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Signs of Poor Water Quality

written by: Anurag Ghosh•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 4/29/2010

Signs of common water quality problems include those having a detergent smell, gritty or rough feel, murky color and metallic taste. There are several other symptoms, but one has to find out the cause of the impurity. In this article, we will learn about these signs and how to possibly treat them.

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    Signs of Common Water Quality Problems The signs of common water quality problems often appear because of impurities from artificial or natural sources. These impurities may cause several problems, including health problems, damaged plumbing equipment, etc. Impurities in water also make it unpalatable, mainly because of odor, taste and murky appearance. Common water-related problems will not only be found in municipal and public water supplies, but also in private water supplies.

    There are four different ways to determine significant problems in the quality of water. These include sense of feeling, taste, odor and sight. Here, we will discuss the various signs of water quality problems encompassing these four categories.

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    Different Signs of Common Water Quality Problems

    1. Hard Water

    When soap doesn’t lather well or when the water is coarse, then it certainly has a high percentage of limestone and magnesium salts. Other signs include white spots on dishes and scales on cooking utensils and pipes. There are no adverse health effects, but it does affect your skin's surface. In such situations, you should have a water softener or water conditioner installed.

    2. Sandy Feel

    A gritty feel is a result of fine silt and salt presence in water. You can use sophisticated water filters to prevent this sense of feeling.

    3. Detergent Smell

    Water with a detergent-like odor is a sign of disease-causing microorganisms. This is mainly due to the septic discharge that has seeped into the underground water supply. This type of water quality problem may cause several water-borne diseases. Carbon filtering and chlorinating will help to improve the quality of your water in this case.

    4. Metal Water Pipes Get Corroded

    Water that corrodes metal water pipes is due to low pH content. Common signs include bluish or greenish stains on pipe fixtures, a metallic taste in water, clothes with red or bluish-green stains, etc. Besides low pH, a high concentration of carbon dioxide is also seen as one of the main causes. You can use various treatments, such as a soda ash filter, aeration or a neutralizing filter.

    5. Water with Chlorine Smell

    Water with a chlorine odor is due to excessive chlorination, probably because of seepage of disinfection byproducts from factories or industries. You can remove the chlorine odor through a carbon filter.

    6. Cloudy Water

    Murky, dirty water is due to organic matter or silt mixed with water. The turbid water affects your laundry, and your clothes will look soiled or muddy. You can install a filter to remove any fiber or silt from the turbid water.

    7. Brackish Water

    If the taste is salty, then chances of a high sodium content cannot be ignored. You can use sophisticated home distillation systems or de-ionize the drinking water to remove the salty taste.

    8. Water with a Metallic Taste

    A metallic taste in water is a result of a very low pH content and heavy iron oxide concentration. It can have adverse effects on your health, so use a filter (Calcite type) to treat it.

    There are various other signs of common water quality problems, including a rotten egg odor (probably due to hydrogen sulfide content), black stains on laundry sink or tubs (due to manganese content), etc. Numerous impurities, such as pesticides, chloride or fluoride content contaminate water and cause visible signs. The best way to remove such impurities is to have the water analyzed and get advanced water treatment systems from a knowledgeable and genuine dealer.

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