Common Water Problems

There are a variety of factors that can affect how your water tastes, smells, feels and working in and around you home. Examples of things that can affect a home’s water supply are well water quality, possible contamination, an aging water distribution system, violations of federal drinking water standard and a home’s pluming. Some water problems may not be as obvious as others.

Hard Water

Whether it is supplied by a private well or municipality, most homes have hard water. Having hard water means having water containing dissolved calcium, magnesium and, in many cases, iron. Most homeowners don’t realize they have hard water or the constant and expensive harm it causes.

Problems frequently caused by hard water are dry skin and hair, and bathtub rings. There are noticeable spots on clean drinking glasses, silverware, and fixtures. Clothes look dull, and dingy. Water-suing appliance have disappointing performances and a shortened life expectancy.

Cloudy Water

Dissolved or suspended solids is what causes cloud, murky or grayish water. Suspended solids are also known as “turbidity”. Water becomes turbid naturally or from land disturbances like construction, storms, and urban runoff.

The turbidity levels of your water can range from low to high. It could still contain a high level of dissolved solids even if your water looks clear

Chlorine Taste and Smell

Chlorine has been used as a disinfectant to kill harmful bacteria in water itself or the pipes that transport it since the 1850’s. Because of this, chlorine has helped end a few major threats to public health. It is essential at the treatment plant and in the water distribution system but is no longer necessary once the water reaches your home

While chlorine is fundamental for stopping the spread of diseases, its advantages come at a price. Chlorine tastes and smells bad. When chlorine is present, it dries skin and hair, fades clothes (bleach is made up of chlorine), and can dry out the rubber seals in appliances, shortening their lifespan.

Tastes and Odors

Pure water is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. Earthy or musty taste and odor, “rotten egg” smell, and metallic taste are all reasons you should find out why your water tastes or smells funny.

Earthy or Musty Taste and Odor- This can be contributed to the result of compounds released due to decayed vegetation. They are typically associated with different forms of algae. They are not toxic, but they are nonetheless unpleasant and can be offensive at very low concentrations.

”Rotten Egg” Smell- Hydrogen sulfide is another common source of smelly water. It is a colorless corrosive gas which has the characteristic odor of rotten eggs. It can leave an unpleasant odor on hair clothing if high enough concentrations are present. Hydrogen sulfide can also accelerate corrosion of the metal parts in appliances.

Metallic Taste- This taste indicates the presence of metals such as iron, copper, manganese or zinc in your water. Predominately found in naturally occurring ground water are iron and manganese. Aging water distribution system or the corrosion of copper plumbing and brass fittings gives you copper and zinc.

Iron and Manganese Staining

Given the needed time and conditions water is a natural solvent. It will dissolve anything it meets. Depending on where you live, that’s why your water can contain iron or manganese which can cause rusty-orange or black staining. Stains will be present on clothes, fixtures, sinks, tubs, water-using appliances, and toilets.

Blue Green Staining

Blue-green stain are a tell-tale sign of low pH. They are most noticeable on white surfaces that your water encounters such as sinks, tubs and showers, toilets, and eve white clothing.

Bacteria and Viruses

There could be as many as 12 million cases of waterborne acute gastrointestinal illness annually in the United States alone according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These illnesses are frequently caused by bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. These make their way into the water supply. Even well operated, state-of-the-art treatment plants cannot ensure that drinking water is entirely free of microbial pathogens.


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