Is Tap Water Safe to Drink: How to Tell When Your Water is Contaminated

In the United States, about 18 billion pounds of toxins are released into the groundwater, soil, and atmosphere yearly. A lot of that ends up in the water supply.

Is your tap water safe to drink?

In this article, you’ll find out how to tell if your water is contaminated and be able to answer is tap water safe to drink in your area? Read on to discover the symptoms of contaminated water before it’s too late.

Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Did you know that every year millions of Americans get their drinking water from a source that violates the Environmental Protection Agency? Looking to Flint, Michigan and their unsafe drinking water that came out brown and had a metallic taste, it can cause concern.

Sadly, Flint isn’t the only occurrence in the world of unsafe drinking water. Get your water tested, check water reports in your area, and if contaminants are present, don’t delay on buying a water softener.

1. Check Cloudiness

When checking your water, you’ll want to make sure it’s clear and has no strange odors. Cloudiness could mean pathogens and chemicals in your water. There are water softeners out there that can filter out dangerous contaminants in the water.

2. Water with Color

If you run your water and it’s yellow, brown, or orange, that’s not a good sign. Yellow water could mean the build-up of chromium-6, a cancer-causing chemical, or iron, copper, lead, or manganese.

Chromium-6 which was made by famous by Erin Brokovich, who filed a lawsuit in Hinkley, CA, when she had found chromium-6 in her drinking water. 25 years later, chromium-6 is still a problem facing Americans today. Sadly, it can be found in almost every state.

Today, advocates and scientists are in a battle who want regulations on the chemical’s health and hazards. If they prevail, they will extend the Environmental Protection Agency’s record.

Also, water that is green or blue could mean elevated levels of copper. Small amounts of copper aren’t dangerous, but high levels can lead to anemia, kidney, and liver damage.

3. Strange Taste

If you go to drink your water and it has a fishy, metallic, bitter, or oily taste it could be poor-quality water. You want your drinking water to have no taste when you go to drink it.

If it has a metallic taste this could mean copper is in your drinking water which can lead to anemia, liver or kidney disease, and digestion problems. Are you tasting a sharp chemical taste? This could mean there are pesticides in your tap water.

Pesticides could lead to birth defects, cancer, immunodeficiency, or pulmonary problems. If you’re concerned that there are pesticides in your water, stop drinking it immediately and have it tested.

4. Odd Odors

If your water has oil/gas odors, it could mean your water is contaminated with semi-volatile compounds or gasoline. This could cause negative health effects in the future, and if you’re pregnant you want to be especially careful.

When you go to drink your water and it smells like rotten eggs, you could have hydrogen sulfide. When hydrogen sulfide combines with certain bacteria, it can convert into sulfate which can cause diarrhea and dehydration.

Does your water smell fishy? This could be a sign of barium. When barium exceeds its natural levels, it could cause increased blood pressure, kidney, liver, and heart damage, or muscle weakness.

A fishy water smell could also mean cadmium which is a chemical found in copper and lead ores. It often winds up in pipes from industrial waste. High levels of cadmium can cause bone, liver, and kidney damage.

To check if your water is safe is to pour a glass of water and then move to another room. Swirl the water around, and if it smells like fish, that could mean you have contaminants in your water.

Do you smell bleach/chlorine when you go to drink your water? This could mean that there’s chlorine in your tap water. Long-term exposure to chlorine can lead to cancer or heart disease.

When chlorine mixes with other compounds in the water that can lead to health problems. Even low levels of chlorine can lead to a parasite called giardia that causes nausea, diarrhea, and cramps.

5. Some Contaminants Are Invisible

Unfortunately, some contaminants are invisible such as arsenic and nitrates. There can be more than one hazardous chemical in your drinking water. Know your water source and read water quality reports in your area.

6. Hands Feel Slimy After Washing Them

Do your hands feel slimy after washing them with soap and water? This could mean you have hard water which has a buildup of magnesium or calcium. This can leave deposits on your sink, drinking glass, or faucet.

Hard water can cause that slimy feeling on your hands after you wash them with soap and water, or why you use more detergent when you wash your clothes. Hard water could mean a buildup of magnesium or calcium, which isn’t necessarily dangerous to your health.

It could cause harm though if your drinking water contains lead, manganese, or aluminum.

Next Steps

Is tap water safe to drink in your area? After reading this article you should have a better answer to this question. Are you overwhelmed and unsure whether it’s safe to drink or not?

There are many options out there to filter out toxic chemicals such as water softeners. Contact us today and we can come take a look and help you pick out your best option.

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