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Is Your Tap Tainted? Easy Ways to Detect Contaminated Drinking Water

Do you drink water straight from your tap? You may be ingesting more chemicals, minerals, and pollutants than you imagine. Unfortunately, contaminated drinking water has long-term effects on your health. Fortunately, you don’t need to have your drinking water tested in a lab to identify contaminants.

Here are a few easy ways to detect contaminated drinking water.

1. Brown, Orange, or Yellow Water

This is one of the most apparent signs of contaminated water. Yellow water signifies the presence of chromium-6. Unfortunately, this chemical can cause lung cancer. It could also signify a manganese, lead, copper, or iron build-up.

If your water is orange or brown, it probably signifies the presence of rust, manganese, lead, or iron. It could be a breeding ground for bacteria. Drinking water should be clear.

2. Smelly Water

If your tap water is smelly, it is probably contaminated. It could be a sign of hydrogen sulfide if it smells like rotten eggs. This colorless gas naturally occurs in groundwater. It converts into sulfate upon exposure to certain bacteria. If you consume water with sulfate, it can cause diarrhea or dehydration.

If your water has a fishy smell, it could contain cadmium or barium. Usually, barium seeps into the water through the manufacturing or drilling process. Excessive barium levels cause health problems like heart damage, muscle weakness, kidney damage, and high blood pressure.

Cadmium typically gets into your pipes through industrial waste. Excessive levels can cause bone, kidney, and liver damage.

Consider pouring water from your tap into a glass and moving to a different room. Swirl the water around and smell it. The presence of a foul smell means it is contaminated.

3. Smell of Bleach

Does your tap water smell like bleach? It has excessive chlorine levels. Chlorine is added to water to kill germs and pathogens. However, it creates harmful by-products upon mixing with other organic compounds.

Trihalomethanes (THMs) are some of the products. It is a group of chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer and kidney problems.

Low chlorine levels in water can expose you to giardia. The parasite can cause nausea, diarrhea, and cramps.

4. Water Is Harder than Usual

Sometimes, your hands may feel slimy when you wash them with water and soap. This may be a sign that your water is harder than usual. The characteristics of hard water include a build-up of magnesium or calcium. You may notice deposits on your drinking glass, sink, or faucet. This may be why your hands feel slimy even after washing with water and soap.

You may also notice that you need more laundry detergent or soap when cleaning. Although hard water doesn't necessarily mean that your water is contaminated, it is something to look for. It could signify excess levels of lead, aluminum, and manganese, which are bad for your body.

Seek Legal Help

If you suspect that you have been drinking contaminated tap water, seek a lawyer to deal with forever chemicals. You may be eligible for compensation depending on the nature of your situation.

The right lawyer will give you a free consultation and case review. They will help you determine if your medical conditions resulted from toxic chemical exposure.

Unfortunately, many people drink contaminated tap water without realizing it. Although tap water is safe in many countries, various conditions can affect its smell, look, or taste. Although small amounts of some contaminants may be harmless, some toxins, like lead, are harmful even in small levels. When unsure of your tap water safety, consider seeking the help of a professional. They will help you determine if there are toxins in your water.