NSW Department of Primary Industries chemistry testing laboratories operate a world-class water testing service for farmers and graziers to determine the suitability of their water for agricultural and domestic applications. Water testing is carried out at the Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute NATA accredited laboratory.
A reliable water supply is a precious resource. The quality of water from bores, wells, creeks, rivers and farm dams can vary widely. Common problems include hardness, iron and salinity.
Water quality can affect plants, soils, livestock, irrigation equipment, domestic use and general farm activities. Farm water comes from a number of different sources and so its quality varies. Knowing your water quality allows you to plan for water treatments to avoid problems caused by poor water quality. It is important to identify and correct water quality problems that may affect on-farm use and productivity. If you have any doubts about the quality of water you intend to use for irrigation, stock or domestic purposes, you should get it tested.
You should have your water tested before use and sometimes during use, as water quality does not stay constant. It can vary from season to season and needs to be monitored regularly. Regular monitoring allows you to take remedial action before too much damage occurs or there is a loss of production. Most of the chemical changes to water quality cannot be detected by eye or smell, and hence require laboratory analysis. Depending on the intended use of the water, the frequency of testing required will vary.