The truth is, the fact that your city water is palatable at all is an absolute miracle. The city water department is under ever increasing pressure to provide water of a better quality and with fewer contaminants. They do an amazing job of providing you with safe, usable water but in many cases the customer’s demands are simply not in touch with reality.
First of all, the city water department is tasked with filtering, treating and distributing enough water for everyone to water their lawn, wash their car, do their laundry, bathe, clean, …… cook, and drink. I bet not one customer has ever even considered buying enough bottled water to water the lawn, but that is exactly what they expect the city water department to do and at a tiny fraction of the cost. The craziest part of it is that you use less than 2% of the water they supply for cooking and drinking. So we need to understand that given the volume of water they have to treat each day there is only so much that can be done.
Secondly, the water has to get from the treatment plant to your house. The water mains in most cities have been in use for a long time and can have lots of different kinds of build up inside. This can harbor all kinds of contaminants and minerals that can add unwanted taste and odor to the water. This has no effect on the overall safety of the water you will use for irrigation and cleaning, but could affect the food and drinks you make as well as the taste and odor of the water itself.
Third, the chemicals used to disinfect the water and the other chemicals they create add a whole new dimension to the question.
In the beginning most cities used chlorine to disinfect the water and kill all the bacteria so the water would be safe to use. This was the way it was done for many years until they discovered that the chlorine, when acting on organic material, produced by-products. A class of chemical compounds called trihalomethanes or THM’s identified as cancer causing compounds. The level of these compounds was then regulated by the government. These acceptable levels were lowered over time to the point that it was almost impossible for city water plants to meet them. If they used enough chlorine to make sure the water was safe the THM’s would be too high and if they used too little chlorine all the bacteria might not be killed and the water would not be safe. This was not an easy spot for them to be in and a solution needed to be found.
In comes a new thing called chloramines. Chloramination involves the addition of anhydrous or aqueous ammonia (NH3) before or after the addition of chlorine (HOCl) to produce monochloramine (NH2Cl). Monochloramine is 200 times less effective as a disinfectant than chlorine, but is an attractive alternative since it does not react as readily with organic materials to form THMs. They are also learning that it does not work in waters with a low pH which then causes them to add other things to correct that.
So now you know the water has chlorine, ammonia, trihalomethanes, and chloramines in it and that it is transported to your house through miles of old water mains. This should be enough information to help you understand that although your city water department may be doing a wonderful job, the expectation of great tasting, odor free water at your house may be a bit much. It is easy to understand why your city water may have a bad taste or odor.
Now that you know why the water tastes bad, you probably would like to know if there is anything you can do about it. Well as a matter of fact there is. At Aqua Sphere we are always looking for the best way to solve a problem and our efforts have resulted in the ASI ChemX-FilterPlete. The ASI ChemX-FilterPlete not only makes any city water taste great by removing any bad taste or odor but also removes those chemicals and chemical compounds we discussed above. This gives you the water you want to have inside your home while leaving the utility water on the outside for lawn watering and car washing.
To find out more or to get your own water problems fixed go to www.asipure.com or call us at 512-756-7710.