Impurities In Tap Water

The Safe Drinking Water Act defines a contaminant as any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water. This broad definition covers contaminants that are readily apparent (such as those you can see, smell, or taste) as well as those that are not readily apparent (such as microorganisms). It’s bad enough to be able to see, smell, or taste a contaminant. Although your tap water may appear, smell and taste fine, this may not always be the case.

Beneath are helpful tips for identifying what might be causing you issues and when to contact an expert to assist.

Physical Impurities

Physical impurities refer to particles, such as sediment or organic material, suspended in the water of lakes, rivers, or streams. These particles come from land erosion by wind, water, or artificial means. Considering they are within the lakes, rivers, and streams – you might believe this does not affect your system. But unfortunately, these impurities can make their way into the water table for wells or into the general water supply of your city through things like pipe breaks or improper purification etiquette.

Chemical Contaminants

Chemical contaminants are elements or compounds that contaminate your home’s general water supply. These contaminants may be naturally occurring or manufactured; examples include nitrogen, bleach, salts, pesticides, metals, toxins produced by bacteria, and human or animal drugs.

How To Detect Common Tap Water Contaminants

With our ever-busy lives and families at home, ensuring the safety of your water is a top concern for many. To begin, we’ll start with one of the most common questions: What are the most common tap water contaminants, and what effect do they have on your health? Which impurities require filtration and which do not?

The smell of chlorine in tap water is common. Chlorine dissipates when exposed to air for a period of time, but if it remains present after the water has been left out, the problem may be with the pipes, which should be inspected regularly. 

If you see visible particles, you might have a problem. For example, the presence of metal particles in tap water can indicate that the pipes are rusting or that there is an excess of minerals present in the water. It can also indicate that a break in the system has damaged the pipes. The presence of brown, orange, or red particles may be due to rust or some industrial waste contaminating the water supply. If black particles are visible, they may be organic matter such as rubber from hoses. White particles indicate either a large number of minerals or that there is too much lime in the water. All of these indicate that you might need professional assistance (like by our experts at Conyers Plumbing) to bring your water supply back into balance for your health and safety.