A recent study calls into question the reliability of
test kits for water quality testing.
Test kit results were found to have
?unacceptable differences? from more
precise lab tests, some as much as 300 percent, according
to Dr. Damian Kachlakev, director of the National Pool
Industry Research Center at California Polytechnic State
University in San Luis Obispo.
Manufacturers in the study were Taylor Technologies,
AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strips, Jack?s
Magic Products, Palintest USA, LaMotte Co., and Pentair
Water Pool and Spa.
The study used two identical water samples. Kits tested
the first sample, while the second was tested in a lab
using strict ASTM procedures.
Each test was assessed by a team of three people,
including a manufacturer representative. Other team members
were from the Independent Pool & Spa Service
Association, National Plasterers Council, United Pool
Association, and the Association of Pool & Spa
NPIRC already has begun the second phase of the study,
in which six universities around the nation will invite the
same test-kit manufacturers to participate. Each university
will test two water samples tap, or common, water
and campus swimming pool water.
Those samples also will be tested in the lab using ASTM
procedures, Kachlakev explained. A team consisting of the
NPIRC associate director and representatives from IPSSA,
UPA, NPC and APSP will travel to each college to act as
witnesses, bringing with them the tap water sample and a
test kit purchased directly from the manufacturers.
Kachlakev said that the universities then would purchase a
second kit from a local pool retailer.
How results will be revealed has not yet been
determined. Manufacturers will not know the results of
other companies? kits unless they agree to support
the publication of the results, with the brand names
provided, Kachlakev said.