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How Do You Know if Your Tap Water is Unsafe?

Woman filling cup with tap water that may have toxins in it How do you know if your tap water is unsafe? Well, if it’s coming out of the tap with a brown color and tasting like metal, then you have a problem. That’s what happened in Flint, Michigan, famously known for its polluted drinking water since 2014. Corroded, aging pipes were allowing toxic levels of lead into the city’s drinking water, poisoning the vulnerable population.

Indicators That Your Tap Water is Unsafe

What are some things to be on the lookout for when it comes to unsafe tap water? For starters, check for cloudiness when you fill up a glass. Water should be clear and odorless; It should not taste “funny.” Cloudy water could be a sign that something’s wrong with your water supply. Furthermore, if you wash your hands with soap and water yet your hands still feel slimy, that’s a sign as well. Remember, tap water should be clear. If it looks yellow, orange, green, blue or brown, it’s most likely unsafe and should not be used. Tap water should also be odorless. If it smells like bleach it probably has too much chlorine in it. If it smells like rotten eggs, it might contain hydrogen sulfide, which, when exposed to bacteria, could cause diarrhea and/or dehydration. Meanwhile, if the water smells “fishy,” that’s a sign that there’s barium or cadmium in it– not good. A metallic taste indicates too much iron or copper. Other signs you might have unsafe water include faucets running slower than usual (could mean clogged pipes), dirt or sediment in the water, etc. Also, if the local government puts out an advisory to boil your water or only use bottled water, there’s a problem with the tap water. If and when you’re dealing with unsafe tap water, consider contacting Shell Water Systems at 1-866-341-6220 to ask about available water filtration systems.
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