Ordinary drinking water from your kitchen sink’s tap offers some significant advantages over bottled water for everyday use, from its cheaper cost to the inclusion of fluoride to encourage strong teeth. Unfortunately, even though the city purifies its water supply, household plumbing problems can introduce unwanted additions.
If you worry about the quality of your family’s drinking water, you can benefit from some basic knowledge about common telltale symptoms of water quality issues and their potential origins. Pay attention to the following three warning signs.
1. Unusual Tastes or Odors
Of all the troubles plaguing your drinking water, none will get your attention as swiftly and dramatically as a foul taste or unusual odor. In most cases, the underlying cause does not pose a direct threat to your health, but you may still find your water unpleasant until you eliminate the problem.
Taste and odor problems caused by algae can spoil the enjoyment of drinking water for entire communities. In Phoenix, the most common culprits include geosmin and methylisoborneol algae. An unpleasant smell may linger long after the city has successfully treated the water and removed the actual algae.
Sometimes the chlorine employed as part of this purification process imparts a swimming-pool taste and odor to the water. If you cannot tolerate even faint traces of this chemical, invest in a pitcher or faucet attachment that contains a carbon filter. This simple step can remove most of the substances causing the trouble.
A rotten-egg taste and smell indicates either sulfate minerals or hydrogen sulfide gas. Although this odor should trigger concern if it emerges from your toilet due to flammable, toxic sewer gas, it does not mean that your drinking water poses a safety hazard. However, your water heater might need professional treatment.
2. Floating Debris
Tap water may contain floating debris. The color and general appearance of this debris can provide clues as to what kind of substance has infiltrated your water supply and why. If you use a carbon filter, tiny black particles could simply represent carbon particles that have escaped from the filtration device.
If the black particles in your water look like rubber, you may have found tiny pieces of rubber coming from a deteriorated rubber seal or hose. A plumbing technician can replace the worn component, eliminating the issue.
In well-water systems, brown or earth-colored specks of dirt can enter drinking water. In systems that rely on the city’s plumbing supply, small pieces of iron from deteriorated pipes can appear brown or black. These particles won’t poison you, but they can clog up your plumbing fixtures over time.
Tap water that doesn’t look perfectly colorless may startle you. Water that assumes a milky haze may contain excess calcium, a problem known as hard water. Most people can drink hard water without safety concerns, but the accumulated calcium forms lime scale which narrows pipes and reduces water efficiency.
Brown water commonly contains rust or dissolved iron. As unappealing as it may look, the level of iron in the water won’t harm you unless you have a health condition that makes you sensitive to this element. However, it does mean that some part of your plumbing system has started to corrode.
Tap water can also take on a light blue or green coloration. These shades often mean that copper has leached into your water from a corroded pipe or other plumbing appliance. Excessive copper intake over time can cause liver or kidney trouble as well as anemia. Replace the corroded component to avoid long-term problems.
Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter can check out your home plumbing system, diagnose any issues affecting the quality of your drinking water, and make the recommended fixes to improve the situation. Contact us today to schedule plumbing service.