Contaminated drinking water can be laden with harmful pathogens and cancer-causing compounds. If you suspect that your Contaminated Tap Water is not safe, you should take immediate steps to get it tested and rectify the situation.
If you’re unsure of the quality of your tap water, check for these signs of contamination.
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Are You Drinking Contaminated Tap Water?
1. Check the color
Any coloration in your tap water is an indication that it is contaminated with hazardous substances. If you notice a muddy tinge it may contain something more than just sediments. Yellow, orange or brown colored water may be contaminated with metals like chromium, iron, manganese, or lead. These metals are carcinogenic and regular exposure to water contaminated with these metals is hazardous for your health. If the color of the water appears reddish brown, it may also indicate the presence of rust.
2. Cloudy water
Healthy drinking water looks clear and transparent. Minerals may not get thoroughly filtered through in the municipal water system and may give a cloudy tinge to the tap water. Excessive minerals make the water hard and not very palatable, but are usually harmless.
At times cloudy water may actually contain pathogens. You need to be sure that you’re not consuming such contaminated water. Fill a glass of water with tap water and let it rest for a while. If the water appears cloudy or foamy, it may contain contaminants.
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3. Pay attention to the smell
Pure and safe drinking water is without any smell. But sometimes your water may smell like bleach. A strong smell of bleach signals an excess chlorine in the tap water. The local water supply adds chlorine to drinking water to kill germs and bacteria. In case such chlorinated water mixes with organic compounds, it may become harmful for consumption.
4. Foul odor
An unfamiliar, unpleasant odor in the tap water could mean that it is contaminated with sulfur. Traces of sulfur can seep through the ground and mix in your water supply. Low levels of sulfur in drinking water are quite harmless. But if your water smells like rotten eggs, it is likely that there is a very high level of sulfur contamination.
5. Metallic taste
Unpleasant or metallic taste of tap water clearly indicates contamination. This water is unfit for drinking and can contain harmful contaminants. The contamination may be due to chemicals, medications or pesticides. You should get the water tested and treated as soon as possible. You can also arrange for a contact less plumbing service to assess if there are any pipe/drain leaks in your house which might be causing the issue.
6. Oily layer on standing water
Oil or grease in your water supply line can cause a film of oil to float on top of standing water. You can easily notice the presence of oil if you observe the water in your bathtub or toilet.
Several reasons can lead to the mixing of grease or oil in tap water. The most likely cause is a leak in the main water supply. Other reasons include poor water filtration or treatment. In any case, this water is unsafe for drinking. You should consider getting your home’s plumbing and filtration system checked immediately.
7. Rusted silverware
Sometimes you may not be able to spot water contamination from clear signals like the taste, color, and smell. There’s another telltale sign of contaminated tap water.
Look at any silverware you’ve recently washed. If it appears tarnished or rusted, you should suspect iron elements in the tap water. The iron that deposits on the silverware after washing will rust with exposure to oxygen in the air. If you’ve not noticed any unusual color in the tap water, the iron levels may be significantly low. But over time even small traces of iron can cause rusting of plumbing pipes and become a great health hazard.
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