COMMON WATER PROBLEMS

The water supply to your home or business is a complicated mix of elements and environmental factors.  Below you will find information on common problems that may be affecting your water.  Often it is effected by more than one issue and it is important to identify the exact make up of your water.

Envirowater Technologies offers tailored solutions to your unique water problems.

Contact us today for a free in home water test and consultation.

Unwanted Elements

Bacteria

Symptoms:

Present for Total Coliforms or Escherichia Coli (E coli).

Cause:

Bacteria contamination in well water or water pipes in home.

Solutions:

Bacterial Iron

Symptoms:

Same Symptoms as Clear & Red Water Iron: Yellow, brown or rusty stains on plumbing fixtures, water-using appliances and fabrics; metallic taste in foods and beverages.

Can have clumps or balls that may foul plumbing lines and other water-using appliances; particularly noticeable as a yellow to reddish slime in toilet flush tanks.

Cause:

Iron bacteria are a group of bacteria which thrive in iron-bearing water, utilizing iron as an energy source. This bacteria is not a health hazard.

Solution:

Clear Water Iron (Ferrous)

Symptoms:

Yellow, brown or rusty stains on plumbing fixtures, water-using appliances and fabrics; metallic taste in foods and beverages; water is clear when drawn from the faucet but oxidizes when exposed to air, then changes color ranging from yellow to brown.

Cause:

Iron in the water measuring 0.3 ppm or more.

Solution:

Hard Water (dry/ichy skin, spotted dishes, scale build up...)

Symptoms:

  • Spotting on dishes and glassware
  • Scale on inside of water heater pipes and water-using appliances
  • Soap curd and bathtub ring
  • Clothes look gray and dingy
  • Excessive soap usage
  • Dry and/or ichy skin
  • Dull hair

Cause:

Calcium and magnesium in water, measuring 3.5 gpg or more.

Solution:

High Total Dissolved Solids

Symptoms:

Salty tasting water or residue left behind after water evaporates.

Cause:

High concentration of sodium or other ions in water.

Solution:

Lead

Symptoms:

No taste, smell, or colour.

Cause:

  • Naturally occurring
  • Lead pipes
  • Leaded connections

Solution:

Manganese

Symptoms:

Blackish stain on fixtures and laundry; manganese content above 0.05 PPM causes stains.

Cause:

Interaction of carbon dioxide or organic matter with manganese-bearing soils. Usually found in combination with iron.

Solution:

Nitrates

Symptoms:

No taste, smell, or colour.

Cause:

Naturally occurring.

Solution:

Red Water Iron (Ferric)

Symptoms:

Same Symptoms as Clear Water Iron : Yellow, brown or rusty stains on plumbing fixtures, water-using appliances and fabrics; metallic taste in foods and beverages; water is clear when drawn from the faucet but oxidizes when exposed to air, then changes color ranging from yellow to brown.

Iron has already oxidized and has a yellow to rust color when drawn from the faucet.

Cause:

Iron in the water measuring 0.3 PPM or more.

Solution:

Sulphates

Symptoms:

May produce a noticeable taste and have a laxative effect. Can cause corrosion of plumbing.

Cause:

Naturally occurring.

Solution:

Uranium

Symptoms:

No taste, smell, or colour.

Cause:

Naturally occurring.

Solution:

Volatile and Organic Chemicals

Symptoms:

 

Cause:

 

Solution:

Taste & Odour

Chlorine Taste

Symptoms:

Objectionable chlorine taste and/or odors other than hydrogen sulfide.

Cause:

Dissolved minerals or gases; chlorination.

Solution:

Hydrogen Sulfide Gas (rotten egg taste or odour)

Symptoms:

Rotten egg taste and/or odor. Turns copper plumbing lines black. Very corrosive.

Cause:

Hydrogen sulfide is a dissolved gas found in some water supplies.

Solution:

Marshy or Metallic Taste

Symptoms:

Objectionable tastes and/or odors other than hydrogen sulfide.

Cause:

Dissolved minerals or gases; organic contamination.

Solution:

Appearance & Quality

Acid (Blue or Green) Water

Symptoms:

Blue/green water or stains and corrosion of plumbing fixtures and other water-using appliances; pitting of porcelain and enamel fixtures and dishes. Pin holes in copper plumbing lines.

Cause:

Generally associated with water with a pH value of less than the neutral 7.0.

Solution:

Aggressive / Corrosive Water

Symptoms:

Blue/green water or stains and corrosion of plumbing fixtures and other water-using appliances; pitting of porcelain and enamel fixtures and dishes. Pin holes in copper plumbing lines.

As with Acid Water but pH is 7.0 or higher.

Cause:

Alkalinity and carbon dioxide or high dissolved oxygen in water. Electrolysis – two dissimilar metals in plumbing lines.

Solution:

Consult our Customer Service Department toll free at 1.866.999.3684

Methane Gas (milky or bubbles in water)

Symptoms:

Bubbles in water that slowly rise to top of glass. Milky water that slowly clears.

Cause:

Methane Gas (Highly Flammable).

Solution:

Tannins

Symptoms:

Yellow or brown tint or cast in water supply; tannins measuring 0.5 PPM or higher may cause staining and/or interference with various water treatment processes.

Cause:

Result of decaying vegetative matter.

Solution:

Turbidity (Sand/Sediment)

Symptoms:

Foreign particles, dirty or cloudy water.

Cause:

Tiny particles that are the result of water main scale or silt. Private wells often contain sand or clay.

Solution:

See also the government of Nova Scotia’s excellent fact sheets:

The Drop on Water