Common Water Problems

Understanding Water Quality

Water is a forever changing resource. Understanding the quality of the water you consume and use regularly is important. Water quality can differ from place to place and even from one home to the next. Various factors can affect how water tastes, smells, looks, feels, and performs within our plumbing and appliances. There are many types of contaminants that can be present in water, some having negative health affects over the long-term, while others can cause immediate sickness and even be life threatening. Having your water tested and analyzed by experienced professionals is

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Common Water Problems - Symptoms and Solutions

Water quality can differ from place to place and even from one home to the next. Pennsylvania does experience many of the water quality problems in which

Hard Water

Water containing a high count of dissolved minerals is considered hard water. This is a common condition that occurs when water percolates through chalk or limestone deposits that are mainly composed of salts of calcium and magneseum. In some regions, hard water may even contain aluminum or manganese.

A white residue on water faucets and fixtures is a common condition of hard water, which is

Although calcium, magnesium, and iron are beneficial nutrients, hard water sediments can carry potentially harmful bacteria as well. A 2014 study found that hard water scaling normally found in the pipes of homes is a direct link to bacterial growth in residential drinking water.

Potential Symptoms Caused by Hard Water

  • Bad Taste or Smell- strange metallic taste, or a dirt taste, bad rotten egg odor
  • Soap Scum Accumulation - White hard water spots can accumulate in many places, including on dishes and shower curtains
  • Poor Lathering Experience - It's hard to get a nice lather from soap, making your washing, showering, and bathing experience suffer. This occurs because minerals cause hard water to react ineffectively with soap, making it hard to get a nice lather.
  • Appliances Operate Inefficiently and Wear Out Faster - Sediment build up on water heaters, washing machines, and other appliances can make them operate far less efficiently. Scale deposits can clog up shower heads.
  • Older Steel Pipes Get Blocked - Scale deposits can build up inside older steel pipes and constrict the flow of water, eventually cause backups and the need for plumbing repairs.
  • Clothes Not Getting Clean - Clothes washed in hard water can appear dingy and wear out faster. Towels can feel scatchy and rough.
  • Skin Irritation Issues - Hard water can can cause skin to get dried out and itchy, because washing in hard water will leave soap behind. Mineral deposits that are left on the body can also take the moisture right your skin. Skin irritation issues are far more likely, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Can Harm Your Hair - Hard water minerals can strip moisture from hair, making it dull and frizzy. The residue from mineral deposits can weigh hair down and give it a dull appearance.

High Iron

In many cases, hard water can also be found containing trace minerals like iron, which often come up from soil, lakes and rivers, and even from older, corroded plumbing.

  • Strange Stains - Brown or reddish stains on porcelain
  • High levels of rust buildup can cause clogs inside of plumbing
  • Iron buildup can leave a metallic taste, making water hard to drink and cook with

Sulfur & Iron

  • Sulfur contaminated water produces an odor similar to rotten eggs
  • Corrodes piping and causes blackish staining on plumbing fixtures
  • Can cause blackish type of staining to clothes and other laundry

Acidic Water


The measure of pH (potential hydrogen) is in reference to how acidic / basic water is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. A pH measure less than 7 indicates acidity, whereas water with a pH greater than 7 is considered basic or alkaline. Water that contains a higher amount of free hydrogen ions is acidic, while water containing a higher amount of free hydroxyl ions is basic.

An excessively high or low pH can be detrimental to a waters' usage. Acidic water can corrode metal pipes and leach the metals out of exposed surfaces.

Potential Symptoms of Acidic Water

  • Copper plumbing gets corroded with a green colored staining
  • Pinholes leaks in copper plumbing
  • Greenish-blue staining on plumbing and appliances, including fixtures, faucets, sinks, tubs, toilets, etc...
  • Laundry stains
  • Metallic or sour tasting water

Bacteria & Viruses

Any presence of bacteria and pathogenic organisms in water is a critical health and safety concern. Bacteria in water can come from many different sources, including animal or human waste, agricultural runoff,

Concern of Contaminants

Carcinogens