• Drinking Water Problems

    Drinking Water Problems

    Drinking water in the UK is usually of very high standards; occasionally
    however, drinking water is not up to standard and can cause health problems.
    Examine your drinking water, it should appear clear and bright. If it is
    discoloured, cloudy or has an unwanted taste or smell you should contact
    your local water company and have your water tested.

    The following table highlights some common problems with metals and minerals
    in drinking water and suggests a suitable form of water treatment. For
    problems with contaminents of an organic
    (viruses, bacteria) please check here.

    Problem Effect on Water Suggested Treatment
    pH Low alkalinity water tends to dissolve minerals and metals.
    Water with high alkalinity tend to precipitate minerals and metals
    Use Soda Ash to raise,
    Use white vinegar or citric acid to lower
    Aluminum Discolored water Reverse Osmosis
    Chloride Salty taste Reverse Osmosis
    Color Visible tint Reverse Osmosis
    Activated Carbon Filtration
    Copper Blue-green coloration, metallic taste Reverse Osmosis
    Corrosion Metallic Taste
    Fixture Staining
    Calcite Filter
    Soda Ash Chemical Feed
    Polyphosphate Feed
    Sodium Silicate Feed
    Fluoride Spotting and mottling of teeth Reverse Osmosis
    Foaming Agents (MBAS) Suds, Bitter Taste, Odor Chlorination
    Activated Carbon
    Reverse Osmosis
    Hard Water Limescale deposits in plumbing and water appliances,
    Reduced heating efficiency,
    Lowers lifespan of boiler units,
    Requires more soap
    Water Conditioner
    Water Softener
    Iron Rusty color
    Reddish or orange stains
    Metallic tase
    Oxidizing Filter
    Chlorination -> AC Filter
    Manganese Dark brown / Black stains
    Bitter, metallic taste
    Oxidizing Filter
    Chlorination -> AC Filter
    MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) Sweet solvent odor
    Possbile carcinogen
    Activated Carbon Filter
    Odor Rotten egg
    Chemical Smell
    Activated Carbon Filter
    Silver Skin discoloration
    Grey tint in white part of eye
    Activated Carbon Filtration
    Reverse Osmosis
    Sulfate Medicinal taste
    Acts as a laxative
    Reverse Osmosis
    Total Dissolved Solids Hard Water
    Deposits on glass and fixtures
    Reverse Osmosis
    Water Conditioner
    Water Softener
    Zinc Metallic taste Reverse Osmosis

    What Can You Do?

    Occasionally you may encounter problems with your drinking water. In such a case, contacts for your local water company, water enquiries and emergencies are available in your phone book under ‘water’. Alternatively, you can also contact other companies who will help you solve any problems regarding drinking water:

    • Contact your local Consumer Council for water companies listed in your telephone directory under ‘consumer organisation’
    • You could also contact the environmental health department of your local council.
    • Drinking Water Inspectorate who will investigate your problem:

    Drinking Water Inspectorate
    55 Whitehall
    C/O 3-8 Whitehall Place
    SW1A 2HH

    Telephone: 020 7082 8024
    Facsimile: 020 7082 8028
    E-mail: dwi.enquiries@defra.gsi.gov.uk
    Website: www.dwi.gov.uk”

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