Is my house water safe to drink and if not what can I do about it?
To a great extent, the water in your home should be safe to drink. But sometimes, you may get an unusual and unpleasant taste or smell from time to time in some areas here in the UK, depending on where your water supply comes. Typical sources can include: chalk boreholes, lowland rivers and upland reservoirs. Each of these sources has its own distinctive characteristics, but generally speaking, it is still safe to drink.
Here are some common tastes that people complain about on occasion, together with notes on what can be done to rectify the situation.
An antiseptic taste in your water
Sometimes people complain about an antiseptic taste (like TSP) in their water. This can be caused by some types of flexible plastic hoses. If there is a small residue of chemical left over from the manufacturing process, this can then interact with the chlorine in your water, and when this happens it creates this antiseptic type of taste. This can be fixed by replacing the offending hoses with one of the types of hoses approved by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme, like food quality hose.
An antiseptic odour/taste can also be caused through having a garden hose permanently fitted to an outside tap. If this is the case, you should remove the hose when it’s not in use.
Metallic tasting water
Some people experience a metallic taste in their water. This can be introduced through internal pipe-work. It is normally more apparent if water is left standing for a period of time – for example overnight. This can be cured by simple running the water for a few seconds to clear the standing water through.
It can also sometime happen when new piping has been installed. If this is the case, the taste will eventually disappear after a thin film of limescale has deposited itself and coated the inner surface of the piping.
Old fittings and washers can also sometimes cause your water to have a metallic taste. If you live in South London and you suspect that this is the case, call CW Services Plumbing and Heating.
A sewage or stagnant water odour
If there is blockage or a build up of waste beneath the plug hole, this can cause a sewage or stagnant water type of odour to manifest itself. This may then be associated with the water itself. Try filling a glass with water and taking it to another room to smell and taste. If the odour disappears, it is the odour coming from the sink plug that is the culprit (not the water itself) and this can be remedied by calling in a plumber like CW Services Plumbing and Heating.
If there has been recent work done to your water pipes, or you have just been connected to a new supply, and you notice this odour, once again it is a case of calling in your local plumber to investigate.
A diesel, oil, or petrol odour and/or taste
This can indicate that diesel, oil or petrol has soaked into the ground around plastic water piping. If this is the case you should call your local water authority immediately.
The danger of lead in tap-water
If you live a property that was built before 1970, you could have lead water pipes. If lead leaches into your drinking water in significant amounts, it can cause lead poisoning. If you have lead pipes, you may want to consider calling in CW Services Plumbing and Heating to replace them with new plastic pipes.
Contacting CW Services Plumbing and Heating
For any plumbing issues in the London area, including strange odours and/or tastes in your home water supply, or discoloured water, call CW Services Plumbing and Heating on 020 7733 6812, or 07949 095 184 for advice and help.