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Do You Have Bad Water?

Can I Smell and Taste All Bad Water?


There are several common bad water problems that can be identified by smelling, tasting or observing residue left behind in water. However, there are many bad water problems that have no flavor, odor or taste including toxic substances. These must be tested in order to be detected.

Best Water’s staff is trained to perform a comprehensive in-home water test, and has affiliations with certified and licensed laboratories for more sophisticated testing at a reasonable cost.


The Symptoms You Can See & Smell


WP bad waterAcid Water

Appears as blue-green stains on fixtures

  • Water, by nature, wants to dissolve a bit of everything it touches.
  •  It begins to form as rain until it comes into contact with pollutants in the atmosphere forming carbonic acid.
  •  It cannot be detected by odor, color or taste… but its symptoms are very apparent on your appliances!
  • Symptoms: If copper plumbing is present, acid water can cause blue-green stains on plumbing fixtures, and can dissolve chrome faucets, fittings and pipes.
  • Acid water can etch china and glass wear, and corrode water-using appliances.


Algae – Bacteria – Mold

Bad taste and gross odor

  • Different forms of organic matter can cause your water to taste bad, often giving a grassy, musty or earthy odor.
  • These issues have proven to be clues to health risks, such as dangerous bacteria.

WP3 bad water

Hard Water

Looks like scale build up on fixtures

  • According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 85 percent of the United States has hard water.
  • In North Florida, hard water is formed when water flows through the lime rock in our Karst topography. Then dissolving calcium, and magnesium carrying it into our homes.
  • These minerals bind with metal, reducing the efficiency of hot water heaters, and causing excessive wear to our water using appliances.
  • Hard minerals bind with soap, and detergents creating soap scum that sticks to shower walls and fixtures making it difficult to keep clean.
  • Soap scum binds to our clothing, dulling the colors and causing premature textile wear.
  • Worst of all, soap scum sticks to our skin and hair causing dry, itchy skin and lifeless, unruly hair.


bad water

Hydrogen Sulfide

Smells like rotten eggs

  • It is a gas created by decaying vegetation and oil deposits beneath the earth’s surface.
  • Symptom: Water with sulfur discolors coffee, tea and other beverages, and ruins the flavor of cooked food. Yuck!
  • Sulfur in water is aggressive, and can dissolve plumbing metals such as iron, steel, copper and brass.
  • Any exposed metal parts in washing machines and other water using appliances can also dissolve.
  • Sulfur can darken and discolor silverware, copper, brass cook wear and utensils.
  • Symptom: When present in the shower it can often make the entire house smell foul.


WP5 bad waterIron

It makes water look, smell and taste bad

  • Iron is the fourth most abundant element on earth. It’s found in all types of water supplies, especially on the East Coast.
  • Iron water is created when water dissolves iron-bearing rocks. It can also be caused, usually temporarily, by water standing in iron pipes.
  • Symptom: Iron stains sinks, clothes and linens, and can form scale on pipes and water using appliances.
  • Iron is found in several forms: ferric (red water), ferrous (clear water), and organically complexed with tannins and colloidal (the color does not settle at the bottom of a glass).
  • Symptom: Iron bacteria often feeds on iron leaving a stringy, slimy or mucus substance along the walls of a toilet tank.


Causes a brownish/black staining and adds a bitter taste to water

  • Manganese enters water when dissolved from the earth’s crust.
  • Not prevalent in North Florida water, but does show up in some local wells.
  • Detergents do not remove these stains and the use of chlorine and other alkaline products, such as sodium carbonate, can intensify the stains.
  • Although harmless, manganese bacteria can form gelatinous growths that may plug pipes, or break free in slugs of dirty; iron-laden water with unpleasant tastes, odors and staining in laundry.


WP6 bad water


Looks like milky water

  • Turbidity is simply dirt, or other suspended soils, such as dissolved lime rock, silica or run-off of other organic matter into our water.
  • Symptom: These solids cause a cloudy or milky appearance.
  • In addition to looking unpleasant they can clog small water openings, and cause wear on plumbing valves, seats and washers.
  • When few are present these particles are generally invisible to the naked eye, but they are sometimes prolific enough to clog a water pipe.

Chlorine and other disinfectants

Smells and tastes like swimming pool water

  • Chlorine was first added to drinking water in the early 1900’s to control the spread of typhoid, cholera and other diseases.
  • More than 30 years ago it was identified as a health hazard.
  • Scientists discovered that chlorine reacts with naturally occurring, organic matter in water producing THM’s.
  • Among this group of four disinfectant byproducts, two have been found carcinogenic.
  • Reports indicate that long-term exposure to chlorinated water appears to increase a person’s risk of bladder and liver cancer up to 80 percent.
  • Research has also shown our largest organ (our skin) absorbs unhealthy chlorine and chlorine compounds (THM’s) in the shower, bath and swimming pool.


The Ones with No Symptoms


WP7 bad waterNitrate/Nitrite

Undetectable smell or taste

  • Nitrates (NO3) are a naturally occurring introduced form of nitrogen, which is very mobile in water.
  • Predominately found in water that has been affected by chemical fertilizers, and/or livestock or poultry operations.
  • Elevated nitrate levels pose an immediate threat to infants and lactating women.
  • Long-term exposure can be harmful to young children, and can cause chronic illness in adults.
  • Nitrites are indications of bacterial contamination in the water. Levels of nitrites as low as one ppm (parts per million) can be harmful to humans.


WP9 bad waterBiological Pathogens

Invisible and has no odor or taste

  • Waterborne organisms that cause disease in humans include cysts, like Cryptosporidium and Giardia; bacteria, like typhus, fecal coliform (e-coli) and cholera; and viruses like influenza.
  • These organisms typically cause unpleasant, intestinal disorders and pose a significant threat to the immune-impaired.
  • In 1993, 109 citizens of Milwaukee, Wisconsin died from an outbreak of Cryptosporidium.


WP10 bad waterLead

 Invisible and has no odor or taste


  • Low levels of lead have been linked to learning disabilities in young children, and high levels can cause hypertension in adults.
  • Lead was used extensively in plumbing materials until the late 1980’s. Lead has been found locally in water coming from wells.


Heavy Metals

Invisible and has no odor or taste

  • For years, high levels of mercury have been found in our Florida environment. This is ultimately blamed on the grandfathered coal-fired power plants in the Southeastern U.S.
  • Mercury has proven detrimental to large mammals across the state. For instance, high mercury levels have been found in sea trout in the Gulf of Mexico and bass in the St John’s River.
  • Metals such as mercury, zinc, copper and cadmium usually enter the water supply as industrial waste.
  • In excessive amounts this can cause physiological damage to humans and mammals, including damage to the central nervous system.


bad water

Volatile Organic Compounds

Invisible and has no odor or taste

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), such as petroleum distillate benzene and the industrial degreasing solution, trichloroethylene, have been found in North Florida’s water supplies.
  • High concentrations of VOC’s are linked to organ damage and cancer in humans.


WP13 bad waterArsenic

Invisible and has no odor or taste

  • This natural and manufacture induced ground water contaminant is linked to various cancers, and may damage the circulatory and central nervous systems.
  • Numerous wells in North Florida have tested positive for high levels of arsenic.


WP14 bad waterRadium-Radon

Invisible and has no odor or taste


  • Radon gas has been found dissolved in some local wells, which presents a health risk when consumed.
  • This gas also escapes from the water into the air, and is absorbed through inhalation during washing and showering.
  • These naturally occurring, radioactive elements can be linked to cancer in humans.



Are you experiencing any of these bad water symptoms?  Give us a call to help protect you and your home.

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