Over 286 million people in the US get their water from a community water system. Unfortunately, not every source is a guaranteed safe drinking spot.
Does your water have a strange color, taste, or odor to it? Does your tap water come out cloudy when you get some from the tap? Heads up! You may be drinking contaminated water at home.
However, you also need to watch out for the water you’re using. Having water contamination at home is a serious and sometimes insidious problem. If you’re doubtful of the cleanliness of the water in your home, read below for signs of water contamination.
1. You Have Discolored Water
One of the biggest signs of water contamination is having yellow, brown, or orange water. This can mean that your water has the chemical chromium-6 in it. Chromium-6 can cause a variety of health effects including:
- Respiratory cancer
- Eye irritation or damage
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Nose irritation and damage
- Skin irritation
Orange or brown water can be the effect of iron buildup. If running water is orange, it may also be a result of the utility clearing out the pipes. Another possible reason for brown water is excess iron, lead, manganese, or rust.
2. Your Water Is Cloudy or Foamy
Most of the compounds that make the water cloudy are harmless. They don’t have any significant adverse effects on your health. They are often only minerals and other natural substances that didn’t get filtered by your water system.
However, if your water remains cloudy or foamy for a long time, that’s a red flag. Water that remains cloudy after a long time is the result of bacterial contamination. Consider getting your water tested for contamination if this is the case.
3. It Smells Sulfuric or Chlorine
In public water treatment facilities, small amounts of chlorine get added to kill bacteria in the water. However, having too much chlorine in your water can also lead to health issues. You may experience intestinal distress or dehydration.
Water that smells like sewage or rotten eggs has hydrogen sulfide. If this element gets exposed to certain bacteria, it can turn into sulfate. Ingesting sulfate causes dehydration or diarrhea.
You have contaminated water at home if it starts smelling like chlorine or rotten eggs. Consider treating it or investing in an iron filter or odor killer.
4. Your Baked Goods Aren’t Rising
Do you love to bake but are seeing a decline in the quality of your goods? Let’s say you followed the recipe to the T and still your bread is coming up short. The problem may lie in the water you’re using.
Water with treatment can kill the bacteria that you need to make your dough rise. Consider investing in a high-quality water filtration system. For starters, consider the Wholehouse Water Filtration System.
5. You Can Spot Sediments in Your Tap Water
Does the water leave bits of dirt or sand on the sink? Do you see sediments in your glass when you collect water from your tap? If this is the case, chances are your home drinking water contains contaminants.
Often, sediments aren’t too harmful. You can filter them out with a sediment filtration system. However, they can also hold contaminants that pose a possible health risk.
6. You’ve Got Deteriorating Pipes
One of the major causes of having contaminated drinking water is deterioration in your pipes. Check underneath the sink for signs that your pipes are going bad. Certain types of deterioration in pipes create bacteria in your water that’s bad for your health.
For example, your pipes are corroding from the high-acid content in your water. Copper pipes also have a chance of corroding if you leave them unused for an extended period. These show through stains, dimpling, or flaking on your pipe tubing.
7. The Water Tastes Bitter or Metallic
Our taste buds are quite sensitive to the subtlest changes of taste, even in drinking water. You can sense the difference if you drank bottled purified water and tap water. You may get this sense as well when your water gets contaminated.
You may get a taste of iron or bitterness in your drinking water. You may even pick up an oily or fishy taste, which can make the experience feel icky rather than refreshing. If your water starts tasting funny, consider getting a filter.
8. Your Hands Feel Slimy After Washing With Contaminated Water
Other than the typical signs that you have bad water, you may also experience this. You’re washing your hands to rinse off the dirty or sticky layer on them. However, after you wash your hands, instead of feeling clean, your hands feel slimy and slippery.
This is a sign that you may have contaminated water in your house. The reason is that you have hard water in your pipes. That means it has a lot of substance buildups from calcium or magnesium.
These substance buildups can feel more slippery when you use hard water to wash your hands. This doesn’t always mean that your water is harmful. However, you may feel better if you know your tap water won’t leave a slimy feeling when you wash with it.
9. You’re Feeling Sick
The strongest proof that your water at home has contaminants is if you get physical symptoms. The ones we mentioned earlier are strong signs that you drank contaminated water. That includes gastrointestinal problems, dehydration, and diarrhea.
Other symptoms include stomach aches, intestinal cramping, and nausea. Don’t ignore these signs, especially if they seem to appear out of the blue. Make sure you see a doctor if you get these symptoms and get your water checked for contaminants.
Keep Your Water Clean and Safe
If you experience these signs, ask your neighbor for their experiences. They may be observing the same things as you are. If that is the case, then you can be certain that your water system has a problem.
That ends our guide on how to detect if you have contaminated water at home. We hope this guide on the water at home is helpful and informative to you. If you want to see more content on health and fitness topics, check out our other guides today!