Most of us take clean water for granted. So, when our water becomes contaminated, it's a great inconvenience in the house because obviously, you shouldn't use contaminated water to clean, drink, bathe, and cook.
Here are the top signs you should watch out for:
The most obvious sign that your water is contaminated is if you start seeing dirt or sediments in your water. It could be a sign that there's something wrong, possibly a corroded ancient pipes or tankless water heater in your Salt Lake City home. Although sediments are not entirely harmful, they can affect the taste and quality of your food and water.
2. Strange smell
Does your tap water smell like rust, chlorine, or sulfur? Strange smells can indicate contamination in your water supply. For example, a rusty smell can mean that your pipes are overly corroded. On the other hand, a chlorine smell can mean that your water still has trace amounts of the chemical, which is used to kill microorganisms in the water supply. Chlorine is not dangerous if in controlled amounts, but you might want to get a water filter to get rid of the smell and taste.
3. Weird taste
When your water tastes strange, stop drinking from the tap for now. Unusual tastes in your water, such as fishy, metallic, salty, or bitter tastes, can mean that there's contamination in your water supply. Have your water tested and buy a water filter for the meantime.
4. Hard water stains
If you start to notice hard water stains on your dishes or sinks, it's usually an indicator of mineral buildup in your plumbing. While hard water is not hazardous, it can reduce the effectiveness of soap, shorten the lifespan of appliances, and cause laundry to be stiff after washing. Luckily, you can address the issue by installing a water softener.
5. Gas smell
Although rare, smelling gas in your water can mean trouble. If you stumble upon this situation, close the tap and call your water supplier. Smelling gas in your water can mean that it's contaminated with fuel, petroleum, and other types of gasoline, which are all potentially harmful.
6. Cloudy or foamy appearance
It's normal for water to have a cloudy or foamy appearance due to harmless minerals and naturally-occurring compounds. However, if the cloudiness or foam doesn't disappear after you let water stand for a while, it can mean that there are bacteria or chemicals in your water. In this case, you have to have your water tested to be sure.
Discoloration in water can result from excessive iron, copper, manganese, or lead, as well as pollution from chemicals in the supply line. If you have discolored water, don't use it until a professional comes in and either fixes the problem or deems it harmless. Either way, get a water filter to eliminate the risk of ingesting contaminated water.
If you see any of these signs in your water, call a professional right away. Better yet, be proactive and test your water every year to see if it's safe to use.