Clean and safe water is one of the most essential things for our well-being. However, water sources can become contaminated sometimes, putting us at a health risk. While most of the water supplies in Canada are safe, there are chances you may encounter contaminated water.
According to the National Institute of Health, over 400,000 enteric diseases occur each year in Canada due to consuming unsafe water. That’s why it’s extremely important to know the signs of contaminated water so that you can identify it as soon as possible.
In this comprehensive blog, we will explore the most common signs of contaminated water and provide guidance on how you can tackle this issue. By understanding the signs properly, you can take appropriate steps to ensure your and your family’s safety.
The Importance of Water Quality
Water is a fundamental resource for our bodies. Almost 70% of our body is made of water, so you can understand how much our body depends on water! But the water we consume needs to be safe from any contamination.
Contaminated water can contain various harmful substances such as bacteria, viruses, chemicals, heavy metals, and pollutants that can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Even if you don’t drink the contaminated water, it can still make you sick. If you use contaminated water to cook or wash your food, the harmful substances can get into your food and pose serious health concern.
Water used for bathing and showering can contain contaminants that are absorbed through the skin. Chorine for example is commonly added to tap water but can cause skin and respiratory irritation when absorbed during bathing.
Not for humans only, contaminated water can be harmful for plants also, potentially affecting the fruits and vegetables grown in your garden.
So, it’s really important to keep our water clean to make sure our loved ones are safe.
Top Signs of Contaminated Water
Unpleasant Odor or Taste
The most obvious sign of contaminated water is a strange odor or taste. If your water smells or tastes fusty, weird, or more like rotten eggs, it might contain microbes, chemical substances, or other impurities found in the water. Overuse of sodium or chorine is also a great cause of water contamination.
Do you think your water smells like a swimming pool? Public water supplies add chlorine to the water to remove bacteria and other microbes. However, it might not pose a serious concern to health. But the odor can make you or taste can make is discomforting. Consider buying a filter to eliminate any sort of chemicals.
If you find a smell similar to rotten eggs, sodium is the reason. But you don’t need to worry about this one, too, as it’s not a threat to your body. A water filter can get rid of a sulfur odor the same way it can get rid of chlorine.
If your tap water appears to have any unusual color, it could be a sign of contaminated water. Discoloration can result from rusted pipes, sediment, or the presence of excessive minerals in the water. Keep in mind water can also appear muddy or cloudy in this scenario.
Changes in Water Clarity
If your water used to be clear but has become cloudy or murky, it could be a sign of contamination. Cloudiness may result from the presence of bacteria, chemicals, or other substances that affect water clarity.
You should test your water from a professional water remediation service in Toronto if this happens to ensure safety.
Sediment or Particles
Another sign of contaminated water is sediment or particles floating in your water. These impurities may include sand, dirt, rust, or other debris and indicate a problem with the water supply.
Sediment can also settle at the bottom of glasses or containers. Try installing a point-of-use sediment filter to solve the issue.
Some parts of Canada naturally contain ‘Hard Water,’ which is basically highly concentrated mineral water of calcium and magnesium. Hard water is not harmful to your health, but it can prevent foam and bubbles and lessen the efficiency of laundry detergent, dish soap, and hand soap.
Hard water also shortens the useful lifespan of your hot water heater, boiler, and other appliances by leaving a stain on glassware, serving utensils, and pipes. Install a water-softening system to get rid of water contamination caused by hard water.
Contaminated water can leave behind stains on sinks, bathtubs, or fixtures. These residues may appear as crusty deposits or soap scum that is difficult to remove. It is important to note that these residues can be one of the signs of contaminated water caused by excess minerals or other particles.
If you didn’t notice any of the signs but you often feel itching or skin irritation, contaminated water could be the reason.
According to CDC, if your skin is in touch with contaminated water for a long time, it can cause a rash known as “hot tub rash” (Pseudomonas folliculitis). It is caused by the germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This germ is commonly found in the soil and water.
Other than this, water contamination can cause a range of health issues, including nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and skin rashes. If multiple individuals in your family consistently experience such symptoms, it is essential to check if your water is contaminated water.
What to Do if You See A Sign of Contaminated Water?
Test Your Water
If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it is crucial to have your water tested. Contact your local health department or a certified laboratory for a test to ensure safe drinking water.
They can identify the contaminants and provide guidance on the necessary steps to address the issue. Testing may involve analyzing the water for bacteria, chemicals, heavy metals, or other pollutants that could be present.
Install Water Filters or Purifiers
Depending on the specific contaminants found in your water, you may need to install appropriate water filters or purifiers. Different filtration systems target different contaminants, so choose one that suits your needs.
Common options include activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis systems, and UV disinfection. Consult with water treatment professionals to determine the best filtration system to prevent yourself from contaminated water.
Professional Plumbing Maintenance
Professional plumbing maintenance is the first thing to do if your plumbing system is old or has never been maintained properly. Regularly inspect and maintain your plumbing to prevent water contamination.
Your water comes through your plumbing system, which is usually beneath walls or grounds, so it’s most likely out of your hands to check it properly. Professional maintenance will help you to identify the issue and fix it for you. If you live around Toronto, professional water remediation service, CItizen Plumbing is a reliable choice to save yourself from contaminated water.
Replacing the old pipes and fixing leaks can ensure proper drainage to reduce the risk of pollutants infiltrating your water supply. Professional plumbing services in Toronto can assist in identifying the plumbing issue of your plumbing system and recommend any necessary repairs or replacements.
Follow Local Water Quality Reports
Stay informed about your local water quality by reviewing annual water quality reports. These reports are often available from your local water utility or health department and provide valuable information on the safety of your water supply.
Pay attention to any alerts or advisories regarding water quality issues in your area and take appropriate action as recommended. Check out the water quality report on the Canada Government website to see if your area’s water is contaminated, or you can also search by the zip code of your area.
We depend on water for our health and hundreds of household chores, but the water needs to be free from any contamination; otherwise, it can be dangerous for your family’s health.
You can detect contaminated water by noticing unpleasant smell or taste, discolored water, or changes in water clarity. Also, unusual spots, stains, or skin irritation can make you suspect water contamination.
Recognizing the signs of contaminated water is crucial for safeguarding your health and the well-being of your family. By staying vigilant about signs of contaminated water and taking the necessary steps to address potential issues, you can ensure that the water you consume is clean, safe, and free from harmful contaminants.
Regular testing, appropriate filtration systems, and proper maintenance of your plumbing system by professional plumbing services in Toronto are essential to maintaining a healthy water supply. Remember, prevention is better than cure when it comes to water quality.
For more information on water testing, filtration systems, or local water quality reports, consult with your local health department or trusted water treatment professionals. By following the expert tips provided in the blog, you can make sure to mark your home safe from water contamination.