compare to the chart to see how your water measures up.

HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Quality TDS Tester, 0-9990 ppm Measurement Range, 1 ppm Resolution, 3% Readout Accuracy
7,130 Reviews
HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Quality TDS Tester, 0-9990 ppm Measurement Range, 1 ppm Resolution, 3% Readout Accuracy
  • Economy model that is ideal for end-users. Highly efficient and accurate due to its advanced microprocessor technology.
  • Hold Function: saves measurements for convenient reading and recording and battery life is approx. 1000 hours of usage and power source is 2 x 1.5V button cell batteries (included) (LR44 or equivalent)

This is an excellent little device which is also handy when you do use a filter, because testing when using a tap filter or jug filter will give an indication as to when you need to change your filter.

This is an excellent, cheap and affordable solution for testing TDS levels, and comes highly recommended.

You can check the price, the reviews or purchase this by clicking here: Digital TDS Tester (

Test Drinking Water FAQ

Below are some quicks FAQs surrounding the testing of drinking water and tap water in your home.

Why Would I Want To Test My Tap Water?

Many people in the UK test drinking water to establish how soft or hard their water is, in order to make a decison about buying products like under sink tap water filters or water filter jugs. They also test tap water if there is suddenly a smell or odour to their water, or when a new born baby is due.

Do I Need To Test Tap Water In My Home?

Tap water in the UK is safe to drink, and tap water standards are regulated by the DWI. However, tap water quality is heavily dependent on your geograpic location. You don’t need to test your tap water if you are happy with the tatse of your tap water, but testing will give an indication of how to improve the qaulity of your water via filters.

I Have Lead Pipes Coming Into My Property, Should I Test My Tap Water?

100% yes. It is important to test whether lead is present in your tap water, especially if you have children, a new born baby or a baby on the way. If your property was built before 1970, there is a probability that there will be lead pipes from the boundary of your home into your house. A water filter will be a temporary solution, but the aim should be to replace all lead pipes in time.


If you are unhappy with the appearance, taste or smell of your tap water, then testing drinking water from your tap is advisable. The results from these tests will then dictate remedial actions you can take to improve the taste and quality of your tap water.

For most people, using a simple water filter jug or under sink water tap filter will fix the problem.

However, it is always worth remembering that tap water is deemed safe to drink in the UK without the need for filters, however, filters provide a better tasting glass of water negating the need to constantly buy bottled water from the supermarket.

Other Articles You May Like

Here’s a small selection of articles you may also like from this site:

Here’s the complete list of products and links mentioned on this page.

Here’s the sources used for this article:

Questions & Comments

If you have a question or a comment on this article on how to test drinking water or how to test tap water, please use the comments box below.

I’ll try my best to reply to each and every one of your questions, comments and suggestions.

Stay Safe. Stay Secure.


My name is Richard.

I'm 40 years old. And I have nearly 20 years experience in various safety and security industries.

I'm here for you, sharing all my knowledge and experience to help you create a safe and secure home for you and your family.

Socials: Youtube / Twitter / Contact Me

Leave a comment