Poor Water Quality can affect your health if not addressed appropriately. There are a number of signs that indicate poor water quality, such as visible changes in the water, and subtler indicators like smell or taste. Contaminants like rust, debris, and bacteria also contribute to poor water quality. Learn more about some of the signs of poor water quality.

Odors Like Rotten Eggs

If your water smells like rotten eggs, it indicates sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide gas are present in the water. Hydrogen sulfide gas forms when bacteria break down organic material without oxygen. It is released from areas with high levels of decaying organic material, such as sewage or septic tanks. If you notice this foul smell coming from your tap water, take action and have the water tested by a professional for hydrogen sulfide levels. High concentrations of this gas can cause nausea, headaches, fatigue, and skin irritation.

Chlorine Smells

Chlorine is used in water systems to kill bacteria, but too much of it is dangerous for human consumption. When the smell of chlorine is strong, it means there’s an excessive amount in the water supply. This can lead to health problems and unpleasant tastes. It also indicates the water system is not well-monitored, leading to a chlorine buildup. Contact your local water supplier if you notice a chlorine smell in the water. They should advise on how to address this issue. Regular testing of your water supply is also recommended. Testing can help identify potential contaminants and inform you about measures you need to take to ensure safe drinking water.

Cloudiness in the Water

Increased sediments, algae, bacteria, and organic matter can cause cloudy water. Cloudiness may also indicate chemical contaminants like metals, nitrates, and phosphates are in the water. In some cases, cloudy water indicates an unstable pH caused by acids or bases. Address any cloudiness in your water supply with a professional as soon as possible to ensure it is clean.

Water Feels Greasy

Water that feels greasy is an indication of poor water quality. Oils, soaps, or other chemicals in the water can cause greasiness. These contaminants can occur naturally or due to human activities. These activities include leaking sewer lines, agricultural runoff, and oil spills. These compounds make the water slick and greasy when present in high concentrations. In extreme cases, a foul odor will also be present. Have your water tested for these contaminants to determine if it is safe for domestic use.

The Water Has a Tint

Another sign of poor water quality includes discoloration or a tint ranging from light brown or yellow to a darker, almost black color. An abundance of silt and clay can cause this discoloration. Also, high concentrations of iron and manganese can cause the water to have an orange or a yellow tint. Toxic chemicals, such as lead and copper, also cause discoloration. Contact your local water authority for assistance if you’re dealing with water discoloration. They will provide more information about potential treatments for poor water quality.

Water Fixtures Have a Blue-Green Stain

The appearance of blue-green stains on water fixtures indicates poor water quality. This discoloration is caused by metals like copper and manganese leached into the water supply from corroding pipes. The presence of these metals can damage your health and the environment. They can cause adverse reactions such as stomach aches, skin irritations, and respiratory issues.

Low Water Pressure

Obstructions can cause low water pressure in the pipes, leaking valves, or insufficient pressure from the water source. Low water pressure results in weak showers, faucets taking a long time to fill sinks and bathtubs, and water coming out in a thin stream. Poor water pressure also leads to fluctuations in water temperature when running appliances such as the dishwasher or washing machine. If you have low water pressure, call a plumber to check your pipes for obstructions.

When Should You Have the Water Tested?

Criteria for assessing water quality include physical characteristics such as odor, color, clarity, taste, and temperature. Chemical characteristics include pH balance and the concentration of elements like nitrates, phosphates, and toxic metals. Biological factors are the presence of harmful microorganisms.

When assessing water quality, consider factors that do not relate directly to pollutants and contaminants. They include acidity or alkaline (pH balance), dissolved oxygen levels, temperature, and sediments or organic matter. When you have these factors monitored and managed appropriately by a professional, you help maintain a healthy water environment at your home.

However, the criteria to assess water quality does vary depending on its intended use. For example, water for human consumption must adhere to stricter standards than water used for recreational activities.

What to Do About Water Quality

You can improve water quality by having it tested often to detect the presence of contaminants. Testing helps you understand the best methods to address the quality issue. It is nearly impossible to instantly improve the conditions of your water supply system outside your home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends water treatment as the most effective way to treat your home water and protect your family against contamination. Treatment could be physical, chemical, or biological. Contact a professional water and sewage company to test and treat your water system using the right equipment. You can also improve the quality of your water supply by installing a filtration system.

Install a Home Water Filtration System

The market is saturated with different kinds of water filtration systems. They include chlorostatic water softeners, activated carbon filters, distillation units, and reverse osmosis units. Contact your professional plumber to assess your situation and recommend installing the most appropriate water filter.

  • Reverse osmosis (RO): A reverse osmosis system requires minimal installation and is easy to use. You can install an RO system under the sink to purify your water before it flows to your tap. RO systems reduce impurities like lead, sodium, chlorine, calcium, sulfate, mercury, fluoride, and arsenic.
  • Chlorostatic water softeners: These filters rely on NASA technology, Puronics Silvershield Protection, to hinder bacteria growth. They also utilize iGen, a smart valve technology that monitors the water to optimize its quality and ensure efficiency in operation.
  • Activated carbon: Protect your family from contaminated water using activated carbon filters. These systems help remove solvents, pesticides, and metals like copper or lead as well as chlorination byproducts.
  • Distillation units: This system relies on evaporation to purify home water. The contaminated water is heated to form steam that evaporates and condenses to water form. However, the inorganic compounds and other nonvolatile organic molecules are heavy and fail to evaporate with the water. Contaminants left behind after evaporation include metals like lead and iron particles. Boiling water also kills microorganisms like viruses and bacteria.

Reach Out Today!

Contact Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter today for top-notch plumbing, water, gas, and sewer services in San Jose, CA. Our services range from simple repairs to complex installations. You can rely on our experienced professionals to provide lasting solutions to water quality. We’ll do our best to ensure your water is safe, clean, and free from pollutants. Our experts can assess your plumbing system and detect any issues present to prevent harm to your health. In addition, we offer emergency plumbing services 24/7.

Josh Gibson

Hi, I’m Josh. I’ve been around plumbing my whole life. When I was 5-6 years old my family built a home where I did a lot of the sanding of copper pipe and definitely some playing in the mud. Plumbing is a major part of my family as I am a fourth-generation plumber. The skills I bring to the job are a good technical knowledge of plumbing and code requirements. I am often complimented on my hands-on problem-solving skills.
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