Understand Your Water

Common Issues

Water touches practically every room in your home. Its quality affects how your water tastes and smells, the food you cook, how your skin and hair feel and even how your appliances, fixtures and plumbing look and last. There are so many ways that better water can make a difference in your life. We invite you to learn more.

Water Basics

Water, which makes up 55-75 percent of the human body, is depended upon by every system in the body. Most of us have heard the recommendation to drink six 8-ounce servings of water every day. According to the American Dietetic Association, it may be necessary to drink more than this if you weigh more than 125 pounds or participate in physical activity. Doctors at Mayo Clinic recommend dividing your weight in half and using this number as the number of ounces of water consumption per day.

There are many reasons why it is critical that we maintain the proper water intake.

1. Reduce the risk of heart disease. Researchers at Loma Linda University in California studied more than 20,000 healthy men and women and found that people who drink more than five glasses of water a day were less likely to die from a heart attack or heart disease than those who drank fewer than two glasses a day.

2. Become more energetic and alert. Water plays a vital role in nearly every bodily function. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

3. Cushion and lube your joints and muscles. Water makes up a large part of the fluid that lubricates and cushions your joints and muscles. Drinking water before, during, and after exercise can also help reduce muscle cramping and premature fatigue.

4. Lose weight. Increased water consumption can help you control weight by preventing you from confusing hunger with thirst. Water will also keep your body systems working properly, including metabolism and digestion, and give you the energy (and hydration) necessary for exercise.

5. Flush toxins. By helping to flush toxins, appropriate water intake lessens the burden on your kidneys and liver.

6. Improve skin health. Drinking water moisturizes your skin from the inside out. Water is essential to maintaining elasticity and suppleness and helps prevent dryness.

7. Improve digestion. Water is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and chemical reactions. Water is a metabolical and transport tool for carbohydrates and proteins that our body uses as food. Moreover, water is helpful for preventing constipation by adding fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass.

8. Maintain healthy immune system. A healthy immune system is necessary to fight off disease. Low fluid intake is correlated with bladder, colon, breast, prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers.

9. Maintain ideal body temperature. Water regulates the body’s cooling system. Perspiration is a body function that controls the body temperature. An adequate supply of water is necessary for the body to produce sweat.

10. Avoid dehydration. Chronic Cellular Dehydration can result from consistent failure to drink enough water. This condition leaves the body weak and vulnerable to disease. It also leads to chemical nutritional, and pH imbalances that can cause a host of diseases. Dehydration can occur in any time of the year. Winter dryness can sometimes dehydrate the body even quicker than summer weather.

11. Reduce your risk of disease and infection. Water can help prevent kidney stones and reduce your chances of getting bladder, kidney, and urinary tract infections. One study found that women who drank more than five glasses of water a day had a risk of colon cancer that was 45 percent less than those who drank two or fewer glasses a day.

12. Get well. The traditional prescription to “drink plenty of fluids” when you’re sick still holds strong. Water can help control a fever, replace lost fluids, and thin out mucus.

13. Better Circulation. The levels of oxygen in the bloodstream are greater when the body is well hydrated. The more oxygen the body has readily available the more fat it will burn for energy without the presence of oxygen the body cannot utilize stored fat for energy efficiently. Not only will the body burn more fat when well hydrated but because there are increased oxygen levels you will also have more energy.

14. There is no substitute. It is difficult for the body to get water from any other source than water itself. Soft drinks and alcohol steal tremendous amounts of water from the body. Other beverages such as coffee and tea are diuretics therefore stealing precious water from the body.

15. Water is the substance of life. Life can not exist without water. We must constantly be adding fresh water to our body in order to keep it properly hydrated. Water can be a miracle cure for many common ailments such as headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and much more. We can go for weeks without food, but only 3 days without water!

Water Problems

Poor quality water may have an abnormal feel, odor, taste, or appearance. In some cases, poor quality water may have many of these characteristics. The chart below will help to identify the cause of water problems based on observations by the human senses.

If your water seems abnormal, make sure to do your part to make your water safe for your family to use and drink.

Abnormal Feel

Water with an abnormal feel may leave soap scum in bathtubs or sinks. The water may also leave an abrasive residual substance.

Abnormal Odor

Water with an abnormal odor may smell musty or may take a specific unnatural odor. For example, the water may smell like chlorine, rotten eggs, detergent, gasoline, methane, or phenol.

Abnormal Taste

Water with an abnormal taste may taste salty, brackish, alkali, or metallic. These or other tastes may be indication that your water is far from pure.

Abnormal Appearance

Water with an abnormal appearance may appear dirty, salty, silty, rusty, gray, brownish, blue-green, cloudy, or yellowish. In these or other cases, the water may have string-like particles or leave green stains in the water. The water may leave brown-red stains on clothes, sinks, or tubs.

Principal Source: “Sensitivity: A Key Water Conditioning Skill” written by Wes McGowan and published in Water Technology, September/October 1982.

If your water has a metallic taste or red/yellow colorization, you very well may have iron in your water. Iron can deposit brown, orange or yellow stains on kitchen and bath fixtures, as well as washing machines and clothing.

Iron Bacteria are nasty little critters that consume dissolved iron. They may colonize in your filtration system, water heater and water lines causing a foul odor and causing equipment to fail.

Manganese in water is a common, naturally occurring problem but can also be introduced by industry. It can produce a brownish discoloration and have a very unpleasant odor and taste. It may produce black deposits and black filaments. Chlorine bleach should not be used in laundry washed in water with a high iron or manganese content because it can cause stains to set. Some types of bacteria derive their energy by reacting with soluble forms of iron and manganese. These organisms are usually found in waters that have high levels of iron and manganese in solution. The reaction changes the iron and manganese from a soluble form into a less soluble form, thus causing precipitation and accumulation of black or reddish brown gelatinous material (slime). Masses of mucous, iron, and/or manganese can clog plumbing and water treatment equipment. They also slough off in globs that become iron or manganese stains on laundry. Currently known cases of manganese poisoning have occurred at elevated levels much higher than levels found in most natural water.

Sediment can damage plumbing and appliances over time. It includes rust particles that can cause brown, yellow or orange spots on clothing, fixtures and toilets.

When sediment is an issue with water-using appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, or water heaters, Point-of-Entry (POE) sediment filters may be used to treat all water at its entry point into the home. For drinking water filtration, Point-of-Use (POU) devices can be installed under the sink or attached to a tap. Sediment filters are often used as a pre-filter for other water treatment processes to increase their effectiveness and longevity.

Sulfur has a rotten egg smell and odor that can be caused by hydrogen sulfide in the water. Sulfur can be hard to remove from your water. The rotten egg smell can also be coming from your hot water heater. If the hot water heater is the culprit, you will need to fix the part in the hot water heater that is causing the sulfur odor.

What are the solutions?

Water quality varies from home to home, and no two homes are alike. What’s right for one family may not be right for yours. There are a number of ways to treat water. Depending on the water issue, the solution may address all the water in your home, or only water that is dispensed from a specific tap. Let us help!