Although municipal water companies work to ensure that the drinking water they distribute meets basic health and safety standards, the journey to your taps can introduce a number of impurities and other unwanted elements. The results may include water that looks, smells, or tastes too unpleasant to consume
The more readily you can recognize specific abnormalities in your drinking water, the sooner you can figure out what to do about them. Here are some common trouble signs to keep in mind.
Drinking Water Appearance
Changes in your drinking water’s appearance may serve as your first warning that you have a problem. In some cases, nearby construction, mining work, or runoff can introduce silt into the water, which will turn it cloudy or dark. Manganese deposits may take the form of black specks or gray-tinged water.
Some discoloration issues show up only after the water has settled on surfaces. High levels of calcium and magnesium in your water, for instance, can leave white stains on your drinking glasses, metal sinks, or teapots. Iron dissolved in water may not show itself except in the form of rusty-looking stains.
Not all discoloration means that you have impurities in your water. Pink slime on your sink might alarm you, but this slime actually stems from the interaction of airborne bacteria with damp surfaces. White bubbles in your water may mean that recent work on the plumbing system has temporarily charged the water with harmless carbon dioxide.
Drinking Water Odor
A foul smell coming from your drinking water could indicate a number of potential problems. A rotten-egg odor usually means that your water contains hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide gas can originate from sulfur-producing bacteria in your water tank or in groundwater.
If you smell this odor only when you run hot water, your water heater may need servicing. If you only smell it at one sink or tap, have that unit’s drain unclogged or disinfected. If the smell comes from neither of these sources, a drinking water system equipped with a carbon filter mechanism can often tame groundwater-based rotten-egg smells.
Iron bacteria can cause drinking water to take on a musty smell. This problem also causes gelatinous strands to form in sinks. If you notice both of these symptoms simultaneously, you may need to have your well water chlorinated, and then allow a carbon-filtering system to remove excess chlorine before you drink the water.
Drinking Water Taste
A foul taste in your drinking water may come from minerals dissolved into the water. Sometimes the specific taste you experience can help you identify the mineral in question. A salty taste may indicate the presence of chloride, while a metallic taste often points to dissolved iron, copper, or other plumbing materials. A reverse osmosis water purification system can remove this unpleasantness.
If you get a fishy, musty, or moldy taste from your water, your city’s water supply could suffer from a seasonal algae bloom issue. Certain types of algae can proliferate under the right conditions and impart unpleasant odors and flavors to water even after the city has removed the actual algae.
Drinking Water pH
The pH scale serves as a measure of relative acidity versus relative alkalinity. Municipal water companies strive to keep their water within a pH range of between 6.5 and 8.5, with tap water typically weighing in at a neutral 7.0. Disturbances to this balance can produce some unwanted changes in the quality of your drinking water.
Acidic water can corrode plumbing pipes, leaching minerals out of the pipes in the process. Pay attention to any telltale blue-green stains in your sink or tub, especially if you also notice a metallic taste in your water.
Mildly alkaline water may actually offer some health benefits for certain individuals. However, overly-alkaline water can promote the accumulation of mineral deposits in your pipes, which reduces their efficiency and changes the water’s taste or appearance.
Whether you need to eradicate a drinking water issue or you want to prevent such issues from spoiling the quality of your water, Rainsoft A&B Marketing can help you find the answers. Contact us with any questions or to schedule a free water test.