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Testing Bore Water – Arsenic and Mercury

Home Forums OVER THE BACK FENCE Property Tales Testing Bore Water – Arsenic and Mercury

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    Hi All,

    We’re getting a test kit for our bore water which tests all the standard things (iron, copper, biological, ph, alkilinity etc) but doesn’t do arsenic or mercury. The kit is $65.

    The test kit for mercury is about $59 and the Arsenic one is $129!!

    Has anyone had their bore water tested for these 2 substances? Do you reckon it’s safe to skip that test, or should we fork out the money to check that as well?

    Thanks. Russell.

    Edited title so that it displays appropriately on home page. Lady B 18:28 Oct 1.


    Hi Russell

    I’m not sure what your area is like but over here Arsenic is a major contaminant in underground water supplies thanks to the railways.

    Apparently they used to use heaps of it to clean out the steam engines so all along the railway corridor and around stations the land and water is badly contaminated. No-one is allowed to build in the worst affected areas around railway lines and any land along the floodways is also contaminated.

    I don’t think the cost is that high if your going to be using the water for growing food or livestock but ask locals in the area and see if these poisons are likely to be in the water.


    I am presuming these kits will do multiple tests? For that money I am wondering if it would be worthwhile just sending off the samples to as laboratory? Having worked in a lab myself, I am always suspect about the accuracy of these kits…


    Problem is, no one seems to be able to tell us anyone who can do testing. I have seen some information that lab tests cost around $400, but I’m not sure if that includes everything.

    We are also 3/4 way down the great dividing range. Our water should be coming out of the rainforest, so I’m hoping that means it should be clean. I believe others in the area are drinking their bore water, but I’m not sure if they’ve had it tested. Our water will be for the animals and the vege garden, so it is a little bit of a concern.



    Hi Russell,

    Here in NSW the Department Of Agriculture will do water tests, you should check with the QLD equivalent :tup:


    Well the Dept of Primary industries site has nothing, and the Dept of Natural Resouces and Water says very little, except to look uner the yellow pages for “analysts”. The few people who the council did suggest ringing have all said they don’t do it anymore.

    I got my test kit figures wrong too. I think I can get 2 low-range arsenic test for $65 and 50 mercury tests (why i need 50 I’m not sure, but that seems to be the minimum) for about $50. That’s $180 total for the 3 tests, sort of more than what I originally hoped for. I also can’t get the mercury and arsenic tests for 4 weeks if I want them 🙁


    Lady BeeLady Bee

    Russell, interested to know how you went with your bore water. Any chance of an update?


    Get your bore water tested before use. Google and find a site which tells what lab can do it. Dont bother with home testing except for pH as they are unreliable and expensive, there not convenient if there wrong!! I have a filter on my water supply which filters out nasties, again google for the best filter. Good luck, Cheers GR.


    Bore water Testingl 24 hour turn around $185.00


    waht are you using the water for? as doing a single test over time in itself is going to be considered to be unreliable as the system could become contaminated at any given time, so the way i see it those tests are expensive and only realy tell you what you have at that moment in time.

    would be safer to rely on tanks and dam.



    Have you tried your council – ours did them – there was a charge I think it was around $70 we did get a written report – can’t remember whether arsenic was in it – but one of the bores was not fit for human consumption and the reasons were given. So it might be worth a try if you are looking for water testers.

    Lady BeeLady Bee

    This thread is over 12 months old and Russell hasn’t made an appearance on ALS since October, so don’t hold out much hope for him responding here. He may surprise us though!


    Try SWEP laboratories. They are cheaper than that and do soil testing as well. I have used them and they are really helpful interpreting results. They are the ones Pat Colbey and a lot of organic farmers recommend to!


    Hmmm, maybe he went ahead and drank the water without testing……

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