Why does Tap Water Test Different around the USA?

By April 19, 2014 April 30th, 2019 Plumbing and Air Conditioning Dallas TX

If you have ever traveled or lived in different parts of the United States, you will certainly find that each part of our great country is very different.

From the great plains of Texas to the mountains of North Carolina, each city, state & direction is unique. However, there is one thing you may assume stays the same in each state, but is in fact very different: tap water.

Tap water, you ask?!  How could tap water be different…it’s just…water! Well, at the STAR Home Comfort Blog we decided to investigate this question, and came up with some interesting conclusions.  Tap water, it seems, is as vast and varied as our great country, with unique flavors to match!

One of the primary differences in tap water is the source. Our friends in Portland, Oregan drink tap water that comes from way up in the mountains. The snow from the mountains melts, runs down streams and is collected and filtered as drinking water. The water has never been stored underground.

http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/29784

In Texas, home to vast, flat plains, our water is pumped upwards from wells deep within the ground, and then filtered and passed along to our homes and offices. Because our water comes from the ground, different minerals are found in the water as well. These minerals, such as calcium and sulfur, are perfectly healthy for drinking, but do cause changes in water taste. In addition, some municipalities treat their tap water with chlorine or fluoride, which can affect the taste as well.

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Around the country, water is sometimes stored in large, elevated water towers. This water is exposed to higher temperatures, which actually changes the flavor of the water altogether!

However, if your tap water has a sulfurous, decayed or sewage like taste or odor, then there are some steps you need to take. The most common cause of this issue is organic matter accumulating in the walls of the drain. After time, bacteria can grow on these deposits and produce a smelly gas. Test for this issue by filling a small glass with water and stepping away from the sink. Swirl the water and take a sniff, if it doesn’t smell, then the issue is in the drain. Read our blog for tips, or use a store-bought disinfectant to clean your drain & remove the odor.

Another possible cause of this odor could be bacteria in your water heater. This most often occurs if you have not used the hot water for a significant period of time, such as after a long vacation. If water odors do not go away following a drain cleaning, then contact STAR Home Comfort to remedy the situation. We will check out your water heater and determine an appropriate solution.

 

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