In Florida, your water most likely comes from a private well or your local municipality.
For wells, because of their environment, there is always a chance that it can suddenly, unbeknownst to you become contaminated. Ideally, your water should have little to no taste or smell. If you detect a color, flavor or odor, it could indicate contamination and should be tested. All wells should be tested yearly for safety.
City water treatment is vital for providing a safe, drinkable supply to local populations. Water passes through several treatment stages before it ever reaches your home. How much do you know about the specific processes your water passes through to make it fit for human consumption?
There are 4 basic issues to be concerned with here in Florida:
There are various contaminants specific to Florida’s aquifer that are identifiable by taste or smell. Aquifers are giant, underground rocks made of porous limestone that contain a large amount of fresh water. Water from an aquifer can be easily contaminated easily due to Florida’s thin soil layers and high-water table, along with our large amounts of rainfall. The three most common aquifer contaminants are dry-cleaning solvents, gasoline leaking from storage tanks, and various pesticides. Because of these possible contaminants, it’s crucial to schedule frequent well water inspections and get water treatment if needed.
Chlorine (a debated carcinogen) helps disinfect water and prevent waterborne diseases, in order to make water safe to drink. However, a bleach scent or chemical smell is a cause for concern. Does your water smell like your pool? This smell indicates a level of chlorine that is too high and above the safe, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum, and could be a sign of well pump malfunction. The EPA requires that chlorine levels in public water systems stay within a detectable range but not above 4mg/L. While Florida residents have no control over the amount of chlorine in their municipality water, there is filtration to eliminate it in your home. Keep in mind that chlorine is a gas, so it is also inhaled in showers and other running waters.
Organic contamination from bacteria in the water is a severe health concern. Bacteria can originate from septic tanks, livestock etc. and contaminates groundwater through corroded or poorly installed wells or seep into the underground water. Health risks from bacterial contamination include illness, infection, and “flesh-eating bacteria”. A sulfur or rotten egg smell can indicate the presence of sulfur bacteria, as well. Sulfur bacteria is highly corrosive, so it frequently leads to leaky pipes and appliances. Bacteria can be treated by a water treatment specialist. Please test your well water regularly!
Hard water is the most common problem with water in Florida. It has a high concentration of minerals, such as calcium or magnesium, and can result in a range of issues (Buy the filter or be the filter!). There are a few common signs of hard water, such as mineral buildup around water fixtures, soap scum in the bathtub, and spots on dishes or glassware. The plumbing, plumbing fixtures, and water-based appliances can become corroded or clogged with this water debris. We can’t identify hard water by smell or taste. What’s worse, household water supplies accessed by well pumps — contain hard water. If you suspect hard water in your household, contact us to help you choose and install a water softener for your home.
Your water is the most important water. Keep in mind that EVERYTHING DRINKS! These issues can contaminate your home, your body, your pets, the foods you eat (like rice, coffee, pasta etc.) and even linger in your clothing and bedding. Take control of your own home and have your water tested regularly!