Learn How to Improve Home Water Quality
The average person uses 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. For example, this total includes water used for washing, drinking, watering lawns and waste disposal. Additionally, water consumption derives from private wells or municipal water supplies. Regardless of your water supply, homeowners demand clean and healthy water that remains free from impurities. All too often, however, we find signs of staining, bad taste and smell, cloudiness, discoloration or corrosion.
Signs of Poor Water Quality
Foul-smelling or bad-tasting water remains pertinent signs of impurities. However, more warning signs exist. To help, some common water odor or taste problems:
- A rotten-egg or sulfur smell or taste suggests the presence of hydrogen sulfide. That’s often caused by a certain type of bacteria in the water. Sulfates also cause the water to taste salty.
- A musty odor or tastes signals dissolved solids. Such aromas and tastes may be caused by decaying organic matter in the plumbing or even in your source of the water itself.
- You may notice a smell and taste of chlorine. Chlorine is added to the water to make the water safer to drink and originates during the normal chlorination treatment process.
- If water smells or tastes like turpentine or other chemicals, it potentially indicates the presence of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) or xylenes (byproducts of gasoline refining, paints, detergents, or inks).
- Metallic smells and tastes possibly signals mercury, lead, copper, arsenic or iron in the water. Many studies link high levels of lead in drinking water to delays in physical and mental development, short attention spans, and learning difficulties in children. Manganese and zinc also cause a metallic smell or taste.
Finally, these water quality pollutants (along with many others not specifically listed) negatively impact the taste or odor in your home. However, learning about these contaminants and how to eliminate their harmful effects remains the goal.