Tap Score is a tributary of Simplelab; it is a water quality testing service offered by the Simplelab Team.
Simplelab itself is a science and health services organization birthed to enhance the testing and treatment procedures for drinking water. The company aims to brand itself as the custodian of truth for drinking water. Their mission is to assess drinking water quality and provide data-backed results to end-users.
In this review, we carry out an assessment of our own on the standard of services Simplelab Tap Score offers. We verify how well on track the company is in fulfilling its mission to ensure that people get accurate information about the quality of water they drink.
How Tap Score Works
When presented simply, Tap Score works using a 3-step procedure.
In the first step, the company sends you a test kit. With this kit, you are expected to collect a sample of your drinking water. After sample collection comes shipment. Once you’ve collected the water sample, the company expects you to send the sample to their lab.
When the sample gets to the lab, the team of water analysts will carry out a lab test on it. When the analysis is done, you should get the report in about 10 business days.
We give more details of how Tap Score works below:
Before Simplelab sends you a test kit to collect the water sample, they will ask some questions. The questions will generally be based on your water source or specific water issues.
After verifying your specific water test needs, the company will send the test kit to you. The kit will include instructions on how to collect the sample. So, you are literally not left to your own devices.
Shipment to the Lab
After you have collected the sample as highlighted in the guide, the next step is to send it to the lab. Of course, they will provide the address for you to ship to. But more importantly, the company will cover the shipping costs.
On receiving your shipment, the water analysts will carry out comprehensive tests on the specimen you send.
How Fast Do They Send Test Results?
Within 10 business days, you should get an easy-to-understand report via email.
Types of Water Tests They Offer
The water testing system offers water tests based on two main factors: water source and water issues.
Tap Score Tests Based on Water Source
Tap Score offers 4 water-source-based tests. They are:
- City Water Tests
- Well Water Tests
- Rain Water Tests
- Spring Water Tests
If you get your drinking water from tap water or any other municipal water source, this option suits you. You get to choose one of three tests: essential city water test, advanced city water test, and extended city water test.
Of all three city water tests, the extended one offers the most comprehensive tests. If you opt for it, the lab will test for about 118 analytes. The test will focus on studying the radioactive particles and the byproducts of disinfection in your water.
The advanced test is perfect for tap water coming from a local water utility. It focuses on 109 analytes, including chlorine & chlorine-related byproducts, and minerals.
The essential city water test focuses on issues concerning aging pipes, metals, and plumbing infrastructure. Overall, the test checks for 47 analytes.
As with city water, you get to choose from three tests: essential well water test, advanced well water test, and extended well water test.
The essential well water analysis works on 52 analytes. The assessment covers typical water health concerns, including bacteria, hardness, minerals, and plumbing-related concerns.
The advanced well water test is particularly helpful if your well is close to an industrial area. It tests for 112 analytes, including industrial chemicals, silica, and other regular water testing concerns.
The extended well water test tests for 182 analytes and is particularly helpful where there is an increased risk of contamination from radioactive particles, plasticizers, tannins, pesticides, and other industrial/agricultural contaminants.
Unlike the other two, you get to choose from two rain water tests: essential rain water test and advanced rain water test.
The essential test assesses 51 analytes while the advanced test checks for 111 analytes. The essential test will focus on common water concerns seen in natural water. The advanced test, on the other hand, works on the regular issues alongside rainwater issues seen in plastic collection components.
Like the rain water tests, the spring water testing offers two options: essential spring water test and advanced spring water test.
The essential spring water test assesses 52 analytes – most of which are related to common spring water health concerns. Tap Score reports for this test typically include results concerning contaminants like bacteria, heavy metals like arsenic, hardness, and minerals.
The advanced spring water testing analyzes 53 analytes. While it assesses typical spring water concerns, it pays more attention to microbial contaminants than the essential spring water test.
Tap Score Tests Based on Water Issues
Simplelab classifies all the kits for the tests we mentioned in the previous subheading as core kits. They get the name core kits because their analyses cover multiple contaminants – almost everything to be tested for in their corresponding water sources. Basically, the core kits offer broad coverage.
However, in a situation where you are only concerned about a specific contaminant or a few contaminants, you could work with a specialized test kit.
Tap Score offers about 50 specialized tests, and each one of them falls under one of 6 groups of tests:
- Metals & Minerals
Metals & Minerals
Some of the specialized tests under this category check for:
- Lead & Copper
- Yellow Coloration in Water
- Iron Speciation
Some tests in this category check for:
Some of the specialized radiologicals tests check for:
- Alpha Radiation
- Beta Radiation
- Tritium Water
Some of the specialized agriculture analysis check for:
Under this section, you will find specialized testing kits for:
- Coliform and E. Coli
- Mold and Fungus
Some of these tests are helpful in assessing filtered water. Not all filters work effectively on microbes, so doing a microbe-specific analysis can help you know if your drinking water is safe enough.
Under this section, the following can be specifically tested for:
- Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
The bottom line here is if you are only worried about certain contaminants, you do not have to get a core kit. Just go through the list of specialized kits the company offers and select a suitable option.
As we said before, after the specimen you send to the company is tested, they will send you a report in about 10 business days. While the report is pretty thorough, they try to make it user-friendly. But just so you get a feel of what it’s like, below, we give an overview of what you will find in a Tap Score report.
What to Expect on a Tap Score Report
A Tap Score report has 4 main parts:
- Personal Tape Score
- Contaminant Breakdown
- Impact on Your Home and Well-Being
- Customized Treatment Matching
Personal Tap Score
Based on data collected about the impact on well-being, water system impact, health & regulatory standards, and water aesthetics, Tap Score’s algorithm will give your water a score. The said score would be based on a total of 99. The closer your water is to 99, the higher the quality.
The personal tap score comes under the “Overview” tab.
Under each of the 3 tabs below the “Overview” tab, you will find details of the contaminants detected and whether they exceed safe levels or not.
Potential Impacts/How the Contaminants Can Affect Your Well-Being and Home
Under the 3 tabs below the “Overview” tab, you will also find a summary of how the pollutants can affect your well-being and water system.
You will find the treatment recommendations under the “Recommendations” tab. The recommendations highlight the steps you can take to remove pollutants or fix the problems in your water.
Top Score offers robust customer service; you can reach out to them via email and live chat. However, these 2 channels are not always available. But then, when they are not available, you could read through the FAQ section for possible answers to your inquiry.
If you are just looking to know the status of your specimen, the “Check Status” tab on the support page should help with that. You do not have to wait for a response from any human. By just entering your report ID, you will get feedback.
Trustworthiness and Efficiency
Tap Score works with a chain of independent labs all over the country. So, to a large extent, you can trust their report.
Besides providing some level of assurance, the use of multiple independent labs all over the country makes Tap Score faster and more efficient. Samples get to the closest labs within the shortest periods, so the samples get tested quickly, and you get your report quickly.
Pros and Cons of Tap Score
Tap Score might have to do some work on customer support availability and testing options cataloging. However, their service is excellent overall. The thoroughness, speed, user-friendliness, and array of options they offer are indicative of a will to be excellent.