Florida isn’t quite like any other state in the US, and its water issues can be equally unique. From Florida’s changing sea levels to the drinking water emerging from your taps, we’re looking at a few of the top Florida water FAQs that you’ve been wondering about.
1. Is Water in Florida Hard or Soft?
First off, when we talk about hard water, what exactly do we mean?
Water’s hardness is determined by the concentration of dissolved minerals it contains — for example, calcium and magnesium. Soft water has a low percentage of these minerals, while hard water has a higher percentage. This rate is measured in parts per million (ppm).
To give you a more accurate idea, the water hardness scale follows the following classifications:
- Soft: 0 – 17.1 ppm
- Slightly hard: 17.1 – 60 ppm
- Moderately hard: 60 – 120 ppm
- Hard: 120 – 180 ppm
- Very hard: anything higher than 180 ppm
On average, the water in Florida hovers around a hardness of 216 ppm, which means it’s not just hard — it’s astronomically hard. This can cause mineral buildup around faucets, inside water-using appliances like laundry machines and dishwashers, and even on your hair, skin, and scalp when bathing.
2. Is Water in Florida Rising? (Is Florida Sinking?)
Florida is a state surrounded by the ocean on three sides, not to mention all its lakes, swamps, and other bodies of water. With so much water abounding, some people wonder whether Florida is eventually going to disappear into the sea.
While that kind of scenario is probably a long way off, the fact is that Florida is losing ground. For one thing, the land surface in Florida is sinking, putting more and more dry land in a vulnerable position below sea level. And as ocean levels rise across the globe, the coastline in Florida is also facing encroachment. Experts predict that the sea level around Florida will rise one to four feet in the next 100 years, which will not only erode beaches and contribute to coastal flooding but also lead to the submersion of low areas inland.
Cities along the coast that want to preserve their beachfront areas will have to adapt — whether that means elevating buildings, bolstering their seawalls, or taking other measures to protect their coastlines.
3. Why Does Water in Florida Taste Bad?
Many Florida residents report an unpleasant taste to their tap water. But why?
Firstly, most of Florida’s water comes from an aquifer. Aquifers are essentially large, natural stone bowls that form in the layers of the earth and hold water underground. These water sources can then be accessed by wells and processed for consumption.
However, the aquifer that provides water to Florida has a high level of sulfur, and even when the water is filtered, some of that sulfur remains. If you aren’t familiar with this mineral, count yourself lucky. With an odor that’s usually described as “rotten eggs,” even the filtered vestiges of sulfur in your tap water can give it an offputting smell, which bleeds over into the taste and enjoyment of your drink.
To make matters worse, Florida water can also take on a distasteful flavor from other contaminants. Certain salts and minerals in water can make it taste bitter or even “bleachy,” such as the disinfectant chloramine, which is added as a water purifier in some municipalities.
4. Why Is Florida Water So Salty?
In addition to having an unpalatable, sulfurous taste in some areas, Florida water also has a reputation for being on the salty side. So depending on which minerals and chemicals dominate the water in your area, instead of tasting bitter, your water may come across as salty. For example, while some cities purify their water with the aforementioned chloramine, others use chloride. And while chloramine tastes like bleach, chloride tastes like — you guessed it — salt.
Florida’s proximity to the ocean also plays a role in salty groundwater. Seawater is, by definition, saline, meaning it contains high levels of salt. As this seawater encroaches into Florida’s freshwater resources, such as rivers or aquifers, their salt levels will gradually rise and become noticeable in your drinking supply. This process is known as saltwater intrusion and can even contaminate privately owned wells.
For several decades now, groundwater levels have fallen in Florida, enabling salinity to increase in local areas and across entire regions of the state. So if it seems like your drinking water is saltier than it used to be, there’s a good chance that it actually is.
5. Is the Water in Florida Safe to Drink?
With all this talk about sulfur, chemicals, and saltwater intrusion, you may be questioning whether your Florida water supply is even safe to drink. We don’t blame you for wondering!
Fortunately, the water is typically safe for consumption, even if it tastes less than perfect. Florida’s local governments must adhere to strict state and federal laws to monitor and treat water contaminants.
Of course, any water source can still be affected by unforeseen circumstances. On the occasion that a specific event does make your drinking water unsafe — for example, a powerful storm, flood, sewage leak, or other contamination source — you will receive a “water boil notice” advising you of the situation and warning against drinking your tap water.
But even if your drinking water is technically safe, you aren’t going to enjoy it if it tastes like rotten eggs or a salt lick. To ensure that your home’s water supply is not only protected against unexpected contamination but also consistently clean, clear, and delicious, consider installing a whole-home water filtration system.
The Science of Water
Everyone deserves safe water. Fortunately, The Science of Water can help protect you and your family by delivering the fresh, pure water you are entitled to. We use Puronics drinking water systems which provide highly filtered, crystal-clear water ideal for drinking, cooking, and bathing.
Plus, finding the right system is easy. Simply contact The Science of Water to schedule a free water test, and our professionals will evaluate the results to offer specific recommendations for your unique water supply.
If you’re hoping for cleaner drinking water despite Florida’s water issues, installing a whole-home filtration system is the only way to provide the complete peace of mind you’re looking for. So contact us to get started on your clean water journey today!
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