Most homeowners in the United States never really think about the safety of the water coming out of their faucets. But in recent years, there have been numerous news reports about contamination in water supplies across the country. The problem is that most of us are unaware of what to be looking for, even if we are concerned about the quality of our water. However, if you know three common indications of water contamination, you will feel more safe and secure as you hand your child a glass of cold water.
Does Your Water Taste Like Metal?
If this sounds like a crazy question, then your answer is likely to be no. But once you have tasted water that has a metallic taste, you will never forget the experience. In most cases, the taste is not from a contaminant in the city water supply. Instead, it results from the water traveling through old metal water pipes in your home.
As the water lines age, they begin to rust and corrode. And as the inside surface becomes porous, tiny flakes of metal begin to break off the pipe and contaminate your drinking water. Sometimes you will also be able to see the specks of metal floating in the water.
If you find that only your home’s hot water tastes like metal or has specks in it, then the culprit is your water heater. The thin glass coating inside the tank can wear away and leave the metal tank exposed as the unit ages. Over time, it begins to break down and contaminate your hot water, much like the old metal water pipes. The best course of action is to call a licensed plumber to determine what is contaminating your home’s drinking water and provide you with cost-effective solutions.
Does Your Water Have An Odd Odor?
Pure water should be odorless. If there is a high mineral content, your water could smell like metal. If the odor is more musty and stale, the contaminant is likely to be algae. For water that smells like sulfur or rotten eggs, the issue is often bacterial contamination. And finally, water that smells like salt is often due to a faulty water softener or a wrong setting on the unit. If you are unsure of the cause of the odor, the best course of action is a call to a licensed plumber for an inspection and water testing.
Does Your Water Leave Stains Or Residue Behind?
If you discover that your tap water is leaving a stain in your sink or that your laundry is stained, there is a problem. Pure water should never leave any residue or discoloration behind on surfaces you clean, your tub or sink, or your skin. Orange or brown staining is often caused by iron or copper in the water. Calcium or magnesium will leave a chalky white substance behind.
Old water lines and corrosion are the most common reasons for these annoying stains and discoloration. In some cases, the pipes can be cleaned. But in the majority of these cases, repiping the home is the only long-term solution.
The thought of anything contaminating the water that you and your family consume is very upsetting. And while most of these cases of a slight odor or particulate content pose no health risks, you can never be too careful. It is always best to call (301) 278-8786 when you are concerned about the purity of your water. A licensed plumber from A Better Plumber & Air Conditioning will inspect the pipes in your home and water to determine if there is cause for concern.