Safety Watch: How Safe Is Charlotte's Water?

If you’re like most Charlotte area homeowners, having clean, healthy, clean-tasting tap water for your family is important to you, but you may not have thought of using a water purification system yet. Recent events like Flint, Michigan’s water crisis have people around the country taking notice of their local utilities and questioning the water quality in their homes. Charlotte’s water utility company, Charlotte Water, services over 833,000 customers monthly, and routinely tests for water quality issues. While Charlotte’s water meets all safety standards, there are other issues that can affect your water purity.

sink water
There are many things that can create issues with your water. For example, last month Charlotte Water addressed customer complaints of water with an off-color and taste. In Charlotte, many water pipes are made from cast iron, which can cause problems, such as the ones Wesley Heights area customers reported. Responding to customer concerns, Charlotte Water collected samples from the water system from two blocks of south Summit Avenue customers. Testing showed contained elevated concentrations of iron. According to Charlotte’s Water Director, they spent several million dollars cleaning and relining the pipes recently, which stirred up rust in other pipes. They have since resolved the issue, and the water is safe to drink now. In times like these, it’s important to remember how useful a water purification system can be to maintain safe water quality within your home no matter what outside forces may do to impact your water.  As a concerned homeowner, you may find yourself asking the following questions:

Why Does My Water Smell or Taste Odd?

There are many reasons your water taste and odor may change, and they don’t always indicate that your water is unsafe. They can simply be issues of aesthetics (color or cloudiness) or natural variations in taste and odor. Your water’s taste can be affected by many things, such as the presence of chlorine or an elevated mineral content. Metallic flavors might be caused by your indoor pipes and plumbing, and often occur if you have not turned a tap on for several hours. A temporarily altered odor or taste in water is commonly experienced by homeowners with newer homes that have PVC (plastic) pipes, as well.

What Can I Do to Improve My Water’s Taste?

One thing that causes poor water taste is caused by leaving your garden hose attached to your external faucet, allowing odors and tastes from the hose to affect your tap water. Removing hoses after use can prevent this. If you are experiencing an issue with the appearance, odor or taste of your water, you can fill a pitcher and let it rest for a few hours to allow chlorine to evaporate, or run cold water through your bathtub spout for a few minutes to flush the line. Those are temporary solutions, however. Your water isn’t just used for drinking – it’s also used for cooking, bathing and washing clothing. The best long-term solution to improve your water’s look, taste and smell is to invest in a high-quality water filtering system. Homeowners with water purification systems in Charlotte can rest a little easier knowing they are providing their families with clean, healthy water.

How Safe is Charlotte’s Drinking Water?

Water samples provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities (now called Charlotte Water) were rated as 4.4 on a 10-point scale by A rating of 10 signifies outstanding or superior drinkability, whereas a 0 rating indicates minimal drinkability. Home Facts evaluates neighborhoods across the nation based on environmental quality, safety, educational standards and other area assessments, and are provided as a public service.

Why did Charlotte’s Water Get Such a Low Score?

Whether or not this means Charlotte’s drinking water is unsafe depends on who you ask. The 4.4 rating Charlotte’s water received was based on the discovery of 26 chemicals in the samples. In amounts above health standards levels they are considered health hazards, and have been linked to health issues such as:

  • Ecotoxicology
  • Organ system toxicology
  • Skin irritation
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Reproductive toxicity
  • Cancer

18 of the 26 chemicals identified in our drinking water are considered carcinogenic at unhealthy levels. Some of those carcinogens include:

  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Chloroform
  • Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
What Can I Do to Protect My Family?

Our first recommendation is a water purification system for your home. Filtering your home’s tap water can reduce your exposure to numerous known endocrine-disrupting chemicals and suspected carcinogens, and that using filtered tap water is preferable to consuming commercially bottled water, unless your tap water is known to be contaminated. One of the best ways to guarantee that your family’s drinking water is pure, clean and healthy is to install a high-quality filtration system in your home, so it’s a smart idea to ask your Charlotte plumber for water purification system recommendations.
Contact us today at (704) 802-1379 for more information on water safety in your home today!