Until the disaster in Flint, Michigan, most people living in the United States were operating under the false presumption that all tap water in the United States is safe to drink. Data proves otherwise.
A study found that there were more than 80,000 violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act reported in 2015. More than 77 million Americans were served with this contaminated drinking water.
It’s essential to be diligent about your water quality and purchase alternative water solutions if you need them.
If you keep asking yourself, “Should I drink tap water?” and don’t know where to start, this is the article for you. Read on to learn about some of the most common warning signs of contaminated water.
1. Rotten Egg Smell: Hydrogen Sulfide
Does your water smell like rotten eggs? If so, there could be a presence of hydrogen sulfide in your tap water.
Hydrogen Sulfide is a gas that can occur naturally in groundwater. While in most instances, your water is still safe to drink, there is a chance that the smell of rotten eggs can mean you have dangerous water contamination.
Drinking water that contains hydrogen sulfide can cause health problems like dehydration and diarrhea.
When it comes to your drinking water, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. What can you do if your tap water isn’t fit for consumption?
- Purchase bottled water for a temporary fix. Bottled water is better than tap water. But, it is more acidic than is preferred for your body, and plastic bottles can release carcinogenic materials.
- Drink filtered water. While this is a decent solution because it removes harmful elements from the water, it’s still not the best solution. Filters don’t add anything beneficial to your water, and they don’t make the water alkaline, which is the best for your health.
- Purchase a product that can create ionized alkaline water with negative pral. Although these products can appear expensive, studies have shown that they’re the most cost-effective solution in the long run. You also get the added health benefits of consuming water that’s rich in minerals, and safe for consumption.
2. Should I Drink Tap Water That is Cloudy?
Tap water can appear cloudy for a couple of different reasons, some are safe, and some are not.
Sometimes you go to get a glass of water, and it appears cloudy, but then it quickly clears up. In this instance, the cloudiness in the water is most likely being caused by air bubbles in the water. After the air rises to the top of the water, it clears up.
Cloudy water that’s caused by air bubbles is totally harmless and perfectly fine to drink.
However, sometimes the appearance of cloudiness in your water means there are pathogens or chemicals in the water. Tap water that is safe to drink shouldn’t appear cloudy or foamy, except in the instance that the cloudiness clears up quickly.
If your water looks cloudy when you run it, and doesn’t clear up quickly, you should not drink it.
3. Yellow Water Color
If you turn on your water and it comes out yellow, that could mean numerous different things. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t good. Yellow coloring in your water could mean it contains chromium-6, which is a dangerous chemical that causes cancer.
A yellow coloring in tap water could also be a sign of a buildup of lead, copper, manganese, or iron.
4. Chlorine: Does Your Tap Water Smell Like a Swimming Pool?
If you go to take a sip of your tap water and it smells like a swimming pool, that could mean it contains chlorine. Believe it or not, it’s a common practice for public water treatment facilities to add chlorine to public water to kill bacteria.
Even though adding a small amount of chlorine is common, consuming high levels of chlorine could lead to health issues.
5. Hard Water
One of the warning signs to look out for in your tap water is if you have hard water. Some of the warning signs to look for include the following:
- Your hands feel slimy, even after washing them with soap and water.
- Large amounts of soap scum keep showing up on your sinks and tubs.
- Mineral residue is left behind on dishes.
- Soap doesn’t seem to lather.
If you have hard water, it doesn’t mean that your water is contaminated, sometimes it just means that there is too much calcium or magnesium, which isn’t harmful to your health.
However, hard water could also be an indicator that you have lead, aluminum, or manganese in your water.
6. Fishy Smell
If your tap water smells fishy, that could indicate that there is an excess of barium in the water. When barium exists in your drinking water beyond the levels recommended by the EPA, it can cause a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, and kidney, heart, and liver damage.
Another chemical that causes water to take on a fishy smell is cadmium. Cadmium can often find its way into water pipes through industrial waste and is the chemical found in lead and copper ore. When you are exposed to high levels of cadmium in your drinking water it can cause liver and bone damage.
7. Metallic Taste
When you drink your water and get a funky metallic taste in your mouth, that’s a sign of copper or iron in your water. Rusty pipes are the culprit behind this metallic taste. When pipes rust, they can release metals like lead, copper, and iron into the water supply.
It was this metallic taste that gave the residents of Flint, Michigan a warning that there was lead present in their water.
That being said, a metallic taste can also just mean your water has a low pH, so it doesn’t always signify contamination.
Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones From Contaminated Water
After reading this post, hopefully you will no longer be asking yourself, “Should I drink tap water?” Stay aware and regularly look for the warning signs of possible water contamination. When in doubt, it’s better safe than sorry.
If you’re looking for more information about keeping you and your family healthy, we’ve got you covered. Check out our blog regularly for more posts about living a healthy and safe life.