Want to dip your toe into the wonderful world of citizen science? By borrowing a kit, you get to try out Water Rangers without the full testing program commitment.
Checkout a testkit
We are just testing this new system! If you encounter any problems, if you’d like to be a testkit host for your area, or have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lending program details!
How much does it cost? This project is provided for free, however, each test costs approximately $2.50 (dissolved oxygen is pricey). If you’d like to contribute to keeping this project going, please give! Your donations allow us to provide testing equipment for youth in need.
How does borrowing a kit work, exactly? Across Canada, we’re setting up ‘lending locations’ where you can borrow one of our water quality testkits! Subject to availability, you choose your pick up/drop off location and the period for which you want to lend the kit (for most locations, up to 10 days). When you request to borrow a kit, you’ll be connected to a testkit host. Right now, most of our kits are in Ontario but we are growing quickly.
What are testkits? Testkits are a fun way to learn about water and bring communities and families together. We don’t require you to take samples to a lab! The tests are done right away, and the results are immediate! Plan on testing regularly? You can buy your own kit in our store. Please note: these tests do not determine if water is safe to drink or swim in.
There are no testkits in my region! As we get funding, we set-up new testkit locations. If you would like to sponsor a testkit location, please get in touch. Testkit lending locations cost $350 to set-up, and then $100 to resupply each year (with regular use). We try to apply for grants to help cover costs whenever possible. If you’d like to apply for a grant to set-up a lending program in your region, we can help you with language that has been successful in Ontario. Please chat with us!
What if I can’t make the drop-off date? Kits must be returned on time otherwise a late penalty of $5/day will be enforced. This program is free, however, late returns mean that other people can’t borrow!
Do I need any training? No previous experience is necessary, however we require you to follow our directions! We will provide you with a field guide, video tutorials, and a quick start guide. Then take your kit out onto the water to try it out and teach your friends and family how to use it too!
How accurate is this kit? This kit has been compared to professional probes by Carleton University with good results. Read the report.
Why is water testing important? Learn more about why water testing is important.
If a friend/family member has booked the kit right after me, do I still need to return it to the drop off location? Yes! Before each new booking we check the kit to make sure everything is in working order and stocked properly. However, you can always email us to ask.
Picking up and dropping off your testkit
You are responsible for picking up and returning your testkit on time. If you need to change dates, please email email@example.com right away.
Since we don’t have many kits, you will be asked to honour your return date. If you don’t return it on time, the next person will not be able to borrow it.
If you lose your testkit or break a part of it, you will also be responsible for replacing it. The testkits cost between $250 and $350, so please treat them carefully! We are a small non-profit and are able to provide this lending system so long as everyone takes good care of the kits. Please email us immediately if an incident occurs, if your stock ran out, or if you find something broken/missing on when you pick up the kit.
By checking out this testkit, you’re agreeing that you will complete the online training on how to use the kit, read the Field Guide included in the kit, and do at least 1 observation and record it on the Water Rangers App.
At no point should you put yourself in harm’s way during water testing. Please always follow proper water safety precautions: wear a life jacket even when on shore, conduct testing with a friend, do not go out into storms, do not test on unstable banks or in water that is very swift. When in doubt, do not conduct the test. No test is worth your personal well-being!
There are risks inherent in using a testkit near water, and by agreeing to borrow this kit, you’re saying that you understand and accept responsibility for those risks.
Be careful with test equipment, especially the dissolved oxygen ampoules. There is a small piece of glass in your container, and you will be breaking the ampoule. Used ampoules can be thrown in the garbage. Be careful to not cut yourself!
We cannot guarantee the accuracy of our kits, however we make every attempt to make sure they’re as accurate as possible. Equipment is tested regularly. Follow protocols listed in your field guide to maintain consistency. Please note: these tests do not determine if water is safe to drink or swim in. You need lab testing for that. Do not drink the water. Do not swim in the water if you’re at all concerned, for example if you’re near a sewer overflow, or if there’s been significant storm in the past 24-48 hours.
We make the tests simple, so most people can conduct them. All ages can conduct most tests, however when conducting the dissolved oxygen test, we recommend that you’re 10 years and older for it, since you’re breaking a glass ampoule.
Most importantly, share your experiences and record your observations on our website so we can share it with the world. We have found many people love inviting their families to participate, so we encourage you to make it a group experience! Tests are best done by 2 or more people.
Thanks so much for getting involved!