Arsenic, a common contaminant of groundwater, affects human health adversely. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the maximum recommended contamination level of arsenic in drinking water is 10 μg/L. The purpose of this research was to develop user-friendly kits for detection of arsenic to measure at least up to 10 μg/L in drinking water, so that a preventive measure could be taken. Two different kits for detection of total arsenic in water are reported here. First, the arsenic in drinking water was converted to arsine gas by a strong reducing agent. The arsine produced was then detected by paper strips via generation of color due to reaction with either mercuric bromide (KIT-1) or silver nitrate (KIT-2). These were previously immobilized on the detector strip. The first one gave a yellow color and the second one grey. Both of these kits could detect arsenic contamination within a range of 10 μg/L-250 μg/L. The detection time for both the kits was only 7 min. The kits exhibited excellent performance compared to other kits available in the market with respect to detection time, ease of operation, cost and could be easily handled by a layman. The field trials with these kits gave very satisfactory results. A study on interference revealed that these kits could be used in the presence of 24 common ions present in the arsenic contaminated water. Though the kits were meant for qualitative assay, the results with unknown concentrations of real samples, when compared with atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) were in good agreement as revealed by the t-test. Copyright © Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.