How to Ensure You Are Using Quality Water at Home
Having quality water in your home should be your priority as a homeowner. Clean water saves us from dealing with many issues and keeps us whole and healthy. You need to take all the necessary steps to ensure that you’re consuming the best quality water.
Using low-quality water has some dreadful consequences, and it’s particularly harmful when you have highly vulnerable people like infants, older adults, and pregnant women in your home. Besides the obvious health complications associated with using bad water, some contaminants like heavy metals and sediments take it a step further by damaging your appliances, costing you thousands of dollars in replacements and repairs.
Some water quality issues you may face in your home
Whether you use a private or public water supply, you’re vulnerable to water quality issues. For instance, if your home uses a well water supply, you’ll be dealing with groundwater contaminants like pesticides from agricultural runoff. Common issues affecting tap water are lead and chemical contamination.
Microorganisms can be found everywhere in our environment, and your home water is no exception. Microorganisms lodge in pipes, valves, taps, and tanks, constantly contaminating your water. Most of these microorganisms cause severe health issues with common symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. If you notice these symptoms recurring, consider getting your water tested. If the test results confirm the presence of harmful microorganisms, swing into action immediately. Make sure that you carry out the right treatment for removal.
Heavy metals are widely distributed in our environment due to their many industrial uses. They also remain present in the environment for a very long time because they are not biodegradable. Instead of degrading and fading off, heavy metals undergo bioaccumulation. Elements like lead can be present in your water if your pipes and plumbing fixtures are old. Other heavy metals include arsenic, cadmium, copper, and selenium. They can cause considerable damage to your health even in little quantities if you’re exposed to them for an extended period.
Water hardness and rust
Hard water is a common water quality issue that many homeowners face. While not dangerous to health, it damages household appliances and costs you unnecessary expenses. Hard water is caused by an excessive amount of calcium and magnesium. It’s easy to know when you’re dealing with hard water because it leaves obvious signs like soap scum on your glassware. Using hard water also makes your hair and skin appear dull, as the soap scum is difficult to remove after showering.
Having iron in your water can also cause you a lot of problems. Iron is rarely found in large quantities in water, but even the tiniest amount is all it takes to give your water a reddish-brown color. Iron may not cause health issues, but it can destroy your appliances and leave them with a rusty appearance.
It’s very common to have chemical contaminants in the water supply. As a homeowner, it’s your job to take the measures needed to rid your water of harmful chemicals. Most change the smell, taste, and color of water, but some chemicals like pesticides and PFAS cause no obvious changes in water. It’s impossible to detect their presence by relying on taste, smell, and color alone. You’d need to run tests to confirm their presence or absence.
Chemicals like chlorine give off an offensive smell. They are used for water treatment in public water supply facilities to prevent microbial contamination. Chlorine is usually used in controlled amounts, but when you start to notice the smell of bleach in your water, it’s a sign that there’s excess chlorine present.
What do you do to ensure you have quality home water?
The first step to ensuring you have excellent water quality is carrying out a regular water quality test. You can do this by sending water samples to a testing lab or by using a test kit at home.
If you have tested your water and it does not meet the required standard, there are several water treatment options available to deal with bad quality water. These options depend on the particular water problem you are facing, meaning that for every impurity that may be present in your water, there is a specific way to remove it.
Here are some possible solutions:
Water softeners are used to remove the minerals that cause water hardness. Water softeners are made up of resin beads that are charged with sodium ions. They work by exchanging the hardness minerals with sodium. These ion exchangers are salt-based and are the most commonly used. However, salt-free water softeners are available, too. They are also called water conditioners. A water conditioner binds calcium and magnesium in order to prevent scale formation, thereby increasing the lifespan and efficiency of your appliances.
Whole house water filters
Whole house water filters work by treating water as soon as it enters your home and before distributing it to the various outlets. They are made of carbon or other filter media and remove impurities like chlorine, iron, and bacterial organisms. Whole house sediment filters are also available and eliminate visible suspended contaminants.
Ultraviolet disinfection systems
UV systems work solely against bacteria and viruses present in water. These systems must be used after sediment filtration to prevent debris that may block the UV light from reaching the microbes.
Point-of-use filters are installed at the end of your water system. They are available as under sink filters, countertop filters, and water filter pitchers. Depending on which type you use, you are working with different filtering methods like reverse osmosis, carbon absorption, and anion exchange.