Hard water contains dissolved calcium, magnesium and in many cases, iron. Most homes have hard water, whether it is supplied by a private well or a municipality. In many cases, homeowners don’t realize they have hard water or the constant and expensive harm it causes.
Dry skin and hair, bathtub rings, spots on glass, silverware and fixtures, dull, dingy clothing, disappointing performance, and a shortened life expectancy of water-using appliances are all problems frequently caused by hard water.
Chlorine taste or smell
Since the 1850s, chlorine has been used as a disinfectant to kill harmful bacteria in the water itself or the pipes that transport it. Although it has helped end a number of major threats to public health and is essential at the treatment plant and in the water distribution system, it is no longer necessary once the water reaches your home.
Though chlorine is vital for stopping the spread of disease, its benefits come at a price. Chlorine tastes and smells bad. It dries skin and hair, fades clothes (bleach is made of chlorine), and can dry out the rubber seals in appliances, shortening their lives.
Nitrates are a colorless, odorless and tasteless naturally occurring compound. When ingested in large quantities they can pose a health risk to pregnant women and infants since they are impossible to see, smell or taste, testing is a reasonable precaution.
Rotten Egg Smell
In its pristine state, water is colorless, tasteless and odorless. So, if your water tastes or smells funny, you owe it to yourself to find out why.
Earthy or musty taste and odor
These types of complaints are generally the result of compounds released due to decayed vegetation and are typically associated with different forms of algae. While not toxic, they are nonetheless unpleasant and can be offensive at very low concentrations.
“Rotten Egg” smell
Another common source of smelly water is hydrogen sulfide (sulfur). Hydrogen sulfide is a corrosive gas which has the characteristic odor of rotten eggs. If present in high enough concentrations, it can leave an unpleasant odor on hair and clothing. It can also accelerate corrosion of metal parts in appliances.
As the name implies, a metallic taste to your water indicates the presence of metals such as iron, copper, manganese or zinc. Iron and manganese are often naturally occurring and are predominately found in groundwater. Copper and zinc can come from an aging water distribution system or the corrosion of copper plumbing and brass fittings.
Bacteria and Viruses
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there could be as many as 12 million cases of waterborne acute gastrointestinal illness annually in the United States alone. These illnesses are frequently caused by bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that make their way into the water supply.