Drinking and Wastewater Testing: Which Parameters to Test?

It is important to monitor drinking water quality to ensure it is safe for human consumption and meets legal standards. Wastewater monitoring is also important to ensure contaminants aquatic life is protected from harmful chemicals. Drinking and wastewater monitoring can require testing of many different parameters, some are routine, and some are troubleshooting parameters which do not require as frequent testing. Palintest’s Lumiso Expert offers over 75 tests including all the key chemical parameters required for monitoring drinking and wastewater.


Chlorine and Chlorine Dioxide

One of the most common chemicals to test in drinking water is the disinfectant used, and two of the most popular disinfectants used are chlorine and chlorine dioxide. Most drinking water is still treated with chlorine to prevent harmful pathogens causing illness. Chlorine may be added as free chlorine or as combined chlorine depending on multiple factors including how quickly the water is to be consumed and the potential for formation of disinfection by-products.

Chlorine dioxide is often used in drinking water treatment, usually towards the end of the distribution network to control specific pathogens, but it is also sometimes used as a pre-treatment for metal removal from the raw water entering a treatment plant.

It is important to test chlorine and chlorine dioxide level in drinking water to ensure there is sufficient chlorine for effective disinfection, but also not too high a concentration to cause adverse health effects if consumed. Testing for free, combined, and total chlorine along with chlorine dioxide and other disinfectants is possible using the Lumiso Expert photometer. Utilising the Lumiso optical set-up, this instrument provides accurate and reliable results which are consistent across our whole range of Lumiso photometers, so disinfectant testing across handheld and benchtop instruments is standardised


Iron and Manganese

Iron and manganese are metals present at high levels in some natural and treated waters due to them being washed from minerals in rocks during weathering processes. Iron is also sometimes used as part of water treatment processes. However, the presence of high levels of these metals, specifically iron, can affect the taste of water, and high concentrations can discolour drinking water. In addition, high concentrations of manganese can cause black discoloration and deposits. Therefore, it is common to remove iron during drinking water processing.

Due to the reasons above, iron is a very common chemical parameter test for drinking water. Palintest offers three options for iron testing on the Lumiso Expert, more information on the different iron tests available can be found in this article. Manganese testing is also made quick and simple using the Lumiso Expert.



Aluminium can also be present in water naturally through weathering processes causing it to dissolve from soils or rocks, and this is more common where water is acidic. Also, aluminium sulfate is often using as a coagulant in drinking water treatment to remove suspended solids. Therefore, aluminium testing is required to control aluminium coagulation and filtration processes during drinking water processing.

The Lumiso Expert makes testing simple and easy, especially for tests which are less routine, through the inclusion of on-screen test instructions which demonstrate how to perform the test step-by-step using illustrated instructions. These can be referenced when performing any test, meaning training needs are minimised.



Ammonia is a chemical parameter which is especially important in wastewater processing and treatment. Ammonia concentration can reach extremely high levels in wastewater due to digestion of nitrogen-containing organic waste. When released into the environment, high levels of ammonia are toxic to aquatic life due to a process known as eutrophication. This is where high concentrations of nitrogen, phosphates and other parameters can lead to high levels of aquatic plant growth and algal blooms which cover the surface of the water, block sunlight and use up all the dissolved oxygen. This means aquatic life can no longer survive.

Therefore, the removal of ammonia has become a legal requirement and part of the process for the treatment of wastewater and sewage. The Lumiso Expert photometer offers multiple different reagents and measuring ranges for ammonia testing to ensure there is a test suitable for all users.







The chemical parameters discussed in this article are just a selection of the chemical testing required for drinking and wastewater treatment. The Lumiso Expert offers multiple tests for these plus many more chemical parameters to cover all of your drinking and wastewater testing needs. A full list of tests available on the Lumiso Expert photometer can be found in our Lumiso Brochure which can be downloaded here.

To find out more about Lumiso Expert or request a quote, contact a member of the team by clicking here.

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