If you are living in the US today and own a home, there is a good chance you are pretty dissatisfied with the quality of your municipal tap water – and keen to do something about it.
Real estate broker City Home Collective note that for many Americans this problem is so pressing that they go for alternative sources of water altogether, not least because a drinking water problem is major home value slasher. No buyer wants to have to fix that problem after they have purchased a property.
Some even install home water filtration systems in order to do something about the quality of their tap water. There are even those, with the resources and the necessary local groundwater, who even install wells. In fact, installing these alternative water sources can even be a value booster for those selling their home.
But the first thing for doing something about your home water problems usually begins with identifying what the problem with the water is. Unfortunately, these problems can be diverse and numerous.
An Alternative Source
Once you have identified the problem, the next step is to decide whether the solution is fixing it at all. As just mentioned, there are alternative water sources you can turn to, and in many cases this is indeed the best option. But what cases are these?
Generally speaking, it is when your municipal water problem is not immediately fixable. For example, you might have identified a high level of copper or lead in the drinking water (both of which are serious problems) only to then discover that the only workable solutions are an overhaul of your entire plumbing system or the installation of a complete home water filtration system. Neither of these are cheap.
Common Drinking Water Problems and Solutions
But of course, before you make any of those decisions, it is vital to find out what is actually wrong with the water. Here follows a list of symptoms you can easily identify in your tap water, what they are an indication of, and what to do about it.
Greyish White Deposits in Sinks, Tubs and Dishes
What you are observing when you identify these deposits in your drinking water is magnesium and calcium deposits. These are minerals that are dissolved in the water, and which make the water officially “hard”.
Hard water is not hazardous to health, but it is difficult to clean with, difficult to lather and thereby wash with, and the deposits can, in time, clog up your pipes. Ion exchange water softeners can do something about this problem.
Clear Water That Leaves Reddish Stains
This is a sign of iron dissolved in the water. This can come from local bedrock – in which case it is a serious problem and municipal authorities are not filtering it out – or it can come from rusty pipes. In either case, you want to treat this again with a water softener.
Salty Taste and Corrosion of Metals
This means your water is contaminated with chlorides. This is a problem that should be addressed immediately. A reverse osmosis filter (which can be included on a single tap or as a home water filtration system) can effectively deal with this problem.
Rotten Egg Odor
This tell-tale sign means that your water is contaminated with sulfides or sulfate-reducing bacteria. In either case, this water is undrinkable, and you might require a shock chlorination of your source. For less severe cases, activated carbon filters can help.
This just scratches the surface of the potential problems with municipal tap water. The solution, however, always begins with identifying the problem.