Posted in the TB2000 Forum: Testing your water in the Year 2000 : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Some people have been emailing me and asking how they might begin to test the level of chlorine and ammonia contamination in their city water. Shortly, I'll be updating the 14 days of Prep sheet with this information.

Large pet stores or aquatic pet stores sell chlorine and ammonia testing kits for aquariums. The test kit usually includes a plastic vial, tablets, and a color guide to the levels of chlorine and ammonia in your tap water. While fish (i.e. gold fish, etc.) can only tolerate low levels of chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia, the test usually can provide an accurate reading of twice the toxic level that would kill fish instantly. It can also give some indication beyond that level. The way the test proceeds, you fill the vial with tap water, add a tablet and shake it up (or swirl a test strip in the vial) for so many minutes. The higher the cholorine or ammonia level, the quicker the color of the test liquid will change. In some cases, I have had the test liquid change within a few seconds before a tablet was half way dissolved. In such cases, I don't drink the water.

In the next few days, I will be researching what level of chlorine and ammonia is considered harmful to human health. I'll make another post about this when I find out the answer. If you already have the answer, please email me your answer with your source.

Warning: if you decide to pick up the test kits and happen to see aquarium chemicals for dechlorinating tap water, DO NOT GET AQUARIUM DECHLORINATORS FOR YOUR USE OR GARDEN USE. These chemicals are highly toxic to non-fish life (that means you and your pets).

Stan Faryna

Got 14 days of preps? If not, get started now. Click here.

-- Stan Faryna (, October 01, 1999


That's good but what about floride? remember that test a Utah water treatment plant did and it dumped lethal amounts of floride in the water.

-- Steve Cooper (, October 01, 1999.

Does anyone know of a filter that filters out nitrates? We have nitrates in our well and have reverse osmosis but its very slow and requires the pump which of course requires electricity.

-- Stacia (, October 01, 1999.

A prudent approach would be to NOT use public water sources from 12/30/99 through 1/15/00.

Articles that I have read over at the EPA website discuss that some water pathogens (cryptosporidium, giardia???) cannot be detected by the water treatment plants.

The only way that these facilities know that there is a problem is that people suspect digestive problems, visit their physician, run tests, get the results back, physician suspects a problem, and then he/she notifies the water treatment plant.

The problem seems to be either that the pathogens are too small to be detected OR perhaps diluted in too much water to be measured.

Sooooo, it's similar to a FOF (fix-on-failure) scenario. Hard to believe, but true. I can get the links if you want to see for yourself.

-- G (, October 02, 1999.

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