Is My Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Is My Tap Water Safe to Drink

Concerns over the quality of our drinking water are climbing. And it’s not just Flint that’s getting attention. A recent article in the Sacramento Bee paints an alarming picture: 360,000 Californians with unsafe drinking water, and at least six million whose water companies have fallen short of state safety standards at one time or another since 2012. But before you start stocking up on bottled water, get in touch with Ace Plumbing to make sure the problem isn’t better addressed by a home plumbing repair.

Common Water Pollutants

The first concern for many of us is pollutants in groundwater. This is a problem that’s especially pronounced in California, given that agriculture is such a big part of the state’s economy. Runoff from fertilizers, animal husbandry, and manufacture have seriously degraded some communities’ water quality. Tap water in some municipalities shows traces of nitrates, antibiotics, common medications, arsenic, uranium, and a cocktail of other nasty chemicals.

Other Water Problems and Their Causes

Often as not, we can’t tell what’s in our water. But there are certain things that raise suspicions. Our water might be cloudy, or have a strange taste, a funky smell, or a tinge of color to it. Not all of these problems arise from pollution, or even from the municipal water supply. Water mains in some cities and towns are aged, and if you live in an older home, chances are those pipes are old too; with age comes other problems, including rust and corrosion, tree root incursions, and infiltration by surrounding groundwater.

Identifying the Source of Tap Water Problems

There are many home-testing kits available on the market to screen tap water for common pollutants. If you’re willing to spend the time and money, you can also send water samples for professional testing. There are also a number of sites that have water quality reports by ZIP code — like this one from the City Lab at Mother Jones magazine — that may alert you to potential water quality issues.

Can You “Fix” Your Tap Water?

Bottled water costs add up. Many municipalities’ recycling programs are shoddy, so the plastic you’re sending for recycling may still be going back to a landfill — so your bottled water habit could be contributing to the contamination that’s the reason you were stuck drinking bottled water in the first place.

Thankfully, there are solutions. Pitchers and tap-based filtration systems can help get many pollutants out of your tap water. These can be cumbersome, however, so it’s also worth your while to look into a central water filtration system. These should be installed by a plumber, but they have some key advantages:

  • All of your home water is filtered
  • Because of their size, these systems maycombine multiple types of filtration (including charcoal and reverse osmosis) for more effective and efficient filtering
  • Filters only need to be changed in one location, rather than on multiple faucets

Consider Getting a Filtration System

If you’re concerned about your home water quality, call Ace Plumbing. We can inspect your pipes and mains, making water main repairs and replacements as necessary, and if that turns out not to be the source of your problems, we’re skilled in central water filtration systems. We serve central California, including Sacramento, Folsom, Davis, and Lincoln. Call us at 916-455-4548 to find out more.