Clean, safe water is a fundamental requirement for any home, but sometimes, the water that flows from your taps may not be as pristine as you’d like. Contaminants in residential water can range from minerals and sediment to chemicals and microorganisms. Let’s explore a few common contaminants in residential water and what you can do to guarantee the water in your home is pure and healthy.
Types of Contaminants in Residential Water
1. Sediment in Your Home’s Water
Sediments, like sand, silt, and rust, can make your water appear cloudy and affect its taste and smell. Installing a sediment filter at your main water entry point or under the sink will trap and remove these particles and improve water clarity.
2. Chlorine and Chloramine
Municipal water treatment facilities often use chlorine or chloramine to disinfect water, leaving your water with an unpleasant taste and odor. A carbon filter, either a pitcher-style or a whole-house filter, will effectively remove these chemicals, helping the water taste fresh and clean.
3. Hard Water Minerals
Hard water contains excessive levels of calcium and magnesium, which can lead to scale buildup in pipes, faucets, and appliances. These minerals can accumulate over time and affect your plumbing. A water softener replaces these minerals with sodium ions, preventing scale formation.
4. Bacteria and Microorganisms
Harmful microorganisms like bacteria and viruses pose serious health risks if they find their way into your home’s water supply. Installing a UV water purifier or using a chlorine injection system will disinfect the water and protect your family from these contaminants.
5. Lead and Heavy Metals are Contaminants in Residential Water
Older homes may have lead pipes or plumbing fixtures that leach lead into the water. Lead exposure is a severe health concern, especially in households with young children. Test the water if you suspect lead pipes or fixtures in your home. You may need to replace the water lines to prevent contamination of your drinking water.
6. Pesticides and Herbicides
These chemicals can find their way into groundwater and wells, contaminating drinking water. A reverse osmosis system effectively filters out many pesticides and herbicides, providing your family with safer water.
Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, can mix with well water and lead to an increased cancer risk. To stay safe, use aeration systems or granular activated carbon (GAC) filters to get rid of radon in water.
What You Can Do About Contaminants in Residential Water
You can take steps to keep your drinking water clean and your family healthy. Understanding the types of contaminants in your home’s water is the first step.
- Regular Testing: Start by having your water tested for contaminants. Testing will help you understand the specific issues you need to address.
- Select the Right Filters: Choose the appropriate water treatment systems or filters for your home based on your water test results. Consult a professional if needed.
- Professional Installation: Some systems, like water softeners or UV purifiers, require professional installation for optimal performance.
- Regular Maintenance: Following the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines, keep your water treatment systems in good working order. Replace filters and cartridges as recommended.
- Stay Informed: Know your area’s water source and any potential contamination risks. Stay informed on updates from your local water utility to ensure water quality in your home.
Clean and safe water in your home is essential for the health and well-being of your family. Addressing common water contaminants allows you to enjoy fresh, pure water for drinking, cooking, and daily use.
Aztec Home Inspections offers inspections and water quality testing to homebuyers and sellers in Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, and the surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule our services.