Nature has evolved an efficient water cycle to deliver us clean healthy water; evaporation, rain, flowing streams and lakes.
We rely on this clean water for survival, health and sanitation.
Australia has the highest water standards in the world and with the utmost respect, because they do an amazing job, it is the responsibility of local and state water boards to keep our drinking water safe by adhering to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG, 2018).
However, as of 2019, a confluence of factors has put availability of clean healthy water under threat, even in developed countries like Australia.
Extremes in climate events (like drought or flooding) or changes in the source or mix of water used by town water authorities, can produce unexpected changes in quality of town water.
In last few days, TasWater has been in the news again with issues of Lead (Pb) in Tank water. Changes in water pH and temperature, particular when combined with ageing water delivery infrastructure, can release water pipe contaminants like Lead (Pb) or other historical chemical buildup into the town water system. This has been witnessed recently, both here in Australia with Tasmanian and New South Wales Water Supplies and in the US with the Flint water crisis - both catastrophes involving initial denial and devastation from high toxic load, particularly to children.
Other ways our water purity is under threat includes runoff from heavily fertilised agricultural land, releasing nitrates and phosphates into rivers which then feeds and stimulates blue-green Algae (cyanobacteria) growth that in turn starves the water of oxygen (which is in part responsible for the Menindee fish kill in NSW) and cause a build-up of cyanobacteria toxins that is capable of serious damage to human liver.
Additional water contamination in Australia comes from leaching from landfills and garbage centres, contamination from local industries, mining activities, fossil fuel burning precipitating mercury onto water bodies, new and aging water deployment and home plumbing infrastructure and increasing environmental microplastics and hormones. Even nuclear radioactive accidents like Fukushima and Chernobyl can affect water purity in nearby countries via forrest fire fallout along with prevailing ocean and wind currents carrying radioactive Cesium-137.
Indeed natural geological background levels of heavy metals like arsenic can cause raised levels in water above the recommended guideline levels, particularly in tank and bore water. And environmental accidents or chemical spills or neglect that release firefighting foam into the environment containing PFAS or PFOS substances burden our water with heavy metals and toxic chemicals.
Floods can also jeopardise water quality as evidenced by the floods in Brisbane, Queensland in 2010-2011, when heavy metal, pesticide and sewage contaminated water flowed through homes and businesses and entered waterways.
A top priority for local councils and water boards is to make sure our drinking water is free from bacteria and other organisms and they do this well. However, according to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) and the NSW Water Authority, chlorine and other pathogen killing chemicals are used in this process and disinfection byproducts are formed as a result that are toxic and harmful and that need to be minimised. Often not all these substances are eliminated by the time the water reaches our home.
Being informed ensures we get the best water quality available. We can then apply this knowledge to test and/or filter our water at home if quality or safety is in doubt. At Toxtest we provide affordable water testing for the public that prioritises adult and child health and utilises our world class Australian state-of-the-art Laboratory.
Additionally, we are currently researching the ultimate in water filtration and purification technologies for the home and travel that embody low-cost and highest contamination removal capabilities that require no plumbing expertise to install. We will be testing these products and make the cream of the crop available by October 2019 via Toxtest and Toxno.
A good place to start is with our extensive Core Water Test for $98. Order form is next that contains a list of metals tested along with collection and shipping instructions
Toxtest and Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL), a NATA certified laboratory (Number:14960) and division of Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, Australia, collaborate to provide affordable water testing for the public. Result presentation is visually rich, informative and prioritises human health. The Core Water Test analyses 32 heavy metals & minerals. Our sister site, Toxno, provides extensive exposure route and health effects information for all chemicals tested.
EAL Managing Director
First Nation Australians venerated and celebrated water
Have a Question?Go for it...
Quality of Town Water is informed by the latest
Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG)
yet maintained and to some degree enforced, by the states and territories, water boards/authorities and local councils. States like
, also have their own, more specific guidelines.
Tap water off course can be town, bore, tank, stream, filtered water etc.
Ground Water sources can contain heavy metals, other chemicals and radioactivity, depending on the geology. According to NSW Health , groundwater supplies should undergo comprehensive water quality testing to ensure suitability for drinking water purposes.
Surface water is water that collects on the ground or in a stream, river, lake, reservoir, or ocean. Surface water is constantly replenished through precipitation, and lost through evaporation and seepage into ground water supplies.
Many people rely on these sources of water to drink. For geological and contamination reasons, testing is recommended especially when local populations grow, industry moves in, farming ramps up or historical mining activity have left legacy heavy metals.
Sydney has a desalination plant and in Perth , water is produced by two desalination plants that make up 48% of Perth's water supply.
Tank Water – can be collected from roof, a bore, a dam, stream or carted. Tank water should be tested at least every 5 years.
Drinking water available while in School, Hospital, Aged-Care Facility, Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centre, Correctional facilities or any “captured audience” situation.
Rain Water, Filtered Water, Recycled Water, Bottled Water, Zippy Wall mounted dispenser, Water Coolers, Public Water fountains and Carted Water
Many of us in Australia can afford to test our water, examine possible exposure routes and make changes in our homes or work by implementing solutions like filtering technology.
And we can notify and lobby state governments and councils if problems arise.
In natural and man-made disasters, however, many people need help. Here is a curated list of ways to help out if you so wish and are able, both locally and abroad.
"Extremes in climate expresses itself through water. Nine out of 10 natural disasters are water-related. Water-related climate risks cascade through food, energy, urban and environmental systems... water must be at the core of adaptation strategies."
Toxtest Owner and founder, Hartmut Günther, will donate 10% of profits from ALL water testing and water filter sales on Toxtest, Toxno and Hartgoods (our online store) from October 2019 till December 2020.
He has chosen the following two organisations....
Total Amount Donated in 2020: AU$495.89
(last updated 3 January 2021)
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It's not rocket science.
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Environment Analysis Laboratories (EAL)
at Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia
Innovative visualisation, research and education
by Hartmut Günther, founder at
Toxtest and Toxno
214 Beardy St, Armidale, NSW, Australia
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Human & Environmental Chemical Testing for the Public. Innovative Result Visualisation with emphasis on Human Health