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Author Topic: Why does tapwater taste the way it does? And can it affect my health?  (Read 13700 times)

Offline Carolyn

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I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place or not.  Moderators feel free to move it if it's wrong.

The water in my home is gross.  It's very hard and smells like sulpher.  My toilets stay orange if they're not scrubbed twice a week.  I had someone come out today to test it and give me an estimate on a water softner.  He said I had sulpher, iron, bad ph and 4 parts hardness.  I also told him that I noticed that my finger nails and cuticles had a black residue when my hands were in water and he said that was caused by the sulpher.  (I've only noticed this over the last 2 months or so.)  Is what he said true?  Will sulpher make my fingernails have this black residue?  Also, since I'm a bit fanatical about clean hands and nails, I scrub them daily with bleach.  Is that going to kill me?

Carolyn
« Last Edit: 24/12/2006 09:05:22 by chris »


 

Offline science_guy

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do you live anywhere near a volcano?  Or another option, is your water source anywhere near a volcano?  I have heard that water sources being tainted by sulpher is a sign of an active volcano.  Other than that you might want to get your plumbing checked, because sulpher is never a good thing to have in your water.

about the black nails, I dont know about that, you would have to ask another member of the forums.

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Offline daveshorts

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I don't know about fingernails but sulphur in water will react with silver turning it into a black silver sulphide, so you may want to be careful with any rings. It is apparently a big problem in the hot springs in Iceland.

Is this a private or public water supply? Do you live somewhere fairly volcanic?
 

Offline Carolyn

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No, I don't live near a volcano.  I hope.  I live on the gulf coast of Florida.  In fact, about 1100 feet from the gulf.  I don't know if this is important, but we also have copper pipes.  Thanks.

Carolyn
 

Offline lightarrow

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quote:
Originally posted by Carolyn

I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place or not.  Moderators feel free to move it if it's wrong.

The water in my home is gross.  It's very hard and smells like sulpher.  My toilets stay orange if they're not scrubbed twice a week.  I had someone come out today to test it and give me an estimate on a water softner.  He said I had sulpher, iron, bad ph and 4 parts hardness.  I also told him that I noticed that my finger nails and cuticles had a black residue when my hands were in water and he said that was caused by the sulpher.  (I've only noticed this over the last 2 months or so.)  Is what he said true?  Will sulpher make my fingernails have this black residue?  Also, since I'm a bit fanatical about clean hands and nails, I scrub them daily with bleach.  Is that going to kill me?
Sulfur it's a disinfectant itself so you shouldn't worry much about it.

Bleach won't kill you but, since it's very basic, your natural skin's acid layer is constantly removed and this reduces your protection against microorganisms. Try with a good soap. If you necessarily  need an oxidizing chemical to remove the black colour of your nails, then try with oxigenated water and salt, instead of bleach (it's less effective but not basic).

What does "bad pH" mean? acid or basic? and how much?
 

another_someone

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I believe that sulphur can reduce blood pressure – o.k. If you have high blood pressure, but problems if you have low blood pressure.

Sulphur can also effect the digestion.

Chlorine can cause allergic reactions in some people, and I would imagine it could cause problems if you have an excessively acidic stomach.




George
 

Offline Carolyn

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I don't know what "bad ph" meant.  I didn't think his tests were very professional.  We don't cook with or drink our water.  I do wash dishes, clothes (which I have to replace often because of the iron) and take showers in it.  It looks fine, it's crystal clear, but the smell and taste is awful.  Over time, it turns everything that is light colored orange, even our dishes and stainless steel pots.  My daughter always has had trouble with acne.  Since she went away to school, her acne has cleared up and her strawberry blonde hair is much blonder now.  I'm assuming it's because of the water.

Carolyn
 

another_someone

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur
quote:

In 1867, sulfur was discovered in underground deposits in Louisiana and Texas. The overlying layer of earth was quicksand, prohibiting ordinary mining operations. Therefore the Frasch process was utilized.


Significant desposits of elemental sulfur also exist in salt domes along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and in evaporites in eastern Europe and western Asia. The sulfur in these deposits is believed to come from the action of anaerobic bacteria on sulfate minerals, especially gypsum. Such deposits are the basis for commercial production in the United States, Poland, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.





George
 

Offline science_guy

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you say you have copper pipes... have you checked the pipes to be sure they are not degrading?  If im not mistaken copper is of an orangish color.  That would explain the orange stains, due to the water depositing the copper mollocules, and the awful taste but im not so sure the smell is caused by that...

is copper dangerous to be injested?

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Offline daveshorts

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You are very unlikely to get metallic copper deposited, it is much more likely that you would get a copper-sulphur compound which would be somewhere between blue and black. I am sure you are right about the brown colour being iron oxide (rust). The bad smell is probably hydrogen sulphide (which smells of rotten eggs).
 

Offline science_guy

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are any of these chemicals dangerous to even be cleaning with?  If so Carolyn should have it fixed as soon as possible

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I would engage you in a battle of wits, but it is against my moral code to attack the unarmed.
 

another_someone

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Hydrogen sulphide, if that is one of the things there, is dangerous in any context.

As Carolyn has noticed, none of it will be good for the skin, and if you are cleaning post and pans, no doubt there will also be some ingestion.

Plus, we don't really know what else might be in the cocktail.



George
 

Offline Gaia

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quote:
Originally posted by another_someone

I believe that sulphur can reduce blood pressure – o.k. If you have high blood pressure, but problems if you have low blood pressure.

Sulphur can also effect the digestion.

Chlorine can cause allergic reactions in some people, and I would imagine it could cause problems if you have an excessively acidic stomach.




George




Don't I know it, couldn't have bleach in the labs nor at home!

Gaia  xxx
 

ROBERT

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" 29.Q. What are the permissible levels of trace elements (such as arsenic, copper, iron, lead, and zinc) in water for the water to still be considered safe for exposure/bioaccumulation by people and aquatic life?

A: Several of these trace elements are regulated by the EPA and are on their list of primary drinking water standards. These include arsenic, copper, and lead, as well as cadmium, chromium, mercury, and selenium. Iron is not a regulated contaminant because it is not known to cause health problems, but there is a secondary drinking water standard based on its tendency to stain laundry and plumbing fixtures. Manganese, copper (again), silver, and zinc are also included in the secondary standards. The primary and secondary standards are available on the EPA Web page Current Drinking Water Standards. "
http://water.usgs.gov/owq/FAQ.htm#Q29


 

another_someone

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I believe that excessive iron in the body is dangerous, but I do not know how well the body is capable of regulating iron levels in a healthy person, and ofcourse, there would be a great difference between organic and inorganic iron with respect to readily it is absorbed.

 

ROBERT

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I believe that excessive iron in the body is dangerous

I think you may be referring to the genetic condition hemochromatosis.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemochromatosis/
 

another_someone

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I believe that excessive iron in the body is dangerous

I think you may be referring to the genetic condition hemochromatosis.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemochromatosis/

Yes, that is certainly one condition that can cause excessive iron to build up in the body, as I believe can pulmonary hypertension.

But it does not exclude the possibility that the body, even with a correctly functioning regulatory system, can be pushed beyond what the regulatory system can cope with by excessive iron intake.
 

ROBERT

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 :) Americans should not suffer from hemochromatosis as they do not get irony  :)
 

Offline science_guy

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how ironic you should say that.

:)OOPS!  I got Irony!:)
 

Offline moonfire

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:) Americans should not suffer from hemochromatosis as they do not get irony  :)

I just love being intellectually insulted in such a gentlemanly manner.  I do hope sir, that you did bow as doing so, but be careful as an arrow may shoot you in  your pompous behind.  Cheers! Just kidding...hehe  ;-)
 

Offline Carolyn

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My head is starting to hurt from all this "American Bashing". :)

Carolyn
 

ROBERT

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:) Americans should not suffer from hemochromatosis as they do not get irony  :)

I just love being intellectually insulted in such a gentlemanly manner.  I do hope sir, that you did bow as doing so, but be careful as an arrow may shoot you in  your pompous behind.  Cheers! Just kidding...hehe  ;-)

Another target for your bow:-
"Los Angeles-based British actor Tim Curry didn't pause for a second when asked what he missed most about the UK.
 "Irony," he replied. "  :)
 

Offline moonfire

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My head is starting to hurt from all this "American Bashing". :)

Carolyn

No doubt...just stereotyping of course!
 

Offline moonfire

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Hmmmmm, interesting...I could say something to bash this little, wittle statement, but have decided that the diplomatic way to handle this is to RISE above this.  I do appreciate many cultures and know my roots are from Germany as my Father and Mother are both from different regions of that beautiful country.  I could mention many things about my heritage, but it does not matter as I am the first generation here in America.  I love all people and refuse to "stereotype" anyone based on one or two examples of stupidity or ignorance, whatever the case will be in that circumstance...I shall be the first to raise the American flag in an apologetic mode to all my wonderful English friends and those who choose to only stereotype and not get to know me any further than that!  So be it.

Kisses and Hugs to all of you!  LOL  (Not the death kiss either!)
« Last Edit: 07/11/2006 20:51:57 by moonfire »
 

Offline neilep

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Hi Lo *giggles*..Hugs the Lo ...I can speak german.. BMW, Mercedes Benz, dachshund (they're so cute !!) ich liebe dich,    
Ich wünsche zum deinem smack bot-bot !!


CAROLYN,..what's the latest with the '  I live in a swamp and do not realise it  ' water situation ?

I have a spare bottle here ewe can have !!
 

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