Sometimes there are things in your water that you cannot see. The reason you cannot see them is because they are dissolved. Coffee makes your water black because there’s a lot of tiny little particles tinting the water. If something is dissolved, on the other hand, the water remains clear. It’s very similar to what happens if you put a bit of salt in some water and stir it up. You can see the salt when it’s still a particle, but once it dissolves, you will not be able to see it anymore. If you cannot see something, you probably won’t think about it very much (out of sight, out of mind). Unfortunately, some of the things dissolved in your water can be harmful to your plumbing and even harmful to your health.
Water that does not have a lot of dissolved material in it is ‘hungry’. In our ecosystem, water comes from rain or condensation in the form of dew. That clean water falls in a very pure state, but it’s ‘hungry’, meaning that it will dissolve anything that it touches because it doesn’t have anything dissolved in it already. As the water hits the ground, it sinks and goes through all the layers of metals, minerals, or other materials. (Those materials will vary, depending on the area or region.) As the hungry water passes through those things, it picks them up. The end result is that there’s likely to be many things dissolved into the water.
One of the most common things that dissolves in the water is hardness, which is basically just calcium. If you live in a region with lots of limestone, then you will have a high amount of calcium dissolved in the water (which is what we call hard water). Iron is another material commonly found in the ground. There are also bad things like lead, arsenic, or nitrates, which are all very unhealthy to consume. Those items should be tested for because the reality is, if you don’t test for them, you’ll never know they are there. Even though you cannot see them, they’ll have a large impact on your health and the systems that the water touches.
Lab tests are highly advanced and comprehensive, but from the homeowner’s standpoint, it’s very simple. Some tests are done in-home by our water treatment specialists, and others require taking a sample and having it sent to a lab to determine if finer items are in the water. Remember, just because you can’t see anything in your water doesn’t mean there’s nothing there. For more information about how the team at Wisler Plumbing can help guide you through the process, contact us online or give us a call at 540-483-9382.