Water, Water, Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink

Published on: December 16, 2013

When Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner back in 1797 he was, of course, referring to salt water having just returned from a long sea voyage. While cities and towns across America today boast about having no shortage of potable water, some people would disagree. Not with the availability and quantity of water, but rather with its quality. Even the clearest, best tasting drinking water in the U.S. contains myriad chemicals used to make it that way. Chemicals including chlorine and arsenic to name just a few. A variety of factors can affect how your tap water tastes, smells and even feels. Aging water purification and water distribution systems as well as a home’s plumbing are but a few factors that can contribute to less than desirable water quality. Since a water treatment facility is a municipal function, about the only thing a homeowner can do is to consider a water purification system such as those made by Kinetico. Read on to learn more about the various conditions that could be affecting your tap water.

Hard Water: A Tough Problem

Dry skin and hair, bathtub rings, spots on glasses, silverware and kitchen fixtures, dull and dingy clothing are all signs of hard water. Supplied by private wells or by a municipality, most homes today have hard water and the homeowners don’t even realize it. They just accept it as normal. The reason hard water is so dangerous is due to the large amounts of dissolved calcium, magnesium and in many cases, iron. These chemicals not only cause unsightly results on the surfaces and fabrics they come in contact with, they shorten the life expectancy of most water-using appliances; everything from coffee makers to washing machines. A water softener system like those made by Kinetico may be the solution to your problem.

Cloudy Water: Clearly Not the Best

Turbidity in water is usually caused by dissolved or suspended solids. The result? Cloudy, murky or grayish water. Not at all appetizing and certainly not water that promises to truly clean your home or your clothing.

Water can become turbid naturally or from land disturbances including construction, storms and run-off from urban environments. While the turbidity of your water can range from low to high, even water that looks clear can still contain high levels of dissolved solids. Solids you ingest every day from simply cooking or washing your dishes. A simple water analysis will identify any problems with your tap water and suggest how best to resolve this situation.

Chlorine: Better Left in Swimming Pools?

Since the mid-19th century, chlorine has been used as a highly effective disinfectant to kill harmful bacteria in water or in the pipes used to deliver water to your home. While its use help put an end to a range of threats to public health at the water treatment plant and water distribution stage, chlorine taste and smell shouldn’t reach the tap water in your home.

While the use of chlorine is integral in stopping the spread of many diseases, it not only tastes and smells badly, it dries skin and hair, fades clothing and corrodes the rubber seals in appliances that rely on tap water to do their job such as dishwashers and washing machines, causing these machines to break down far more quickly than without chlorinated water. A whole house filtration system may be what’s required to remedy the situation.

Staining: Your Water May be the Culprit

Put simply, water is one of the world’s greatest solvents. Given the right time and conditions, water will dissolve just about anything it comes in contact with. Depending where you live, you may see rusty-orange or black staining on everything from fixtures, such as sinks, tubs and toilets to water-using appliances and even clothes.

If you see blue-green stains around your home, it’s an indication that your water has a low pH. Stains of this sort are most noticeable on the white surfaces your water comes in contact with such as sinks, tubs, showers and toilets. Low pH levels in your water can even be responsible for blue-green stains on white and light colored clothing.

12,000,000 Cases of Gastrointestinal Illness Annually

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, bacteria and viruses are frequently caused by protozoa that find their way into our water supply every day. Even the best operated, state-of-the-art treatment plants are susceptible to an invasion of serious germs and are unable to completely ensure that your drinking water is entirely free of microbial pathogens. A Kinetico water system can provide the cure for this situation.

Tasteless & Odorless: The Way Water Ought to Be.

Water should be colorless, tasteless and odorless. Unfortunately very few municipal water supplies can meet these criteria. See the list below to determine whether your water is posing a threat to you and your family and should be tested:

  • Earthy or musty taste and odor: Generally the result of compounds released due to decayed vegetation and typically associated with different forms of algae. While not toxic, these tastes and smells are nonetheless unpleasant and can be offensive even at extremely low concentrations.
  • “Rotten egg” smell: Hydrogen sulfide is usually the culprit in this case. While this water treatment chemical is a colorless corrosive gas it has the unpleasant side-effect of smelling like rotten eggs. If present in high enough concentrations, it can leave its unpleasant odor on hair and clothing. It can also accelerate corrosion of metal parts in appliances.
  • Metallic taste: As the name implies, a metallic taste to your water indicates the presence of metals such as iron, copper, manganese or zinc. Iron and manganese are often naturally occurring and are predominately found in groundwater. Copper and zinc can come from an aging water distribution system or the corrosion of copper plumbing and brass fittings.

Testing Your Water: No Cost & No Obligation

If you believe your tap water exhibits any of the traits described above, it would behoove you to have it tested. It’s a quick and free process with no obligation conducted by many water treatment companies including Gordon Brothers Water. To learn more about home water testing, contact Gordon Brothers at (800) 331-7611.