How to Know if You Have Contaminants in Your Water

How to Know if You Have Contaminants in Your Water

By: Baylee Maust

Drinking clean water is one of the most vital aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But if the water you are consuming isn't clean, then all the natural benefits of H20 go right down the drain (no pun intended).

For many Americans, drinking water straight from the tap is their go-to option for hydration. But did you know the water from your sink may contain many harmful contaminants? This study reported that out of a sample of 120 American homes, 118 of them had water with traces of arsenic, lead, and other toxic chemicals that negatively impact our health.

We've compiled a simple water test you can easily conduct yourself to determine if your home's water source hosts bacteria, chemicals, or other unsafe elements.

First observe the look, smell, touch, and taste of your water, preferably in that order. If you notice a distinctly odd physical appearance such as a milky or cloudy white film, it's possible that your drinking water contains total dissolved solids.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) are small particles that make their way into your tap water (and eventually your cup). TDS particles can include lead and arsenic. Ignore cloudy drinking water for too long and the TDS in your tap water can lead to health problems, including diabetes and neurological damage.

If you live in a region of the country where your water source is a local lake, it’s important to keep an eye out for problems. A lake or pond with a thick, paint-like layer covering the surface may be a sign of unsafe water. That green slick might be toxic algae, or cyanobacteria, a dangerous bacterium that can make you very ill. Symptoms of exposure include nausea, vomiting, swollen lips, and muscle weakness.

Next, you'll want to test the smell of your drinking water. Not all contaminants are easily identifiable by the naked eye, and if we aren't careful about spotting them early, they create bigger health risks for you and your family in the future. If you encounter fishy, oily, bitter, or rotten egg smelling water, this could point to signs of water contamination.

The rotten egg smell can be caused by the presence of bacteria in your water, which can lead to illness. A buildup of hair and rotting food particles in your pipes may be the cause of this foul-smelling water and simply flushing the pipes with your faucet may eradicate the unpleasant odor. Other funky smells in your water may be caused by unhealthy levels of chemicals present in tap water. Chlorine and magnesium are often present in tap water.

The next water testing you'll want to attempt is identifying contaminants by touch. Water that feels slimy or leaves your hands coarse and rough could be another indicator of problematic drinking water. This same water may also leave water spots on your dishes after running the dishwasher. These are all signs of hard water.

Hard water is water that has high levels of calcium and magnesium. Although this type of water is not overly harmful to consume, hard water can damage your home's pipes, which can be costly to repair down the road.

Click here to learn more about hard water.

If your water supply has passed all these water test steps, you can now test your water quality for impure tastes. Water that has a metallic taste may present unhealthy levels of metals such as manganese, lead, zinc, and copper. Lead can slip off as particles from the pipes transporting your water and can cause lead poisoning.

There’s no need to panic about your water supply and drop thousands of dollars on bottled water and water treatments to achieve perfectly clean water. We know how important it is to have access to safe drinking water in order to live a healthy life, which is why our water coolers exceed other water dispenser models.

Brio Water Technology designs advanced water dispensing systems that are equipped with powerful water filters that ensure you always have access to clean water. This reverse osmosis under sink filtration system houses five filter stages in two cartridges to deliver the freshest drinking water around, all while remaining out of sight. You can put your trust in a water supplier that leads in innovation and health when it comes to your water quality.

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