Discussions on water quality tend to focus on the municipal water supply. However, some factors can improve or worsen water quality within your own home. Fortunately, that means you can take steps to improve the way your water tastes and deal with issues like mineral scale building up on the shower walls. Here are 5 simple ways to improve the quality of the water in your home.
Inspect Your Water
Take a look at the water flowing from your tap. If there is a reddish tint, there may be dissolved iron in the water. This could be due to rust in your pipes or iron particles from the soil itself. If the water has a green or blue tint or leaves stains in that color on your clothes, copper from the pipes is entering the water supply. Black, on the other hand, could indicate that there’s manganese.
Does the water contain sediments? This is a problem, though filtration can help. If your water has taken on a strange new taste or odor, have the water tested to determine the root cause. For example, a reddish-brown slime in the water is probably proof of iron bacteria, not just iron-rich sediment in the water. If it smells musty or septic, it may contain dangerous coliform bacteria. Just don’t ignore problems that could make you sick or indicate plumbing problems that are only going to get worse.
Flush the Pipes
Sediment and particles leaching from your water pipes can collect in the water sitting in the pipes. The solution is to run the cold water tap for two minutes before you use the water for drinking or cooking, take a shower, do laundry, or run the dishwasher. This will flush the calcium, lime, and rust from the pipes throughout the entire home. Note that this isn’t necessary if you’ve flushed the toilet recently.
Default to Cold Water
We’ve mentioned the materials that can collect in the cold water pipes simply by sitting there. The same thing can happen with hot water sitting inside your water heater. Furthermore, the water heater is a breeding ground for bacteria thanks to the sediment that accumulates there. Use cold water for cooking and cleaning over hot water.
Install Water Filters and Then Maintain Them
A whole-house water filtration system will give your family good tasting water. Consider looking at reverse osmosis systems. These systems work by pushing unfiltered water through a filter that removes undesirable substances.
Once you have water filtration in place, replace the filter cartridges regularly. Bacteria and metals can build up in them and contaminate the water if the filters are too old. If you have an aerator screen on the faucets, these need to be removed and cleaned periodically as well for the same reason.
Upgrade Your Plumbing
If you have lead pipes, they need to be replaced. If you have galvanized pipes, consider installing copper pipes. Once you replace the pipes, flush the cold water taps for ten minutes every day for several days to flush out the toxic metal particles that may remain in the system.
There are many reasons why your water may be discolored, taste funny or otherwise seem wrong. Take these steps if you want to improve the quality of your drinking water and protect your family’s health.
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