Water is essential to maintaining health, regulating the environment, and growing food. You drink it, cook with it, bathe with it, and wash your dishes and clothes with it. Did you know it may contain many chemicals, minerals, and other pollutants that can affect your health, leading to long-term medical conditions?
When it comes to drinking water, it should be clear and free of any metals, animal and human feces, and diseases. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States sets limits for chemicals and germs in the water and controls its quality in public water systems. However, sometimes it may be polluted with dangerously high concentrations of microbes and pollutants. Chemicals and germs can get into drinking water at the source (for instance, water from rivers or lakes or groundwater) or while it is being distributed. Contamination can come from various sources, including pesticides, fertilizers, stormwater, wildlife, sewer overflows, illegal dumping of toxic waste, or soil and rocks that naturally have minerals and chemicals.
If you think your drinking water might be toxic, you must have it evaluated for germs, harmful chemicals, or minerals in a laboratory. Also, if you are a Camp Lejeune contaminated water victim who worked or lived at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, U.S., between 1953 and 1987, you can file Camp Lejeune water contamination claims to get your financial compensation. No matter when your exposure occurred, you may qualify to file a claim. You can be eligible even if your loved one has passed away.
Before you go for water analysis, there are a few indications that your water may not be safe to drink. Read on to learn seven ways to screen for toxicants in aqua.
1. Smell of Chlorine
When your drinking water starts smelling like a swimming pool, it is a sign that it may be over-chlorinated. You may smell chlorine in it because your local water supply in charge put it there for a good reason. Typically, chlorine is incorporated into water supplies to eliminate harmful microorganisms, including bacteria. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows chlorination; however, it limits the level in drinking water to a specific amount, 4mg/L.
If you suspect your drinking water is over-chlorinated, get it assessed and consider adding a water filter to remove any trace of chemicals.
2. Low Water Pressure
If your kitchen faucet is running slower than normal, check your pipes, as they might have become clogged. It happens when your pipes corrode and fill with scale and sediment over time. The only option, which is a costly (but necessary) project, is to install PVC or new plumbing throughout your house.
3. Smell of Sulfur
Does your drinking water have a rotten egg odor? Sulfur can give drinking water this sort of smell. It occurs naturally due to chemical reactions and decay with rocks and soil. Sulfur bacteria can form slime and can promote the growth of other bacteria, including iron bacteria. This slime can obstruct irrigation, plumbing, and wells.
Even though it is acceptable to have trace levels of sulfur in your drinking water, you should not be capable of sensing it. High sulfur in your drinking water causes dehydration and intestinal issues.
If you sense the strong rotten egg odor, get your aqua tested for coliform bacteria to be safe.
4. Presence of Sediment and Dirt
Sediment can come from natural disasters, erosion, or pollution. If you have noticed dirt, sand, or another kind of sediment in your drinking water, this might be another indication that you are drinking contaminated water. While small particles are not dangerous, large quantities of sand, dirt, or other sediment particles can lead to health issues. Identifying the problem and installing a sediment filter can help solve this drinking water issue.
5. Triggering Physical Symptoms
Physical symptoms are the one thing you absolutely should not ignore. It is important to know how contaminated water affects your health. Some commonly reported health issues experienced from consuming impure water may include waterborne illnesses such as gastrointestinal problems, nausea, diarrhea, dehydration, stomach or intestinal cramps, or pain.
Keep in mind that just because you do not experience symptoms frequently does not imply that there won't be any long-term impacts. If you experience any signs mentioned, you should visit your healthcare provider immediately. Your doctor will likely ask for a blood test to check for certain chemicals.
6. Foamy Water
Drinking water should always be clean and clear. Minerals and other naturally occurring chemicals can occasionally cause drinking water to appear hazy or foamy since many municipal water systems do not filter them out. But, if the cloudy and foamy appearance persists, bacteria might be the culprit. You must have it analyzed if the issue continues.
7. Stains and Spots
Some areas of the US naturally have hard water, which means it has a high content of dissolved minerals like magnesium and calcium. Although hard water isn't harmful, it can prevent suds and lather and lessen the efficacy of your dish wash soap, laundry detergent, and hand soap. Moreover, it results in scale build-up and spots on glassware, piping, and service items which means your appliances, such as a boiler or a water heater, last less time. Installing a water softener is a good idea to help with this concern.
The quality of your drinking water is critical to your overall health. Although drinking water is often regulated by authorities, sometimes unsafe amounts of chemicals, pollutants, and germs may contaminate drinking water, leading to different health issues. Ideally, the water you consume should be clear with no taste or odor. However, if it tastes metallic, comes out foamy or cloudy, or smells, it could indicate the presence of some toxicants. Evaluate your drinking water as soon as you sense any contaminants to identify if it is safe to consume and uncover problems to restore the peace of your mind.