Why Is Water Quality Important?
Your home’s water quality can have a direct impact on your family’s health. Poor-quality water may contain dangerous microbes, heavy metals, or minerals that can make people sick and damage plumbing systems and appliances.
Understanding water quality and how to monitor it will keep you and your family safe, keep your home's plumbing working correctly, and prolong the life of your appliances.Call your local Mr. Rooter® Plumbing for immediate assistance with your water quality concerns.
Common Water Quality Problems
Hard WaterWater that is ‘’hard’’ is high in dissolved minerals. Hard water is not a health risk but can cause mineral buildup in water pipes and heating systems. If you notice chalky deposits in any of your faucets, there could be deposits in your pipes, which can cause water pressure problems. Consider getting a water softener installed to solve hard water issues.
Acidic FlavorThe pH level of pure water is 7; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends drinking water have a pH between 6.5 and 8.5. Water with a pH level of less than 7 is considered acidic and may increase the metals present in your water supply. Water with a pH above 7 often tastes bitter and may leave mineral deposits on fixtures and pipes. If your tap water’s pH is on the low side, installing a water softener may raise the pH. If your pH is too high, consider an acid neutralizer system to get the pH to a safe level.
Foul Taste or SmellAny bad smell or taste in your water is a problem. Smells can indicate decaying organic matter in the pipes or drains, which can cause blockages, health issues, and other plumbing problems. If the odor is only coming from your hot water, it may be time to replace the anode rod in your water heater.
Health Risks of Poor-Quality Water
Drinking poor-quality water can cause an array of health issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), some of the most common health problems caused by contaminated drinking water include:
- e. coli, a bacterium that releases a powerful toxin which causes diarrhea, intestinal cramping and in the most severe cases, life-threatening kidney failure.
- Giardiasis, a diarrheal disease caused by microscopic parasites.
- Hepatitis A, a serious and contagious liver infection caused by a virus.
- Norovirus, a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea.
- Shigellosis, one of the most contagious diarrhea-causing bacterial infections.
Ingesting poor-quality water isn’t the only way waterborne infections develop. Inhaling contaminated water droplets in the shower can cause Legionnaires’ disease and other serious respiratory problems that are sometimes fatal.
What Makes Good Water Quality?
The EPA regulates water quality standards. However, standards vary by state. You can find your state’s water quality standards information on the EPA website.
Generally accepted characteristics of good water quality include:
- No more than 250 mg/L of chloride
- No more than 1 mg/L of copper
- No more than 0.3 mg/L of iron
- A pH between 6.5 and 8.5
- No more than 250 mg/L of sulfate
- No more than 500 mg/L of total dissolved solids, which includes all organic and inorganic substances
How to Monitor Water Quality
A complete water test is the first step in assessing and monitoring your water quality. Choose a test that identifies:
- Metals, including lead
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Total dissolved solids
If you are on a municipal or private water service system, by law, your water company is required to supply you with a consumer confidence report every year. This report details all contaminants that may be present in your water and alerts you to the health risks of these contaminants. You should be able to find recent reports published on your water utility’s website.
If you have a well, it’s up to you to check and monitor water quality for your home.
Protect Your Water Quality with Mr. Rooter Plumbing
If you want to learn more about water filtration systems or water softeners, your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing can help. Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing to speak with a plumbing expert today about your water quality concerns. You can also request a job estimate online.