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Understanding and Overcoming Common Water Contamination Problems | Insight from Your Trusted Lake Worth, TX Plumber

Understanding and Overcoming Common Water Contamination Problems | Insight from Your Trusted Lake Worth, TX Plumber

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Life in Lake Worth, TX, has many benefits. But in some cases, the household water supply is not one of them. If your water quality is less than you think it should be, call a friendly professional plumber for a quick assessment and cost-effective solution.

Common Water Contamination Issues

One or more problems may cause water supply contamination:

  • Substandard galvanized steel pipes
    • Hard water problems (mineral contaminants)
    • Water treatment plant fails
    • Local sewer and septic system leakage

Clean water can be fouled-up at many stages along the supply route. From the pumping source to your kitchen sink or shower, there are several possible suspects.

The best first step for you if you believe your household water supply is contaminated is to contact a professional. Your plumber has the training and experience to sniff out the source of the problem or advise if the problem is not within your home so that you can address that problem.

The Problem with Galvanized Steel

One common problem in homes built between 1880 and 1960 is that the original pipes remain in place. Thus, the incoming pipes fail to meet modern standards.

Moreover, we now know that efforts to prevent the pipes from corroding and rusting worked well externally, but not internally. The concept of coating steel pipes in an anti-corrosive zinc-based solution only delayed but did not stop rust and corrosion from forming inside the pipes.

Another downside to keeping galvanized pipes in place is that the molten zinc solution was itself impure and contaminated with lead and other unhealthy elements.

If your faucets are not delivering a reliable stream of water, and you live in an older dwelling, the chances are good that you have galvanized steel pipes and the rust and corrosion within is suppressing your water flow.

A further downside to the rust-from-within phenomena is that eventually, that rust will breach the exterior of the pipe, promoting leakage and water damage to the surrounding area.

If the thought of replacing all your old galvanized steel pipes is daunting, consider that the danger of lead exposure magnifies exponentially if the pipes once were connected to (or remain connected to) lead delivery pipes.

Flint, Michigan, is infamous thanks to news reports of its water contamination problems. Lead and galvanized pipes and water lines remain in use in older communities, despite the known health hazards.

You may notice your water looks “rusty” or reddish-brown. The rust will permeate and discolor porcelain basins. Drinking and bathing in rusty water that contains a large number of contaminants, including lead, in not a healthy idea.

What Is Hard Water?

Owners of newer built homes may not have to deal with galvanized pipe issues, but they do not get a water problem pass. Hard water can cause many similar headaches and health concerns.

Water naturally contains various minerals and trace elements picked up from the soil, river and lake beds, etc. Hard water is a condition caused by an excessive mineral count. Lime, calcium, magnesium, and iron are for leading causes of this hard water condition.

Hard water also exacerbates corrosion and clogging in galvanized steel pipes. The resulting rust and gunk will slow your water flow to sinks and showerheads.

Soap is a surface-active agent. Water and soap react together to form suds, break down oils, and remove dirt from skin and pores. Hard water disrupts this reaction and can leave you with oily hair, and an unclean feeling. Just as hard water results in soap scum on your shower walls, it can leave the same residue on your body. Not a very pleasant experience!

Laundry detergents and dishwashing liquids will also falter in the presence of hard water. Your clothes and your dishes will not come out as clean, and the nasty, scummy residue is an unwelcome consequence in either case.

That scummy scaly sediment can also build-up inside your refrigerator water and ice-maker system, your dishwasher, and your clothes washer. Hard water can restrict water flow, clog the lines, and cause breakdowns. That is going to mean repair bills or even unexpected replacement costs. Better to have a plumber inspect and provide the proper water softening solution before the damage occurs.

A skilled full-service plumber brings experience, knowledge, and several solutions that will alleviate your hard water problems. Water softening solutions eliminate the offending minerals and the issues that emanate from hard water.

Bacterial Contamination of Drinking Water

One way in which hard water manifests itself is a foul odor or taste. It is likely that water that smells of rotten eggs contains a high level of sulfates. Hydrogen sulfide and various bacteria react with magnesium and sulfates form as a result.

  1. coli, a common bacteria that lives in the intestines of humans and animals, can show up in unfiltered tap water. One strain, E. Coli O157: H7, is an especially nasty strain of E. Coli that resides in the intestines of some cattle. This strain may show up in well water taken on or near cattle farms.

Most E. coli strains are harmless to humans. But O157: H7 can cause disease in humans and can be deadly. Diarrhea, dysentery, infection of the bowels, or the urinary tract, and even respiratory infections and pneumonia can result from consuming Escherichia O157: H7.

Drinking contaminated water is bad for your health, and so is bathing in it. But health issues aside, how clean are you going to feel after a shower in water that smells like rotten eggs? Clothes washed in the same filthy water are going to carry the odor to school, work, and wherever else you go. Not socially acceptable!

If you have school-aged children, they are uniquely at risk for developing eczema, a skin disease caused by bathing in hard water. The mineral-laden water pulls moisture from the skin, leaving it dry and susceptible to scaling, itching, and peeling. This unpleasant development can happen to the elderly as well, or anyone with sensitive skin.

Having your Lake Worth, TX, tap water checked by a plumber with knowledge of water-borne bacteria may prevent a trip to the hospital, or worse. Such a professional diagnosis is required so that you receive the proper solution.

Simple countertop or faucet filtering is not enough to block or remove bacteria contamination from your drinking water. Installation of a reverse osmosis system by a plumber can resolve bacterial contaminants in your tap water.

Poor Waste Water Treatment

Municipalities that run wastewater treatment plants promise their citizens clean and safe drinking water. However, these promises often fall flat when the treatment fails to prevent toxins and bacteria from reaching the consumers’ household water supply.

While it is true that your plumber cannot help with problems down at the city water treatment plant, they can identify the problem with your water supply and provide you with a cost-efficient solution that will save you headaches and additional unexpected expenses in the future.

Water treatment plants can fail if the in-flow level is higher than the system design can process. The result may be sewage run-off that seeps into the clean water supply. Another issue can be a direct failure of internal filtering elements, either damaged or neglected, that can no longer effectively filter out contaminants.

When water treatment plants fail, your safest option is to have a dependable water conditioning and filtration system installed by a competent plumber. As mentioned before, in-line reverse osmosis systems and soft water conditioning systems will prevent unwanted mineral elements and bacteria from ruining your water, your appliances, your health and hygiene and that of your children or elderly parents, and your home budget.

Local Leakage of Sewer or Septic Systems

Older communities around the country are dependent on water line infrastructure that has been in place for decades, if not over a century.

They are crumbling beneath us, and sometimes that allows water supplies to become contaminated with raw sewage, human waste, and more.

Calling a plumber as soon as you detect suspected water contamination is a must. Your plumber can investigate and assess the problem. If it is something beyond the scope of her prevue, they can identify the source and refer you to the proper authority with whom you should file a complaint.

That authority may be your local utility company, a city works department or the private owner of the property from which the leakage has occurred.

As with plant treatment fails, local leakage issues, regardless of the source, can be defeated in your home by installing a system that adequately safeguards your water from the various contaminants.

Modern plumbing upgrades and installation of competent water filtration and conditioning systems get the job done. They deliver safe drinking, laundering, and bathing water despite the many contaminants lurking in the decaying water and sewer lines of old.

EPA Contaminated Water Symptom Checklist

The Environmental Protection Agency has published consumer-friendly checklists so that you know how to spot potential water contamination early and call a Lake Worth, TX plumber promptly.

We’ve already discussed some of the EPA’s symptoms, but they are worth revisiting here.

  1. ODOR: If your water smells like pool water (chlorine) or rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfates), you may have a chemical, mineral, or bacterial problem.
    2. TASTE:If it tastes funky, it probably is! Be alert to any off-putting taste such as burning, metallic, greasy, fishy, or bitter taste.
    3. WATER FLOW: If your faucets are not providing adequate water pressure, pipes clogged with rust and other corrosion are likely suspects.
    4. APPEARANCE: If your water comes out white, foamy, cloudy, or bubbly, there is cause for concern. Often caused by harmless minerals, appearance issues may be the result of harmful bacterial contaminants.
    5. RUST/SEDIMENT: If you see bits of rust and sediment in your water, it is time to call a plumber. Remember, lead may also be present!
    6. SCALE/SCUM: If you find scale and scum on the shower walls or spots on washed glasses, you may need a water softening device installed.
    7. OVEN FALL FLAT: If you bake at home and are seeing your cakes and loaves of bread failing to rise correctly, it could be that chlorine in your water is killing the yeast (good bacteria) in your recipes.
    8. GOVERNMENTAL NOTICE: You may get a warning if things go awry with the public water system, but these are usually in reaction to a wide-area problem. It may come as too little too late. That is why the wise ensure their water safety by calling for the assistance of a punctual, competent plumber.

Find Gold in Lake Worth, TX

Ever heard the expression, “Finding an honest mechanic is like finding gold?” The same rings true for finding a quality plumber. To locate the best plumber in your locality, look for a professional plumber who:

  1. Says when he will arrive, and arrives when he says. A truly punctual plumber respects the customer’s time and arrives on time, as promised.
    2. Does not track mud from the last customer into your home or from your basement into your home. He doesn’t leave a mess for you to have to clean up. He respects your proper as if it was his.
    3. Displays his license, bonding, and insurance status proudly.
    4. Comes on the scene ready for anything… almost. At least he should have all the tools to handle the expected and some unexpected problems.
    5. Gives detailed estimates and answers all questions so that you have 100% assurance and peace of mind. No surprises!
    6. Is knowledgeable about options and is willing to discuss them openly and can support his recommendations.
    7. Does not bully or rush the customer to make a decision.
    8. Stands behind his work, owns his mistakes and is willing to make things right with the customer.

Whatever your plumbing needs are, from simple toilet unstopping to a full-scale bathroom make-over, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth today for the right solution at the right price.