When we think about water, the first thought that crosses our mind is: clean, pure, clear and healthy. This is usually what water looks like, right?
Does the Water Flowing in Your Home Seem a Bit Off?
Have you been noticing water related problems in your household, but aren’t sure why or where they come from? As inventions of new products and materials in our society increases at a very fast pace so does contamination of our water supply.
Here is a quick and easy guide to detect and understand what could be happening with your water so you can take action and bring significant improvement to everyday life.
There are 2 Types of Contaminants:
- Microorganisms (wild-life and soils)
- Heavy metals (underground rocks containing arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and selenium)
- Radionuclides (underlying rock)
- Nitrates and nitrites (nitrogen compounds in the soil).
From Human Activities:
- Bacteria and nitrates (human and animal wastes, septic tanks and large farms)
- Household wastes (cleaning solvents, used motor oil, paint, paint thinner)
- Heavy metals (mining construction)
- Fertilizers and pesticides (Florida is the #2 user of pesticides in the nation)
- Lead and copper (household plumbing materials)
- Industrial products and wastes (local factories, industrial plants, leaking underground storage tanks, landfills, and waste dumps)
- Water treatment chemicals (wastewater treatment plants);
- Newly discovered in our water: pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, flame retardants.
From the moment water starts “travelling” to your house until it gets there, it can pick up several substances. This could happen many miles away or as close as your neighborhood. In some cases the contaminants could even be in the pipes of your home if they contain lead and copper. These residues would end up in the water you drink and use every day.
What Are the Most Common Clues You Could be Having Problems with Water Flowing in Your Pipes?
- The very unpleasant and hard to miss “rotten-egg smell” caused by the presence of hydrogen sulfide. Often caused by a certain type of bacteria in the water.
- Musty, earthy, moldy or grassy odors may be caused by decaying organic matter in the well or plumbing, which makes a perfect environment for bacteria to flourish.
- If every time you have a sip of water or take a shower you inevitably start thinking of summer and swimming pools, chances are there is a high concentration of chlorine in your water. It originates during the normal chlorination treatment process (for disinfection) and leaves an unpleasant smell and some toxic disinfection-by-products in your water.
- Color: Is not always as easy to detect because it depends on the concentration of stain-causing contaminants typically iron, tannins and manganese. Iron is naturally contained in soil so it’s common in houses that use wells for their water supply.
– Iron color ranges from red to brown.
–Tannins range in color from mild yellow to greenish to dark brown depending upon the variety present.
–Manganese color ranges from brown to black.
A good way to inspect for color, assuming you have a white bathtub, is to draw 10″ to 12 ” depth of water into the tub. This discloses the true amount of color in the water. Another sign of these contaminants are rust-colored stains around your drains and fixtures or even in your clothes and linens.
- Cloudiness: Can happen for 3 reasons:
- Tiny air bubbles contained in your water, or silt and organic matter or bacteria. To find out what is causing cloudiness, pour some water into a glass and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Due to oxygen or methane the bubbles will rise to the surface and disappear. If the water clears and sediment settles to the bottom of the glass, it generally indicates iron, particles or silt are in the water.
- If the water does not clear and no particulates settle to the bottom of the glass you may be dealing with colloidal matter with an electric charge that keeps the molecules in suspension.
The only way to determine if bacteria is present in your water is to have it tested.
- Sulfates, that cause the rotten egg smell, can also cause a salty taste. This could be due to bacteria growing in drains, water heaters, wells or on the inside of pipes.
- As mentioned at the beginning, sometimes the pipes in your home may be responsible for contaminating your water with mercury, lead, copper, arsenic or iron. So be aware if your water has a metallic taste to it.
- Manganese is found in some wells in North Florida. It imparts a bitter taste to your water.
- If again, while you drink water in your home you get a pool taste you are probably dealing with dissolved chlorine in your water supply.
Signs Screaming: WATER ISSUE
Aside from the above clues in water itself there are other signs in your house that scream WATER ISSUE. More specifically, Hard Water Issues (meaning dissolved limerock is present) can make your everyday life considerably harder. (This is actually where this type of water got its name from, it is hard to work with.) Hard water minerals form scale, which builds up in pipes and appliances. Minerals in the hard water react with soaps and detergents creating soap scum that adheres to everything it touches. This makes cleaning more challenging and time consuming.
The Most Common Signs of Hard Water Are :
- Unsightly, difficult to remove soap scum in sinks, bathtubs and fixtures
- Hard water spots on glassware, dishes, flatware and kitchen appliances
- Dingy, rough laundry resulting from soap scum clinging to fibers in clothing and textiles
- Reduced lifespan of clothes due to buildup of soap and hard minerals
- Increased use of detergents, cleaning supplies and personal care products
- Unmanageable hair since residues in water sticks to your hair making it frizzy and dull
- Dry and itchy skin resulting from invisible soap film on the skin
- Decreased efficiency and life expectancy of water using appliances
- Increased utility bills due to hard water build up on heating elements in your heater and dishwasher increasing the energy needed to heat your water
- Clogged pipes from hard water scale reducing water flow and pressure
If you are experiencing hard water problems give us a call. We will test your water and show you how these problems can be effectively solved by means of a water softener or controlled by a no salt water conditioner.
Gainesville: 352-372-2707 Ocala: 352-369-1707