There's nothing worse than filling up what should be a refreshing glass of water from the tap, only to spot debris or black specks floating in the liquid. It’s not only unpleasant, it can be unhealthy – so it’s important to investigate and correct the problem. Fortunately, there are ways to track down the source of the impurities in your household plumbing and prevent most of them.
Minerals, Dirt and Rubber, Oh My!
Check out these common causes of unwanted silt in your water, plus tips on what to do about it:
- Dirty Water: Sometimes, actual dirt, sand and silt can make its way into your household plumbing. Usually, this is an indication that there is a water main break somewhere in your municipal water supply, and you should call your local water department to find out if they are aware of the break. For households that get their water from wells, the debris could be coming straight from the source. You can try running the water for a while to flush out the system if the well is new, or you could try repairing or replacing the screening and filtration system.
- Carbon from the Filter: Ironically, sometimes your water filter itself is the cause of the specks in your water. Many filters designed for household plumbing use carbon to remove other foreign bodies from the water, and if the filter breaks down or the cartridge gets too old, some of that carbon can get out and end up in your water supply. Check the manufacturer instructions and see how to repair the filter or replace the cartridge.
- Some Metal with Your Drink: Water from many areas of the country contains bits of iron and manganese, which can cause little black specks to show up in your household plumbing supply. The good news is these minerals pose no health hazards to humans or animals. The bad news is they can make the water taste odd, and may leave stains on your clothing and dishes. A water softener or a filtering system can be effective at removing the minerals before they get into your drinking water.
- Bits of Rubber: Here's an appetizing one – sometimes rubber tubes that are found in certain parts of your household plumbing, like the water heater, start to disintegrate and send particles into the pipes. This is more likely to happen if you use water that has been treated with chlorine, which can break down the rubber over time. The best solution here is to have a plumber replace the hose in question.
- Rust Particles Gone Rogue: Rust is another common cause of impurities in household plumbing. Fortunately, small amounts of rust aren't dangerous to your health, but they could be a sign that your pipes are corroding and in need of repair. Rust can also get into your tap water from the municipal supply. An expert plumber can determine if this is the cause of your problem.
If you need help identifying the impurities in your water or launching a strategy to remove them, don't hesitate to call an expert plumber to come lend a hand.