5 Signs of Poor Water Quality

Some of the signs of poor water quality are impossible to notice without laboratory tastings, such as bacteria, viruses, and certain contaminants. Other indicators, including sediments and staining, are very obvious and easily detectable without further analysis. You may have noticed some of these in the past and wondered what they are caused by. In this article, we will look at five of these signs of poor water quality, how they affect your home and why they occur.

1. White or Gray Scale Deposits5 Signs of Poor Water Quality

Many people notice white or gray deposits of scale floating in their water. This is a sign of high levels of calcium hardness or Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Both of these issues can create serious problems in the home; scale can accumulate over time and damage fixtures, pipes and water using appliances. Simple water filtration will not remove the particles that cause these problems, and additional water treatment is required. A water softening system can correct water hardness, and a reverse osmosis system can remove high levels of TDS.

2. Blue Stains on Fixtures

It can be very disconcerting to find blue stains on your fixtures, even after extensive cleaning. This is usually a sign that your water supply has a low pH level and is more acidic. This will mean that your water is lower in quality, but it’s quite an easy problem to correct. Adding a calcite neutralizer or a soda ash feeder should restore the pH balance of your water and get rid of those annoying blue stains.

3. Rust Colored Particles 

Sometimes water can appear clear, but if you look closely, there may be rust or red colored particles floating in the water. This is usually rust from either the water source coming into your home or decaying galvanized pipes. If the problem is in your pipes, they will need to be replaced, but an underlying issue needs to be addressed first. In many cases, pipes are corroded because of water with a high pH level, and this can be corrected with water treatment systems. If the rust is present in your supplied water, it can be removed using an appropriate sediment filter.

4. Red Stringy Growths

This is very unpleasant, and it is usually found inside toilet tanks or sinks. This is a sure sign that there is sulfur and/or bacteria present causing the growth. This can be addressed using a variety of methods, such as aeration, ozone injection, chlorination or hydrogen peroxide treatments. These treatments will kill the bacteria present and remove the sulfur deposits. The water system will need to be thoroughly filtered afterward to remove any remaining traces and prevent a recurrence later on.

5. Brown and Black Stains

Brown stains are probably caused by elevated levels of iron and/or manganese. Black stains could also indicate that these same two materials are present. Iron can be removed with a simple iron filter, but if you want to remove manganese as well, you will need to check that your chosen iron filter can remove both at the same time. Sometimes black stains can indicate that there is Ferric Sulfide or black rust in your water supply. This can also be easily removed with a good quality iron filter system.

A fully WQA certified water treatment specialist can not only assist you with water testing, but can guide you through the options that are best suited to your specific water quality issues.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.  He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)

Print Friendly
Nicmar Water
999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
 • 800-542-8649

Water Solution Center

Educational Center