Common Water Problems

drink water quality q&a

Change in the odor, color or taste of drinking water

The basic water profile should be used any time that there is a noticeable change in your drinking water.

Scaly residues, soaps don't lather

Hardness caused by calcium and magnesium salts dissolved in the water is generally the cause of this problem.

Unclear or cloudy water

Suspended dirt, clay, silt or rust will lend a cloudy appearance to water.

Green stains on sinks or faucets

Acidic water can leach copper from household plumbing and deposit it onto fixtures.

Brown-red stains on sinks or dishwasher

Dissolved iron or manganese may oxidize and be deposited onto sinks and other exposed items.

Rotten egg odor

Water containing hydrogen sulfide usually does not pose a health risk, but does give water a nuisance "rotten egg" smell and taste. Sulfur bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide as a metabolic by-product are generally the cause. Less commonly, a magnesium rod placed in water heaters to prevent corrosion may react with sulfates dissolved in the water to produce hydrogen sulfide. Since extremely small amounts of hydrogen sulfide can be detected in water by smell and taste, laboratory testing is not needed to detect its presence.

Salty or brackish taste

High sodium content in your ground water could be the result of heavily salted roadways or improperly maintained water treatment equipment.

Metallic taste

Usually caused by high iron content as the result of acidic water.

Methane gas or musty/earthy smell

These odors generally result from decaying organic matter in the water.

Odor of gasoline or fuel oil

Indicates petroleum seeping from a tank into the water supply. Test for volatile organic compounds(VOC's).

Near by areas of intensive agriculture

Chemicals to test for include arsenic, nitrates-nitrites and pesticides.