Common Water Quality Problems

Here’s a typical morning routine. You wake up, head to the bathroom, flush the toilet, and turn on the sink faucet to wash your hands. In the kitchen, you fill the coffee pot and press a button to get that magical brew flowing. You pour a tall glass of water to take your morning vitamins, and head for the shower. All without once stopping to think about or appreciate all the clean, safe water you’re using.

Yet sometimes, a home’s water supply gets compromised, and what was crisp, clear, liquid refreshment now smells, tastes, or looks a bit questionable. What gives?

Here are seven common water problems and what you can do about them.

Hard Water – Excess amounts of calcium and magnesium can lead to hard water which, if left untreated, can make it harder for soaps, shampoos, and detergents to suds, can cause limescale build-up on plumbing pipes, and prematurely age water-using appliances. A whole-house water softener can alleviate hard water problems where a home’s water runs through a softening appliance filled with a sodium solution.

Manganese and Iron – If your water has a metallic taste or cloudy, rusty appearance, high levels of manganese and iron could be to blame. Excess amounts can stain laundry, cookware, and plumbing fixtures. As with hard water, a water softener can help. In extreme cases, an oxidizing and colloidal iron filter might be necessary to correct the problem.  

Lead – At one time, lead solder was used to join and seal copper pipes. Over time, the lead would dissolve and produce dangerous levels in drinking water. While lead is no longer employed for that purpose, we still find it in older homes. Testing is the only way to know whether your water is contaminated with lead, as it is tasteless, colorless, and odorless once dissolved. 

Sediment Build-Up – Sediment like sand, clay, dirt, rust, scale, and other organic materials can build up over time and cause water to appear opaque or cloudy. If you suspect sediment build-up, a sediment filter can help, available at most home improvement stores.

Hydrogen Sulfide – If your water is giving off a rotten egg smell, the probable cause is a high level of hydrogen sulfide – a colorless gas that is extremely corrosive to metal pipes. A multi-stage filtration system is often required to remove hydrogen sulfide from a home’s water supply.

Foul Odor and Bad Taste – Water that tastes or smells musty, moldy, or fishy can be a result of organic matter in surface water supplies. It’s an issue that be remedied with an activated charcoal filter. In more serious cases, it can also be caused by a septic or sewer leak. If you suspect this is the case, contact a specialist immediately.

Speaking of a water quality specialist, here we are – Plumbtastic Plumbing & Rooter. We’ve helped hundreds of Inland Empire homeowners start enjoying water the way it’s meant to be enjoyed: soft, pure, and clean tasting. If that’s the kind of water quality you want, contact Plumbtastic today

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