In most parts of the United States, homes connect to the municipal water system. This means that the cities collect water and then treat it at a water treatment facility before sending it to your home. It’s easy to assume this means that all harmful bacteria and other contaminants are gone before the water comes to you.
However, sometimes municipal water treatment falls short of what is best for your home and family. And even if it doesn’t, water travels a long way before it gets to your home. Once cleaned, it sits in reservoirs, runs through pipes, enters the main supply line, then runs through the pipes of your home. And there is potential for contamination in every step.
In most cases, there will be nothing to worry about, but in homes with immunocompromised individuals, water should be checked on a regular basis. If no one is immunocompromised in your home, you likely only need to test your water if you notice the following signs.
1. Your Water Appears Cloudy
You turn on your faucet, fill up a glass, then go to take a sip and pause; the water looks off to you. Holding it up to a light, you realize that it seems cloudy. This is a sign that you have a problem.
Step one is to make sure the glass is clean, and it is not the container causing the appearance of cloudy water. Once you know that it’s not the container, you need to get your water tested. While even healthy water will have minerals in it, these should never change the appearance of the water itself.
2. Your Water Has a Chlorine Smell
Drinking water should be essentially odorless. While most of us know that water can taste and smell slightly different from city to city, strong odors are a sign that something has gone wrong. Chlorine smells are particularly worrisome. Treatment facilities usually put chlorine in the water to kill bacteria, but it is not enough to lead to odor. Because chlorine is dangerous to your health in high concentrations, its presence is a sign not to drink the water and to get it tested.
3. Your Water Has Color to It
Water should be 100 percent clear. If you notice that your water has even the slightest tinge of color to it, don’t drink it, and make sure to get it tested. The most common colors seen are brown and orange. Color changes indicate that there are contaminants in the water, and in large amounts. In most cases, these are iron or manganese. This can occur for various reasons, but old pipes are often the culprit.
4. Your Water Has a Sulfur Smell
If your water smells like sulfur, you know it instantly. Sulfur smells like rotten eggs, and while most water supplies have it in trace amounts, it should never be enough that you can smell it. Drinking water that has a high sulfur content is dangerous. When it builds up in the system, it can cause intestinal problems and dehydration.
5. Your Pipes Are Deteriorating
If you have noticed that your pipes are deteriorating, especially those running underneath the house, there is a strong chance that your water is contaminated. As soon as pipes become weakened, they can leach chemicals or allow outside contaminants inside. In addition to having a plumber take care of these damaged pipes, get your water tested.
6. You and Your Family Are Experiencing Physical Symptoms
If you are having any new physical symptoms or symptoms that are long-lasting, it could be a sign that your water is at least contributing to the issue. In addition to seeking treatment, get your water tested. You may find that fixing your water repairs your health.
If you are uncertain about the quality of your water, contact Orange Coast Plumbing. Our team will come to your home and complete the needed tests on your water. With our help, you will be able to live a healthier life.