A good relationship with your local plumber in New Orleans, LA, is always important. Plumbing systems transport clean water to all the fixtures in your home, including drinking water. This is true whether the water comes from a municipal hookup or a private well. Any problems with plumbing can lead to problems with water quality. A professional plumber can test the water and make sure it’s safe to drink.
Heavy metals are very useful, but they’re also a threat to clean water and safety. The possibility of heavy metal contamination differs according to location, local industries, and other factors. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, lists safe limits for various elements and has a strict set of standards for public water supplies. Ask your plumber for assistance if you need to prevent or treat heavy metal contamination in your water supply.
Various types of heavy metals, such as tin, silver, cadmium, and copper, are found almost everywhere. They’re used in various industries and agriculture, and sometimes heavy metals enter the environment accidentally. The potential danger varies depending on the type of heavy metal. Some are fairly harmless while others can have very negative effects on health. Children are generally more susceptible than adults, although there is risk involved regardless of age.
The most common heavy metals of concern include arsenic, lead, cadmium, copper, and mercury. Arsenic has harmful effects on the digestive system, cognitive function, and skin health. Cadmium may cause cancer, kidney damage, and musculoskeletal disorders. Lead is well-known for its many detrimental effects, especially on children. Copper may cause stomach and intestinal issues and contribute to liver and kidney damage. The possibility of arsenic exposure increases in regions with mining and pesticide use. Cadmium can come from impurities in zinc, which can leak into the water from water heaters, solder fittings, taps, and galvanized steel pipes. Lead and copper can also leak into the water from fittings in a home’s plumbing.
Iron and manganese aren’t nearly as dangerous as some of their counterparts, but they can cause hard water that leads to an unpleasant taste and odor in your water. Mineral deposits can also have a corrosive effect on your plumbing. Other issues related to hard water include deposits on fixtures, dingy clothes, and whitish spots left behind on clean dishes. Soaps and shampoos may not work as well as they should and you may notice very little lather. This can lead to dry, ashy skin or simply cause the skin to feel tight and itchy. The average water hardness in New Orleans, LA, is 138 PPM, which is considered hard water according to the USGS hard water scale. Nearby cities, such as Lafayette, have moderately hard water with measurements around 90 PPM, while Baton Rouge has an average of only 44 PPM.
Sometimes particles are visible in water. This may be due to deteriorating pipes or fitting or sediment in hot water heaters. Very hard water with a high mineral content can also produce visible particles. If hard water is the problem, having your plumber install a water softener system or other types of filtration can help. One major problem with heavy metal contamination is that it’s a severe threat to health and safety, but it can also be invisible. Metals leaking out of pipes and fittings don’t always appear as visible particles. Extremely high levels of copper can give water a bluish or greenish tint, but it’s very unusual to see such high concentrations. Most contamination isn’t visible to the naked eye. Rust-colored water may look alarming, but this is actually one of the least harmful types of contamination. Water with a rusty color is safe to drink. Some people living in areas with lots of iron deposits have reddish or orangish-colored water all the time. However, this can be a problem when washing clothes. The iron in the water can stain clothing, and getting rid of those stains can be very difficult, if not impossible. Deteriorating steel or iron pipes can also cause rusty water. Even though iron itself isn’t hazardous, rusty-colored water could indicate deteriorating pipes that may also be letting harmful substances contaminate water as well. Your plumber can investigate pipes and fittings for signs of deteriorating and replace old plumbing with new infrastructure. Your plumber may also monitor the pH of your water supply. Acidic water accelerates the leaking of harmful substances from pipes. Although harmful substances in pipes and fittings are always a problem, acidity can make it worse.
Water Heater Issues
Water heaters can, unfortunately, be the source of many water contamination issues. Rusty tanks let that rust enter every bit of hot water in your New Orleans, LA, home. Rust is also a sign of a tank that’s breaking down. It can also occur if an anode rod hasn’t been replaced in a timely fashion. The sacrificial anode rod is made of metal that corrodes easily. This is a strategy that lets the cheap and easily replaceable rod degrade rather than the entire tank. If the anode rod completely dissolves, there’s no protection for the inside of the tank. Consult your plumber for hot water tank maintenance to avoid this problem and protect your water.
The experienced plumbers at bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans can test your water and help make sure your water stays safe and clean. You can set up a schedule for hot water tank maintenance, schedule inspections to make sure your plumbing pipes and fittings are in good order, and discuss the best way to replace deteriorating pipes with new, safe products. No matter what water quality issues you may be dealing with, your plumber is an invaluable ally in getting to the root of the problem and making your water safe and clean.