If you are to believe TV commercials, print advertising and the packaging on many water filtration products, you'd think most water is full of everything from dirt and mold to lead and deadly spores. The truth is, most of this is advertising hype. Virtually all municipal water (city water) in the United States is safe to drink from the tap. There are strict, Federal guidelines governed by the Environmental Protection Agency requiring proper treatment and testing of municipal water systems. The United States has some of the safest water in the world.
Here in Olympia, and other cities around South Puget Sound, are no exception. In fact, you're more likely to have safe water living in the city than using well water. That being said, there are two important steps you should take to ensure the safety of the water in your home:
- Most common water problems occur from water sitting in the pipes in your own home. Before using water from the tap for drinking, run the cold water at the faucet for 15-30 seconds, until the water temperature normalizes. This way you are flushing out any contaminants from your water line.
- Do NOT drink water or use water for cooking from the hot water tap. Particularly in older homes, hot water interacts with pipes, fittings, solder joints and fixtures, increasing the chance of being exposed to metals, including lead. While newer homes will not have the same lead risk, it is still recommended that you only drink and cook with water from the cold tap. Hot water from your water heater is only intended for washing and bathing.
Olympia water, like virtually all city water, has a small amount of chlorine added to it to prevent bacteria growth during distribution. The amount used in the water is totally safe. If you smell chlorine when you fill a glass of water, simply letting it sit for a couple of minutes will allow the chlorine to evaporate and the smell will disappear.
While our water supply is safe, Olympia water is on the "hard" side, meaning it has a lower than average Ph Level. This is why soaps don't "suds" as well as some other places, and you find white, scaly buildup on fixtures. In addition, many people in our area notice a sort of earthy, organic taste and smell to Olympia water. This is primarily to a higher than average, naturally occurring level of iron in our water. It is not a safety issue -- it only affects the taste.
At M&M Plumbing, we can solve your hard water and water taste issues with Olympia city water. If you have well water, you may have additional issues. Either way, we can help you solve these water quality issues with either a whole house water filtration system a water softener, or both, depending on your situation. Please contact us and we'll be happy to give you a free estimate.
For more information common water problems with Olympia city water and how to treat them, visit the City of Olympia website at http://shor-tn.us/oly-water.