Common Water Problems
Water is a complex entity and varies greatly due to many factors such as; where it is drawn from (composition of the soil and rock), the turbidity (runoff conditions), time of year, and the disinfectant that the municipality uses to treat it. All of these aspects can play apart in determining the quality of our water and how it tastes and smells. Rather than discussing many water issues, we will only address some of the most common water problems we face. All of these problems can be dealt with effectively with water filtration systems that we use.
Taste & Odor
There are many contaminants which could adversely affect the taste or odor of water. On a municipal water system, chances are, you may periodically experience the taste or odor of a swimming pool. This is probably caused by the disinfectant chlorine that is used to treat the water. If you experience a metallic or salty taste, it may be due to excessive amounts of iron, copper, or manganese in the water which may be naturally occurring or by-products of corrosion. An earthy, musty or fishy smell is generally caused by naturally occurring algae, molds and bacteria found in lakes and rivers. The smell of rotten eggs is usually associated with the release of hydrogen sulfide in the water, often created by bacteria in deep wells or low use water mains.
Chlorine & Chloramine
In order to make water safe for drinking, municipalities use chlorine to kill bacteria and other micro-organisms. Unfortunately, chlorine can produce an unpleasant and strong, pungent smell. Chlorine is corrosive and can cause damage to appliances and foodservice equipment. In conjunction with naturally occurring organic compounds in the water, they may form potentially harmful by-products such as trihalomethanes which are volatile organic compounds. Just before the water leaves the treatment facility to go into the water mains, ammonia is added to the water and chloramine is formed. Chloramines can also have an adverse effect on the taste and odor of water.
Every water supply has some amount of dissolved mineral content. When the concentrations of these minerals (usually calcium, magnesium, carbonate and sulfate) are heated, the minerals can drop out of solution and settle on surfaces such as coffee brewers and ice machines to form a hard crust and problems. This hard rock-like crust is called lime scale.
The two most common cysts (parasites) common to all major surface water supplies in theU.S.are Giardia and Cryptosporidia. These parasites are found in water contaminated by animal waste. After leaving their host, these parasites develop a hard shell making them resistant to municipal disinfection. However, they can be removed by many Everpure sub-micron absolute filters that don’t allow the typically 4 – 7 micron size cysts to pass through. Cysts can cause intestinal illnesses and can be fatal to individuals with compromised immune systems.
The term turbidity is used to describe the suspended solids found in our water supply. It can be from organic materials such as debris from plants and animals or inorganic materials such as clay, silt and rust. When there is high turbidity, the water can appear cloudy or dirty looking and these particles can build up and eventually clog water-using appliances.
Lead is a heavy metal which gets into our tap water through corrosion of plumbing materials. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. Today, “lead-free” plumbing may contain up to 8% lead and still pose a problem. If not addressed, lead can cause a variety of health effects for both children and adults.
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