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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

How can I determine if my tap water is safe?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11979points) February 24th, 2011 from iPhone

I’ve been trying to drink more water lately but I don’t have the extra money to keep buying bottles. I drink from my tap but I’ve noticed when I look at the water once its in my cup, it’s not clear. It’s cloudy. It looks like lots of air bubbles possibly. After a few minutes it settles and looks almost normal. But other times the water is completely clear right away. Am I drinking contaminated water? Is there any testing kits I can use to check the water?

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12 Answers

deni's avatar

I would trust your senses. If it tastes funky, abandon ship! Britta filters aren’t that expensive if you have to resort to something else.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I have experienced this before and it is most likely nothing to worry about. If the water gets agitated as it comes out, it will fill with teeny tiny little bubbles that just take a little while to disperse.

Believe it or not, but buying bottled water isn’t actually better for you than just drinking tap water. Most bottled water is just tap water in, well, a bottle. It’s a waste of money. However, as @deni said, Britta is actually pretty great. I drink Britta filtered water because the water actually tastes better than the standard tap water.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Yes, there are test kits

You can also ask your doctor about a test kit he/she would recommend.

Nullo's avatar

The clouding is very probably perfectly fine. You might contact your water company about your concerns.
In the mean time, you could boil your water.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Is it water from a municipal system or well water?

YoBob's avatar

The reality is that most municipal water supplies have standards that are higher than those used by the bottled water industry.

Bottom line, if you get your water from a municipal water system, it’s safe to drink.

iamthemob's avatar

Not only are standards for municipal water higher, as @YoBob mentions, but many times bottled watter isn’t really subject to any real practical safety standards.

Don’t be concerned about your tapwater and think that bottled water is the safer choice. As @KatawaGrey mentions as well…they’re often the same thing.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@YoBob Hmmm…those of us in the Milwaukee area know something about how badly municipal water systems can fail.

I trust no one but my own judgment when it comes to what I put into my body. If something seems “off” to you about your water, boil it first or run out to the store and get some gallons of spring water to get you through until you test your water. Knowing your current condition, I’d say, you are more sensitive to change than others right now. Trust your instincts!

BTW- Make certain if you’ve made ice cubes with your water that you toss ‘em out…that was how I got ill in during that link I have above.

My grandmother noted BAD/Brown?cloudy water coming out of their taps two weeks prior to the outbreak making TV news (prior to the dates listed on that wiki article). My grandparents (both cardiac patients) were ill & then weakened for a good two months.

Many people were weakened from the outbreak and many died. It was horrible.

The problem with bacteria like crypto is that they are odorless/tasteless.

JLeslie's avatar

Pretty sure Brita removes the chemicals that kill the germs you might be worried about. Not that the chemicals aren’t to be questioned as well, but immediate illness would be caused by bacterias or parasites. I don’t think the Brita filter removes germs if the chems aren’t kiling them.

SuppRatings's avatar

If you are really worried about it, you could take a sample and send it to your local environmental services laboratory for analysis by a GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer). It will cost you 50 bucks though, but you’ll know everything in the water. Note though that water suppliers must do this before water can go in the tap anyhow.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Look at your water company’s site. They will have water quality data there. Another factor is how old your pipes are. Are they copper or PVC, or galvanized pipe?

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