You’ve probably noticed that not all tap water tastes the same. The local variation affects the way it tastes, even when all safety requirements have been met. Water quality in the US varies by location, and the standards for its quality are determined at the state level. Even within the legal limit, bacteria, sediments, and minerals can make your water taste different. If you want to make sure your tap water is safe to drink, there are options that will help you filter all of your household’s water and remove the traces that remain even after being processed at the water treatment plant.
Water Safety Regulations
Tap water in Arizona is required to meet standards from both the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. While the EPA laws affect the entire nation, state laws often have more specific restrictions. California, in particular, is known to have strict state standards. Standards for drinking water are set through a three-step process as noted by the Safe Drinking Water Act
Contaminants must be identified first, and they must both be dangerous to public health and be present in large amounts. After a contaminant is identified, the EPA does testing to determine a maximum level that can legally be present in drinking water. Setting this level helps keep harmful amounts of contaminants out of drinking water. The final step is making the maximum level public and enforceable and requiring public water systems to meet that goal.
In some cases, the EPA will specify a treatment technique instead of a maximum level. When the containment is difficult or impossible to measure, or there are financial issues with setting a maximum; these required treatments aim to mitigate any risk posed by that contaminant and keep up drinkable water quality.
Even though all these standards are in place to protect everyone who drinks tap water, which is most of the population, there are occasional slip-ups. If a water company detects potential harmful bacteria in the water supply, they will have to issue a water advisory that requires you to boil your water before use. These instances are a reminder of how easily water can be contaminated. Drinking water pollution can happen even with all of these regulations in place.
Issues Affecting Your Water’s Taste and Smell
Generally, water in Arizona is safe to drink, thanks to the carefully implemented standards at both the federal and local level. The City of Phoenix alone does more than five million tests per year to ensure water safety. Despite that, there may be unpleasant tastes, odors, or appearances to your tap water. Aqueducts and canals that carry water into treatment plants can allow for minerals and algae to collect. The treatment removes these from the water before it is sent out into people’s homes, but the taste may remain. Some of the other minerals and pollutants drinking water may be affected by can change water’s taste and appearance, including:
- Hydrogen sulfide
Choosing a Water Filtration System
Tap water pollution can affect your home in various ways. These are some of the most common problems found with tap water, and the best ways to address them.
Chlorine is used by water treatment plants to kill bacteria, similarly to how it’s used to keep pool water clean. Sometimes this may result in water taste that reminds you a little too much of going for a swim. Additionally, chlorine is hard on your hair and skin. If you’re constantly showering with chlorinated water, the effect is similar to the way pool water will leave your hair dry and brittle. Water softeners and reverse osmosis can both effectively deal with this issue.
Cloudy water is a common household issue. Since drinking water still contains minerals, bacteria, and treatment chemicals, this problem can be explained by their presence. When showerheads, drinking glasses, and faucets develop a white buildup, that indicates that there are calcium and magnesium in your water which is very common in Arizona. The resulting scale also builds up in less obvious places, like inside your pipes, water heater and dishwasher. Over time, it can reduce the effectiveness of any appliance that uses water. For these issues, using water softeners or conditioners will dramatically reduce the hardness. Reverse osmosis can also filter out the offending substances.
Unpleasant tastes like saltiness or a metallic flavor can be explained by contaminants as well. Chlorides in tap water give it a salty taste and can build up inside your faucets and showerheads just like other minerals. A metallic taste, along with a darker color, is a sign of zinc, iron, and manganese in your water. Reverse osmosis and whole-home filtration are able to address both of these contaminants. Specifically, water softeners are useful for reducing metallic tastes.
Water filtration systems at home can help you deal with these problems and give you clean, refreshing water.
Solutions for Cleaner Water
Adding filters, conditioners, or softeners to your water at home helps your tap water reach your standards and fix issues making your tap water unappealing. You can address specific problems with your tap water at home. If you have wondered, “Is tap water safe to drink in the USA?” you can find a solution here that ensures your home gets safe drinking water.
Reverse Osmosis Benefits
This is one of the most exhaustive ways to clean your home’s water. Not only will it improve the taste and smell of your water, but it can also remove contaminants that are not removed by the state’s water processing procedures. These contaminants include the carcinogen chromium-6, which is not measured specifically by the EPA and is instead measured in combination with chromium-3, which is not harmful. Reverse osmosis also removes traces of pharmaceuticals, viruses, and bacteria from drinking water.
Reverse osmosis systems use a filtering system that includes layers of sediment, a carbon filter that removes chlorine and unpleasant tastes, and a final, semi-permeable membrane, which eliminates other potential contaminants. When the water has been filtered, it’s kept in a tank, so it is ready to use.
There are three reverse osmosis systems available from Aqua Science. ClearMax is the standard system, while PureMax is our most eco-friendly system and reduces wastewater by about 200%. AquaMax is a compact filtration system that is nearly half the size of other systems and can reduce wastewater by 500%. A yearly sanitation process and filter change is recommended for all of these to keep them operating at maximum efficiency.
Water conditioners are designed to address the less-than-fresh taste most tap water suffers from. They clean out minerals, can reduce chlorine’s taste, and filter out bad tastes from algae. They can also prevent scaling, saving you money on maintenance and damage from calcium and magnesium buildup. Conditioners reduce hardness without using salt or potassium, making them the ideal solution for those who need to avoid salt for health reasons. They’ll also clean out toxins such as pesticides.
AquaClean Pro+ is salt-free and doesn’t use electricity. It filters out toxins like arsenic, strychnine, and mercury using activated carbon. This conditioner is driven by carbon filtering, is environmentally friendly and provides your entire household with clean water without any odd tastes.
AquaSelectPro+ tackles scaling by using a magnet to break down hard minerals before they get to your faucets. Reducing the presence of minerals keeps your plumbing safe. It also has an option to add activated carbon to remove bad tastes and toxic materials.
Water Softener Options
Phoenix is well known for its hard water, filled with minerals that cause scaling in plumbing and can dull skin and hair. These minerals also leave visible marks on mirrors, glassware, and more. Water softener systems remove these minerals before they can go through your pipes and faucets to leave behind deposits. As a result, your household can save as much as 50% on household cleaners and 30% on water heating.
Aqua Science has designed softener systems that use the highest quality resins and a unique, patented Vortech plate to make the resins last longer in their ability to soften the water. A high-quality resin performs well even in very hard water environments and with frequent exposure to chlorine common in Arizona water.
SmartLifePro and SmartLifePro+ both use 10% link resin, so your system performs for longer periods of time against chlorine and minerals. They prevent scaling and give all the benefits of soft water. The “plus” option adds a carbon filter, to remove chlorine and organic compounds from water prior to the softening process.
The Reionator Pro and Reionator Pro+ go above and beyond the average softener. They remove hard minerals and lead, but also reduces chlorine, nitrates, and sulfates. The plus version conditions water as well and removes even more harmful contaminants. Industrial solvents, toxins and arsenic, and pesticides are all reduced by the Reionator Pro filtering process.
ClearLifePro+ softens water and conditions it to remove hard minerals and give it a fresh smell and taste. It cleans out toxins as well, including pesticides and other industrial chemicals. This system gives you top quality water to use for all household purposes.
Aqua Science offers unique solutions to give your family clean, refreshing water that is free of harsh minerals and toxins. Whatever your needs, we can help you address problems with your tap water, so you have soft and clean water throughout your home. Contact us today to get more information about how to install one of our products.
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