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Here are six things to look out for if you think there’s something wrong with your household water.
Does it run cloudy?
If your water doesn’t flow clearly even after running the tap for a while it could be contaminated. Try filling up a glass, and waiting thirty seconds to see if the water flows clearly. There could be bacteria in the water causing it to always be cloudy.
How’s the pressure?
If it’s taking too long to fill up your bowl to do the washing up this could be another clue that your water is contaminated. If the water pressure is slow it’s probably because of a blockage of sediment or limescale, so the water doesn’t flow as easily. This can especially be an inconvenience in the shower.
How does it smell?
Pay attention for a strange smell, typically the smell of chlorine or sulphur. These types of smells are caused by an excess of minerals in the water. Your tap water shouldn’t smell like a swimming pool when it’s just come out of the faucet so consider this a sign of contamination. A build-up of sulphur could cause an unpleasant smell. If you smell something more like rotten eggs, this will be sulphur, so get it checked as well.
How does it taste?
If your water is contaminated it will taste different. If you notice a strange new flavour it probably means it’s contaminated. This could include an oily, bitter, fishy or metallic taste. So if your drinking water tastes like an old can of tuna, be a little concerned. Oil in the water is one of the main contaminants in household water, which adds an odd taste.
Is there excessive sediment?
Any unusual residue you find in your water could be a build-up of dirt or sediment. This isn’t what clean water should look like so it’s a sign that your water is contaminated. Also, keep an eye out for odd stains and spots you find when pouring the water. Depending on where you live your water could either be soft or hard. If the water is hard this means it has a higher concentration of certain minerals such as calcium and magnesium. This also makes it more difficult to make suds, or foam up many cleaning products such as soaps and shampoos.
Does your baking often sink?
It may seem like a strange connection but if you bake, you’ll know water is important to the process. Bread, pies or pastries may not cook properly if the water quality isn’t good enough. If you notice your baked goods keep sinking when they didn’t before this could mean your water is contaminated. This is because chlorine can break up the yeast needed for it to rise.
If you’re worried about your water being contaminated try have a plumber inspect everything from your faucets to your hot water system. It’s better to be safe than sorry. There are many reported damages of drinking contaminated water.