Using At-Home Water Testing to Show That Science Matters

I live in a house of explorers. Whether my kids are busy digging for worms or searching for fossils, one thing is for sure.

There is no shortage of science in this homeschool.

I’ll admit that I’ve been blessed to have children who are open to making new discoveries, but one thing I really wanted to impress upon them is that while science is fun, it really matters, too. It’s so much more than candy volcanoes and making oobleck. 

I’m certainly not downplaying the importance of activities such as those, but the fact is that science is practical, it’s important, and it impacts everything we do. Unfortunately, though, other than studying why yeast makes bread rise, I was having a hard time locating experiments that didn’t seem trivial in the grand scheme of things.

(I received this product for free and was compensated for my time writing this post. All opinions are entirely my own.)

That’s when I stumbled upon

Testing Our Drinking Water

The idea to test our drinking water came upon me one day as I noticed how cloudy our tap water is. Since we do not have well water but have actually taken a field trip to our city’s water treatment facility, I began to suspect that our city’s water wasn’t as clean as we thought it was.

When I came across the School and Science Fair Kit offered by, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity for me to demonstrate to my kids that their scientific discoveries can and do have a direct impact on our everyday lives.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.)

Since this kit contains enough materials to test four separate water samples, my kids and I thought it would be fun if we tested water from four areas in order to compare the results.

We chose to use samples from:

  • Bottled water
  • Tap water
  • Trout Creek
  • Lehigh Parkway (also a creek)

Truth be told, my kids had as much fun collecting the water samples as they did testing them.

Our Water Testing Experiment

On the day we planned to finally perform this test, the kids were bubbling with excitement and speculations about what the results would be. Some questions we had been pondering besides our concern about the safety of our drinking water were:

  • Is bottled water worth the extra money?
  • Is our beloved Lehigh Parkway safe to swim in?
  • Does Trout Creek suffer from any contamination?

As much as my kids love to explore and discover, they were noticeably invested in this activity because they knew it mattered.

When I received this testing kit, I didn’t realize how in-depth these tests would be. I honestly expected one piece of litmus paper per sample, and that would be that.

Not so!

It turned out there were three litmus tests and one tablet for an iron test for all four samples, plus a TDS meter to test the hardness of the water.

It was mind-boggling for me to watch my kids have so much fun performing these tests while at the same time taking them very seriously. They were extremely meticulous because they knew how important this was.

Our At-Home Water Test Results

Although I thought I was prepared for the worst when we took this test on, I was honestly shocked at the results.

Out of the four samples we used, our tap water had the most contamination. The. most.

In fact, I jokingly told my kids we’d be better off getting buckets of water at the creek. What was most troubling was that two of the contaminants in our drinking water actually exceeded the limits recommended by the EPA.

Not good.

So what did my kids learn from all of this?

They learned that:

  • Since bottled water has almost no contamination, it is definitely worth the money.
  • Swallowing a little water at the creek probably won’t make anyone sick.
  • We are in desperate need of a water filter.
  • The hard work they put into this experiment has protected the health of our family and everyone we informed of the results.

What better way to show them the importance of science than that?

If you’re interested in testing your drinking water, is offering my readers 10% off of anything on their website with the code: BACKTOSCHOOL17 (This offer expires 10/1/17)

Some products that may interest you are:

School Experiment / Science Fair Water Testing Kit

Complete Home Water Testing Kit

Lead In Water Test Kit

Well Water Testing Kit

And one more thing- enter the Giveaway! (Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.)

Have you done water testing? What were your results?



Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

10 thoughts on “Using At-Home Water Testing to Show That Science Matters”

  1. Shocking how much stuff ends up in our water, isn’t it?!? I certainly doesn’t seem right that you’re on city water and you’re still drinking contaminates. But, I’ve heard that people flush their unused prescription pills down the toilet and all of that garbage ends up trickling back into the water supply as well. EGADS! We have one of those PUR water pitchers which is supposed to take quite a lot of the junk out of the water. It also helps remove agricultural runoff, which is important to me since we live next to a farm. I hope you’re able to get your water situation figured out!

    Liked by 1 person

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