Your home’s water quality directly impacts your family’s health. Poor-quality water may contain microbes, heavy metals, or minerals that can make people sick and damage plumbing systems and appliances.
Understanding water quality and how to monitor it will keep you and your family safe and keep your home's plumbing working correctly and prolong the life of your appliances.Call your local Mr. Rooter® Plumbing at (855) 591-0128 for immediate assistance with your water quality concerns.
Common Water Quality Problems
- Hard Water
Water that is ‘’hard’’ is high in dissolved minerals. Hard water is not a health risk but can cause mineral buildup in water pipes, tubs and showers, heating systems, and dishwashers. If you notice chalky deposits in any of your faucets, there could be deposits in your pipes, which can cause water pressure problems. Consider getting a water softener installed to solve hard water issues.
- Acidic Flavor
The pH level of pure water is 7; Health Canada recommends drinking water have a pH between 7 and 10.5. Water with a pH level of less than 7 is considered acidic and may increase the metals present in your water supply. Water with a pH above the recommended range often tastes bitter and may leave mineral deposits on fixtures and pipes. If your tap water’s pH is low, installing a water softener may fix the problem. If your pH is too high, consider an acid neutralizer system to bring the pH level down to a normal level.
- Foul Taste or Smell
Any bad smell or taste in your water is a problem. Smells can indicate decaying organic matter in the pipes or drains, which can cause blockages, health problems, and other plumbing issues. If the odor is only coming from your hot water, it may be time to replace the anode rod in your water heater.
The Health Risks of Poor-Quality Water
Drinking poor-quality water can cause an array of health issues. According to Health Canada, some of the most common are:
- e. coli, bacteria that causes diarrhea and intestinal cramping and in the most serious cases can lead to kidney failure.
- Giardiasis, a diarrheal disease caused by microscopic parasites.
- Hepatitis A, a serious and contagious liver infection caused by a virus.
- Norovirus, a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea.
- Shigellosis, one of the most contagious diarrhea-causing bacterial infections.
Ingesting poor-quality water isn’t the only way to get a water-borne infection. Inhaling contaminated water droplets in the shower can cause Legionnaires’ disease and other serious respiratory problems that are sometimes fatal.
What Makes Good Water Quality?
In Canada, Health Canada regulates water quality standards. You can learn more about the guidelines for Canadian drinking water quality on the Health Canada website.
Generally accepted characteristics of good water quality include:
- No more than 250 mg/L of chloride
- No more than 1 mg/L of copper
- No more than 0.3 mg/L of iron
- A pH between 7 and 10.5
- No more than 500 mg/L of sulfate
- No more than 500 mg/L of total dissolved solids, which includes all organic and inorganic substances
How to Monitor Water Quality
A complete water test is the first step in assessing and monitoring your water quality. Choose a test that identifies:
- Metals, including lead
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Total dissolved solids
If you are on a municipal or private water system, by law, your water company is required to supply you with a consumer confidence report every year. This report details all contaminants that may be present in your water and alerts you to the health risks of these contaminants. You should be able to find recent reports published on your water company’s website.
If you have a well, it’s up to you to check and monitor water quality for your home.
Protect Your Water Quality with Mr. Rooter Plumbing
If you want to learn more about water filtration systems or water softeners, your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing can help. Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing at (855) 591-0128 to speak with a plumbing expert about your water quality concerns.