Residents in the United States don’t often have to worry about the quality of their drinking water. We are lucky enough to have a relatively good water supply and water treatment plants—at least compared to the rest of the world, certainly the third world. Most homeowners did not scrutinize their own drinking water too much until the story in Flint, Michigan became nationwide news. And while the situation in Michigan was an egregious example of bad tap water, the truth is that there might be things lurking in your water that you don’t know about.
To the naked eye, your drinking water appears clean, sparkling, and pristine, but it’s the stuff that is not detectable with the human eye that can often pose a threat.
Have you ever wondered how your water would fare in a water test? You may be surprised. So here are some of the most common problems that can emerge.
Water Testing & Diving Deep Into the Quality of Drinking Water
A water test is designed to detect various issues that affect overall drinking water. Most residents of the United States are provided with a yearly water report from their communities, called a Consumer Confidence Report. This report can provide you with some useful information about what might be going on in your water supply. For people that get their water from a well, there is no such report.
A water test will focus on several aspects of the water including:
- Total coliform bacteria
- Total dissolved solids
- pH levels
So perhaps you’ve noticed that your water has that funky egg smell or smells overly chlorinated. Maybe you have seen that your showerheads or toilets have spots and buildup. A water test can help answer some of the important questions related to these issues.
The following are common problems detected by water tests:
1) High Chlorine Content
Chlorine is a necessary chemical used to disinfect water. When chlorination was first used in water supplies in the late 1800s, it revolutionized the field of water treatment and played a central role in solving a typhoid outbreak. When your water has especially high levels it will affect the look and feel of your water. Signs of over-chlorinated water include hazy or cloudy water, discolored water, a detectable smell of chlorine, and may cause your hair to be dull and increase soap residue.
High chlorine content can be more common if you live close to a water treatment plant. There can be some physical effects of high chlorine content including wheezing, hard time breathing, skin and eye irritation, and more.
2) Water Hardness
Water hardness is a common problem in the Southwest. This refers to the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Water hardness can be visibly detected by a white chalky view of the water. Residents with hard water might also detect when they wash their hands and feel a residue afterward. Another sign is glasses that have spots on them, mineral stains, and a lack of water pressure in the home.
3) Water Acidity or Alkalinity
When taken directly from an untouched spring in the middle of a waterfall, water will run at a 7 pH level. The pH of the water is then altered because of particles in the water or other substances that alter their chemical balance. The pH measurement tells you how many hydrogen atoms are in the water, with a higher number indicating fewer hydrogen atoms and a lower number indicating a higher number of ions.
The pH number will affect how certain minerals and metals interact with the body. When water has a high pH, for example, it is considered less toxic because it means fewer metals. A high mineral content will make the water very alkaline. Hard water is considered alkaline and it’s why homeowners see the buildup of the minerals sticking to their infrastructure and pipes. Water that has a very low pH can corrode metal pipes.
4) High Iron Content
This may be more common in water supplies that are derived from wells. Nevertheless, testing for high iron content can cause damage to your laundry, dishes, plumbing fixtures, and more. At the same time, high iron may cause other bacteria to grow. If your water is dark brown, yellowish, or dark red, you might consider paying attention to the iron content in the water test.
Want to Learn More About Your Water? Contact Sun Tech Services in Las Cruces
Are you curious about the contents of your water? Perhaps you’re tired of seeing the residue left by the hard water coming from your pipes. There is a solution that doesn’t require replacing your whole plumbing system or anything like that.
Want to learn more about water tests and water filtration systems? Call Sun Tech Services today.