10 Signals that Something is Wrong with Water

Thursday, 29th November 2018
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Hand under clear water steam

10 Signs that Something is Wrong with Water

Crystal clear water running from a tap

In this "developed" world, around 650 million people lack access to clean drinking water. What can be the consequences when you lack one of the major prerequisites for a healthy life? Well, here are 10 shreds of evidence that something is wrong with your water supply and you need to know what it is.


Water smells like a rotten egg

Boy closed his nose because of the smelly water in a glass

Rotten egg smells extremely bad and you just can't and shouldn't tolerate that smell in your water supply. But there are cases where the water starts smelling like a rotten egg. This is because of the increased levels of hydrogen sulfide and Sulphur bacteria in the water. This is an evidence that something is wrong with your water supply and you need to check it out. However, if the smell occurs only in case of hot tap, make sure to check your water heater first.


Water smells like chemicals or bleach

Chlorination Balloons disinfecting well water

We all know that drinking or well-water is chlorinated to kill all the germs, viruses, parasites and bacteria. Sometimes when water is over chlorinated, it tends to exude a smell that is similar to chlorine or bleach. The smell you are getting is caused by a substance called Chloramines that is formed when chlorine reacts with Ammonia which is naturally found in water. Chlorination is an essential part of water treatment, and you definitely have no control over it. High levels of Chlorine may cause health issues. If it causes a severe problem, you may try contacting the water testing and utility company. Fill and chill water in the refrigerator. This will help dissipate the smell naturally.


Tap water is rusty

Rusty water running from a tap

When you notice brown and cloudy stream from the tap, know that it's rusty water and trust us, it is a traumatizing experience. It makes the water look yellowish, or reddish or rusty brown. Consistently rusty water is usually caused by Iron and/or Manganese in your well. Treatment will depend on the levels of these minerals. If the problem happens occasionally, then you may need to check it for sediment or corrosivity. Corrosive water will burn any metal fittings in your supply pipes, giving a rusty colour when you turn on your tap. 


Tap water is cloudy

Cloudy water in a glass

Did you notice cloudy water coming out of the tap? Or did a cloud bubble flow into a glass the moment you opened the tap? This can happen due to defective plumbing system or a faulty plumbing fitting. This can lead to a wall rupture ultimately, allowing air into the plumbing system. This build-up of trapped air in the pipelines causes cloudy water. Though cloudy water is harmless, you need to check the root of the problem.

USEFUL TIP by William Holland, H2Olabcheck CTO:

"Determine the 'cloud colour'. This will help identify which test you need. For example, a white or grey cloud may be caused by hardness. A yellow/orange cloud may be due to minerals like Iron."


Water is green/bluish

Green water in a bathtub


When the internal copper piping gets corroded, it leads to green or bluish water. The corrosion also causes a metallic taste along with a change in color. Also, copper elevations also cause health implications. The copper pipes release copper in the water leading to health effects. Though a minimum amount of copper is beneficial for health, increased content can cause harm.


Green water is caused due to blue-green algae that enter the water. These algae contribute to the production of toxins that in return, create challenges for plant and animal lives as well as the ecosystem. These algae often occur in warm water and form large concentrations. However, the species and size of these organisms vary, and cause fluctuations depending on the types and amounts of poison in the water.


Water has a metallic taste

Boy bevel of strange water taste

Have you ever noticed a subtle metallic taste in your water? The iron water pipelines are the reason behind such taste. Though there are many reasons that can cause metallic taste the most obvious of them is the presence of actual metal content in it. Water contaminants like zinc, iron, copper, and manganese are some common minerals leading to such taste. The WHO (WHO, 2004) states that values of up to 2 mg/l (10 times the parametric value) do not present a hazard to health. However, at levels less than 2 mg/l but above the parametric value, the colour of water may turn brown, become rusty or may deposit solids on clothes washed in the water or food cooked using water. All general and advanced water tests include minerals as basic parameters to check.


Water has a sweet taste

What's the harm in sweet water? Not always sweet water is a matter of concern, but sometimes, it is. The content of naturally occurring minerals is a reason behind the sweetness of water. When there is high calcium content in water, you may notice sweetness. You can take up methods like carbon filtration and aeration to tackle the strange taste of water.


Water is salty

Spoonful of Salt above a glass of water

If not sweet, your water supply may provide you with a salty taste. There can be various reasons, but the most likely cause is the increased chloride ion content in water. Also, if sea water enters a local water supply, the irrigation drainage or industrial waste may also cause the salty taste. Higher amounts of sulphates are also a reason behind the salty flavor.


Invisible water pollutants - Lead in water

rusty water pipes cause lead in water

Well, at first sight, this may seem not a sign of bad water because it doesn't smell, doesn't taste and doesn't color water. Lead rarely gets into water supplies naturally and is not considered a widely-spread type of contamination. But the only way to figure out lead concentration in water is water testing. So, you need to regularly check if there's any lead content in your water harming your health indirectly.

With these, you're up with all the possibilities of bad water entering your house. Check if there's any problem and start the treatment right away.

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