While people can become very sick from contaminated water, many people never recognize their water is contaminated until members of their community begin to get sick.
A fresh glass of water can be just the thing to quench your thirst on a hot summer day. Water is vital to sustain life and communities go to great lengths to ensure drinking water is clean. But sometimes water can become contaminated and adversely affect public health.
According to the Water Quality Association, some common waterborne contaminants include aluminum, ammonia, copper, lead, mercury, and uranium. The WQA notes that, while people can become very sick from contaminated water, many people never recognize their water is contaminated until members of their community begin to get sick. Some people suffer from acute effects of contaminated water that appear within hours of consuming a contaminant. In such instances, the WQA notes that the human body can often fight off the contaminants in a similar way that it fights off germs and the person won’t have any permanent side effects. However, people with weakened immune systems may become seriously or gravely ill after such exposure. Chronic effects, which include cancer, liver or kidney problems, or reproductive difficulties, result after the consumption of contaminated water over a period of many years.
Water supplies are routinely inspected and treated in many parts of the world to ensure they’re safe for human consumption. However, such measures are not fail-safe. The WQA notes that a human’s senses are his or her first diagnostic tool in regard to detecting contaminated water. Though contaminated water is not always detectable to human senses, the following are some signs that may indicate a water supply is contaminated.
Foul smell and taste
Water that smells or tastes like a rotten egg or sulfur may indicate the presence of hydrogen sulfide, which may be a byproduct of a certain type of bacteria present in the water. Bacteria can grow in drains, water heaters, wells, or on the inside of pipes, so our professional inspection may be necessary.
Decaying organic matter in plumbing or the water source can give water a musty, earthy taste.
The WQA notes that chlorine or chloramines (ammonia + chlorine) is used to disinfect water to make it safe during the treatment process. However, the smell and taste of chlorine or chloramines may indicate the water is unsafe to consume.
Discoloration and Staining
The WQA notes that water that is red, orange, yellow, brown, or cloudy may indicate the presence of iron, rust or other contaminants in household plumbing. Tannins from decaying vegetation and leaves also can contribute to discolored water that appears yellow or has a brownish hue. These minerals can make water unhealthy to consume and also adversely affect plumbing fixtures including dishwashers, water heaters, sinks and showers. Kinetico Advanced Water Systems can help address and solve these issues with our many non-electric softening, filtering and purification treatment options.
Contaminated water is not always identifiable to the senses. Homeowners who suspect that their water has been contaminated or have concerns regarding the quality of water in their homes are urged to call us today at (252) 223-4444 for a FREE, no obligation water test and appropriate recommendations if needed.