What Affects Water Quality?
When you flip on the sink faucet to get a glass of water, you’re probably not thinking deeply about your water quality. Most of us assume our water is always safe for drinking, showering, and brushing our teeth. What about when it’s not, though?
Understanding what affects water quality is essential so that when water quality issues arise, you’ll know the signs and can act quickly. Luckily, plumbing experts from Hanover Park are ready to fix any water quality issues at a moment’s notice. That way, you can ensure that your family’s water supply consistently brings you clean water that fuels a healthy, active life.
What Types of Contaminants Affect Water Quality?
As our world has become more advanced, so have the factors that can negatively affect the water quality in your home. While some environmental factors exist, many of the contaminants that can adversely influence water quality are artificial or environmental factors that man-made pollutants have exacerbated.
Knowing what affects water quality will help you promptly recognize and address water quality issues.
Believe it or not, the amount of water used (or abused) in your home is a primary factor impacting your home’s water quality standards. Most homes share a water supply with other residences in the community. (An exception to this is if you get your water from a well, which comes with different potential water quality problems that you should be aware of.)
As a result, when you overuse water in your home, it can strain the community system and your plumbing, causing water quality issues. Additionally, if the community water supply is surface water-based, using too much water could dangerously decrease this supply and cause damaging sediment contaminated water to run through pipes.
It’s no secret that pollution can adversely affect your home’s water quality. However, what might be surprising is that pollutants can come from both inside and outside of your home. That’s why it’s crucial to understand what these pollutants are to know your role in protecting the water quality in your community.
Some prominent pollutants that can infect water supplies outside the home include improper disposal of gasoline, grease, oil, pesticides, or detergents, which can enter local water supplies through storm drains and affect entire communities. Even leaves, loose grass clippings, and pet droppings can cause issues such as clogged pipes and infected drinking water.
External pollution is not the only culprit of water quality degradation, though. Your household habits can also impact water quality. Improperly disposing of trash, prescription medications, and cleaning supplies can damage water quality.
Because water systems are often interconnected, it may not just be your home that’s affected. While water companies treat water to account for waste, bacteria, and other contaminants, don’t underestimate your role in protecting your water quality.
Runoff and Sediment
Despite the many man-made factors impacting water quality, runoff and sediment are two major environmental factors at play in water quality issues. These issues can become particularly significant during weather emergencies like major thunderstorms or natural disasters.
If flooding occurs in your community, it is likely that suspended sediment, or sediment transported by the turbulence of flowing water, could find its way into your water supply. Furthermore, if you live in rural areas or near active farmland, there’s also a higher risk that sediment finds its way into your water supply through wind, rain, or snow. Water impacted by runoff will be evident by its brown color.
Household Plumbing and Water Fixtures
The stability, consistency, and integrity of your home’s plumbing system and the faucets that provide water are significant considerations in water quality issues. Your system must be well maintained and routinely inspected to ensure there are no leaks or damage. Your local plumber can tell you when to replace your sink fixtures and showerheads.
Finally, appropriately draining your water heater each year is vital to maintaining high-quality water in your home. If left unchecked, sediment and contaminants in your home’s water heater can quickly accumulate and infect your water supply.
Another solution to avoid sediment build-up in water heaters is installing a tankless water heater. As the name implies, tankless water heaters don’t maintain a constant water supply and instead heat water on demand. Tankless heaters help mitigate potential sediment build-up and save energy.
Improving Your Home’s Water Quality
Now that you know what affects water quality, various filtration methods can improve your water quality. The three most common filtration systems are point-of-entry, point-of-use, and pitchers.
Point-of-Entry Water Filtration
As its name implies, point-of-entry filtration systems help improve the quality of all the water that enters your home from the main water line. Point-of-entry filtration systems include water softeners and aerators that enhance water quality at the source, ensuring clean, high-quality water throughout your home.
While these are the most comprehensive systems available, they are also the most expensive to install and maintain. Luckily, other filtration systems provide more flexibility and less financial burden while still giving your home the highest quality water supply.
Point-of-Use Water Filtration
Point-of-use filtration systems work on one faucet in your home. Distillers and reverse osmosis units can be installed on one or a few taps in your home to ensure the highest quality water in essential areas like the kitchen sink or shower. These filtration systems are often cheaper and perfect for anyone looking to refine water quality in a few specific areas.
Water Filtration Pitchers
Quick, single vessel water filtration systems like Brita pitchers are ideal for students and on-the-go lifestyles. If you’re living somewhere short-term or renting rather than owning your home, buying pitcher-style filters is an excellent, affordable way to maintain clean drinking water.
Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. is here to help you address any of your home’s water quality, plumbing, or filtration needs. Whether you want to learn more about tankless water heaters or what affects water quality, we have you covered. Call (847) 716-2261 to get a quote and find out what our plumbing professionals can do for you!