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Problem Water Series: Exactly What is Problem Water?

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Problem water is loosely defined as any water that requires further treatment than a simple water softener.  That is to say that the water contains contaminants beyond calcium and magnesium. But how exactly does water get these contaminants and become a problem?

Your water mainly comes from two sources: private wells or public municipalities. Groundwater, the source of private well water, travels underground and may pick up contaminants along the way. Surface water, such as lakes and reservoirs, is the main source of public municipalities. This type of water can pick up contaminants through rainfall, run off or travel through pipes.

These problem water contaminants can become a concern in the home either through aesthetic impacts, such as the taste, look or smell of the water, or health impacts. Common contaminants result in rotten egg odor from hydrogen sulfide, bitter tasting water from tannins, stained fixtures from iron or a host of other issues you may have noticed around your home. Contaminants that may impact your health are usually monitored by public health officials and the EPA for municipal water sources, but homeowners with private wells are responsible for knowing what is in their water.

How do you know if you have problem water? Typically, problem water will leave signs of its presence around your home. If you have noticed any, or all, of the following symptoms, you could potentially have problem water:

  • Discolored or cloudy water
  • Rotten egg smell
  • Bitter or sour tasting water
  • Stains on fixtures and appliances
  • Corrosion on pipes and plumbing
  • Dry Skin
  • Dull Hair

If any of these signs are familiar in your home, or if you are just curious about what is in your water, you can easily have your water tested. Your local water professional, the Culligan Man, can perform a basic in home water test or collect a water sample for a more in depth analytical test. This test will tell you exactly what is in your water and if you do, in fact, have problem water. He can then recommend a solution that will best fit you and your home. Solutions will often include a drinking water filter, bottled water delivery service, or a whole house water filter. Contact your Culligan Man to set up an appointment today and find out what is in your water!

*Contaminants and other impurities are not necessarily in your water.


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