Opportunities to test your drinking water

Water quality - test methods in comparison

Austria has drinking water in the highest quantity and of sufficient quality. Nevertheless, the quality of the drinking water can reach the end consumer in unsatisfactory quality. House pipes and fittings can be responsible for this; Contamination in the control system or undesirable environmental inputs such as nitrate or pesticides. That is why many consumers rightly take the opportunity to subject their tap water to a quality test. There are several ways for consumers to get a quality check. We want to point out three common methods and their advantages and disadvantages:


Test method



Test strips

 + Inexpensive

 + Easy to use

 + Fast result

 + Initial indication


 - Inaccurate results (mostly  

   Color scale - no measured values)

 - Possible application errors

 - Therefore limited scope of measurement

 - several different test strips

   necessary for several measured values

 - Mostly only bulk packs (several

   Pieces) can be ordered


Self-tests with laboratory analysis

 + Manageable costs

 + Easy sampling

 + Laboratory analysis

 + Exact results

 + Sufficient scope of analysis

 + Very good self-control option

 - Therefore self-sampling

 - possible errors in the


 - It is necessary to send the sample to the laboratory incl.

   Shipping time

 - Not an officially recognized type of

   Sampling (self-sampling)


External sampling by qualified samplers

 + Exact type of sampling

 + Officially recognized

 + Faster, direct transport to

    Laboratory by sampler

 + Laboratory analysis

 + Exact results


 - costs

 - Expenditure (sampler comes after

   Home; Coordinate appointment,

   Presence etc.)





Test strips can definitely be used for a quick overview check of individual values. This makes sense especially for frequently recurring tests (e.g. aquarium or pool) where no exact values are required.

The self-tests with laboratory analysis enable simple sampling with the advantage of an exact laboratory analysis and that at mostly manageable costs. If the analysis result is officially required, this must be clarified beforehand with the relevant body to determine whether the self-test is recognized. The transport time to the laboratory can affect certain bacteriological parameters in the event of delays.

If you take on the costs and effort of having a sample taken by an external, qualified sampler, you have the official confirmation of the measured values. Any incorrect self-sampling is also excluded and rapid transport to the laboratory is guaranteed.

Our conclusion

Depending on requirements and the situation, each test method has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, no method is to be rejected or a method is particularly recommended. AQA offers both self-tests with laboratory analysis and sampling by qualified samplers. Test strips for different applications can be obtained at any time in hardware stores, drug stores or on the Internet.