There are a number of reasons why water supplied to homes can be less than satisfactory. Here a representative of Green Water Technologies discusses some of the problems water can present and what homeowners can do about it.
Q: Does a bad taste or odor in city water present a health risk?
Green Water Technologies: Generally speaking, water treated at a municipal plant will not present health problems. However, it can acquire impurities along the system of pipes that it traverses in order to get to people’s homes that may make the water less appealing.
Q: What are the most common ways municipal water can be objectionable?
Green Water Technologies: A common characteristic of municipal water is a chlorine taste or smell that comes from the chlorine used to treat water from bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause disease. Excessive chlorine levels can sometimes cause strong odor and taste.
Q: What are other typical problems?
Green Water Technologies: In some cases, water can naturally contain high mineral levels that aren’t removed by the disinfectant process and can produce a salty taste. Iron or manganese in water can produce a metallic taste.
Q: What about that all too common sulfur smell found in some city water?
Green Water Technologies: That comes from the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas, which creates a “rotten egg” odor. It is also corrosive to plumbing.
Q: Is there a simple test for the water?
Green Water Technologies: There is no universal test or treatment for bad taste and odor problems, but you can often find solutions by first targeting the cause of the problem.
Q: What are some examples?
Green Water Technologies: Some tastes and odors, especially those due to organic substances, can be removed from water by using an activated carbon filter. Other tastes and odors may respond to so-called oxidizing agents, such as hydrogen peroxide, ozone or potassium permanganate. The Water Quality Association offers an online “Diagnose Your Water” program to help consumers.