Why does tapwater taste the way it does? And can it affect my health?

  • 37 Replies
  • 13859 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Offline Carolyn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3761
    • View Profile
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 »
Carolyn

*

Offline science_guy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 701
  • I'm right there... inside neilep's head!
    • View Profile
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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

he's back!!!!

no, my name is not Bill Nye

*

Offline daveshorts

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 2583
  • Physics, Experiments
    • View Profile
    • http://www.chaosscience.org.uk
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

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3761
    • View Profile
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
Carolyn

*

Offline lightarrow

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4586
    • View Profile
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

  • Guest
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

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3761
    • View Profile
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
Carolyn

*

another_someone

  • Guest
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 701
  • I'm right there... inside neilep's head!
    • View Profile
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?

_________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

he's back!!!!

no, my name is not Bill Nye

*

Offline daveshorts

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 2583
  • Physics, Experiments
    • View Profile
    • http://www.chaosscience.org.uk
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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 701
  • I'm right there... inside neilep's head!
    • View Profile
are any of these chemicals dangerous to even be cleaning with?  If so Carolyn should have it fixed as soon as possible

_________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

he's back!!!!

no, my name is not Bill Nye

*

another_someone

  • Guest
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

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 397
    • View Profile
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
Gaia  xxx

"Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience." Anon.

*

ROBERT

  • Guest
" 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

  • Guest
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

  • Guest
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

  • Guest
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

  • Guest
 [:)] Americans should not suffer from hemochromatosis as they do not get irony  [:)]

*

Offline science_guy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 701
  • I'm right there... inside neilep's head!
    • View Profile
how ironic you should say that.

[:)]OOPS!  I got Irony![:)]
_________________________________________________________________________________________

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

he's back!!!!

no, my name is not Bill Nye

*

Offline moonfire

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4597
  • Can't stand the heat, step away from the fire!
    • View Profile
    • http://www.m2global.com/stormdiamonds
[:)] 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  ;-)
"Just Me, Lo" Loretta

*

Offline Carolyn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3761
    • View Profile
My head is starting to hurt from all this "American Bashing". [:)]

Carolyn
Carolyn

*

ROBERT

  • Guest
[:)] 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

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4597
  • Can't stand the heat, step away from the fire!
    • View Profile
    • http://www.m2global.com/stormdiamonds
My head is starting to hurt from all this "American Bashing". [:)]

Carolyn

No doubt...just stereotyping of course!
"Just Me, Lo" Loretta

*

Offline moonfire

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4597
  • Can't stand the heat, step away from the fire!
    • View Profile
    • http://www.m2global.com/stormdiamonds
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 »
"Just Me, Lo" Loretta

*

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • 20602
    • View Profile
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 !!
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

*

Offline moonfire

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4597
  • Can't stand the heat, step away from the fire!
    • View Profile
    • http://www.m2global.com/stormdiamonds
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 !!


LOL I love you too offering me what a smack?  LOL  You are so funny Neil....hehe
"Just Me, Lo" Loretta

*

ROBERT

  • Guest
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 !!

Carolyn should bottle her orange rusty water and sell it as a tonic,
Oops someone has beaten you to it ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irn-Bru

" The legal status of Irn-Bru in the United States is unclear. Several American companies import Irn-Bru,
 yet it is currently listed as a banned substance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
« Last Edit: 08/11/2006 14:45:20 by ROBERT »

*

Offline Carolyn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3761
    • View Profile
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 !!

Hopefully by Wednesday of this week, I will have a new water softner installed, which should take care of all of my water issues.  YAY!!!

Carolyn
Carolyn

*

Offline Atomic-S

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 945
    • View Profile
I opine that Carolyn should investigate a home water treatment system, perhaps reverse osmosis.
 

*

Offline Heliotrope

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 151
    • View Profile
    • http://www.davethedrummer.com
Also, since I'm a bit fanatical about clean hands and nails, I scrub them daily with bleach.  Is that going to kill me?

First off I'd stop scrubbing your hands with bleach.
Not a good thing to be doing.
Frankly I'm surprised that you have any nails or skin left.

Reaching out to embrace the random, reaching out to embrace whatever may come.

*

Offline Carolyn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3761
    • View Profile
I opine that Carolyn should investigate a home water treatment system, perhaps reverse osmosis.

I concur.  Had one installed yesterday.  Water is much better now.

Carolyn
Carolyn

*

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • 20602
    • View Profile
Enjoy the new water Mam...glad it's all sorted !
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

*

Offline moonfire

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4597
  • Can't stand the heat, step away from the fire!
    • View Profile
    • http://www.m2global.com/stormdiamonds
Yes, that rocks Carolyn...lol
"Just Me, Lo" Loretta

*

Offline iko

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 1626
    • View Profile
Hi Carolyn,
just a few questions now that you seem to be safe with your 'new' water and softener-system working fine:
don't you have a sort of Water Surveillance Council or similar Federal or State institution who takes care of water (and people) safety?
Is your problem common in the area where you live?
Same stinky and colouring showers for your neighbours too?
You better check again for any sleeping volcano close to your home [:)]
(joke) [;)] [;D]
Arrivederci!

ikod    [O8)]

(I finally got my HAIR transplant!)

« Last Edit: 01/12/2006 17:01:35 by iko »

*

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • 20602
    • View Profile
Fantatsic photo IKO...me luffs it !!
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

*

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • 31660
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Wow Thats cool!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

*

Offline Carolyn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3761
    • View Profile
Hi Carolyn,
just a few questions now that you seem to be safe with your 'new' water and softener-system working fine:
don't you have a sort of Water Surveillance Council or similar Federal or State institution who takes care of water (and people) safety?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Is your problem common in the area where you live?
Same stinky and colouring showers for your neighbours too?
Yes, water problems are quite the norm here.  There are alot of people here that have the same problems or even worse with their water.  I'm sure it's because we are on the Gulf Coast.
You better check again for any sleeping volcano close to your home [:)]
(joke) [;)] [;D]
Arrivederci!

ikod    [O8)]

(I finally got my HAIR transplant!)

Carolyn

*

Offline iko

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 1626
    • View Profile
Hi Carolyn,
now I'm a bit cofused...which countries
are really underdeveloped in this world?

iko