With all the tasks filling up your daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists, monitoring the water quality in your home is probably pretty far down in your priorities. As long as it’s running clear and coming out at the right temperature, you might assume that everything is fine.
But even if your tap water comes from a treated municipal water supply or you’ve had your well tested in the past, your water quality still needs the occasional check-in. Why? Because water quality can change over time due to reasons both gradual and sudden.
To make matters worse, many contaminants are undetectable to our naked senses. So even if your water appears unchanged, it may be harboring harmful minerals and toxins.
To protect your health (and peace of mind), it pays to keep an eye on the water springing forth from your taps. Plus, monitoring your water supply can help you catch and address any potential hazards early. Specifically, here are a few reasons that the water quality in your home can change for the worse.
As we’ve seen with the landmark lead contamination cases in Flint and Benton Harbor, our water pipes have a lot to answer for. As water runs through certain types of piping, it gradually corrodes them from the inside. This includes many water systems made from lead pipes, which can cause highly toxic lead contamination as they deteriorate.
Unfortunately, much of America’s water-carrying infrastructure was installed before we knew the hazards of lead, back when reliance on lead pipes was extremely commonplace. Since then, science has established the extreme dangers of lead in drinking water, and in 1986, Congress banned the use of lead pipes.
However, those pipes already installed were allowed to remain. Even today, many of these lead pipes remain in use. Estimates suggest that around nine million residential homes and 400,000 schools and childcare centers still utilize lead pipes as part of their water systems in the US. It’s no wonder that the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has reported that between 2018 and 2020, roughly 56% of the US population likely consumed water from sources with detectable lead levels.
To ensure the safety of any water supply, municipal or otherwise, it’s essential to monitor the levels of various contaminants — including lead. If you’re concerned that pipe corrosion may be leaching minerals into your drinking water, consider requesting a free test to analyze the safety of your water supply.
Both municipal and well-water sources are potentially vulnerable to sudden contamination in the wake of a powerful storm. And they don’t always recede quickly — in some cases, the aftermath of a storm surge can cause contamination that lingers for years.
It happens like this: when bad weather causes rising water, storm surges, or flooding, this can trigger an overflow of hazardous contaminants from waste disposal sites, sewers, water treatment plants, agricultural lands, or stockyards. Pollutants from these sources are then carried into waterways, where they can introduce raw sewage, heavy metals, chemicals, and dangerous microorganisms.
If your water comes from a municipal source, you may be able to monitor local news for any announcements on the safety of your water supply. However, residences relying on well water are advised to have their water immediately tested — and, if need be, treated — after a major storm.
Unfortunately, storms aren’t the only factor that can introduce agricultural runoff into your drinking water, and the compounds contained within can be surprisingly dangerous. Agricultural runoff can include pesticides, chemical fertilizers, metals, minerals, and animal feces, to name a few.
Apart from storms, these contaminants can also infiltrate your water supply in the following ways:
- Overapplication of fertilizers
- Excessive crop irrigation
- Improper disposal of agricultural waste
- Through melting ice or snow
If your water supply is near land used for any farming or animal husbandry, you may want to remain extra vigilant on the quality of your drinking water. If periodic testing seems like an inconvenient burden, consider installing a whole-home water filtration system to ensure that your water quality is always top-notch. As a bonus, water filtration systems require minimal upkeep and can result in cost savings in water usage, appliance efficiency, and by eliminating the need to purchase bottled water.
Like agricultural runoff, sewage overflow can be caused by more than the weather. Depending on the source of the contamination, this phenomenon is officially termed as “sanitary sewer overflow” (SSO) or “combined sewer overflow” (CSO). This mode of water corruption occurs when untreated sewage escapes into the environment before reaching a sewage treatment plant for proper processing.
While rainfall tends to be the most common cause of SSO, sewage overflow can also be the result of:
- A malfunction at the sewage pumping station
- Unexpected power outages
- Broken or leaking sewer lines
When groundwater comes into contact with raw sewage, the water can be contaminated with all sorts of dangerous diseases and pathogens, causing waterborne illnesses if consumed by the unwitting public. Because of the highly hazardous nature of this contamination, a sewage overflow may also prompt the closure of any nearby beaches and restrictions on the consumption of local fish and shellfish.
Enjoy Safer Water with The Science of Water
Water is basic to human survival and a vital resource we can’t afford to ignore. So how can you be sure that your water quality is above par?
The Science of Water can help. Contact us for your free water test, and our professionals will evaluate the safety and purity of your water supply. Then, they’ll provide you with expert advice and recommendations to ensure your family’s drinking water is fresh, clean, and delicious.
For ongoing protection against water contamination, we can also install a whole-home filtration system matched to your specific needs. The Science of Water is a licensed installer of Puronics water filtration systems, which bring the power of NASA-backed technology into your home.
Everyone deserves easy access to clean, refreshing water. Ready to safeguard your home’s water supply? Contact us to get started on your clean water journey today!
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