The water delivery and sewage infrastructure across America is in dire need of investment and corroded pipes are a real problem. When pipes corrode, they begin to fail, the pipe walls break down and cracks appear. The water can turn corrosive due to chemical reactions and contaminants can enter the water supply. Let’s take a look at four ways that aging water pipes can affect your home and what you can do about it.

1.  Microorganisms

It’s estimated that around 240,000 water main breaks occur in America per year. When these breaks occur, they waste trillions of gallons of water and contaminants can enter the break. A sewer line break can release fecal matter and microorganisms into our waterways and aquifers. A municipal water treatment plant can remove contaminants at a basic level, but they are aging too. There may be a failure to remove certain microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, cysts, and more. Even endocrine disrupting compounds can be found in drinking water, which makes the water smell like rotten eggs. The best way to deal with this particular threat is to install a UV water purification system in your home. UV light disrupts the DNA of microorganisms which prevents them from replicating which is the main threat to health.

2.  Clogged Pipes

When heavy metals are leached into the water supply it can clog the plumbing pipes in your home. The first sign is usually a drop in water pressure as the diameter of the pipe narrows and the volume of water is reduced. This means that your showers will be less satisfying and your water using appliances will take longer to fill. This can even cause damage to your water heater and the heating elements may fail.

3.  Heavy Metal Contamination

When water passes through old and worn out pipes, it can take on the characteristics of those corroding metals. Some metals that you may find in your drinking water, include lead, copper, iron, cadmium, and others. Depending on the metal the stains that you may find on your plumbing fixtures may vary in color. But, a universal characteristic is a metallic taste and odor that’s hard to ignore. Some toxic metals such as lead have very well documented health effects that are especially dangerous for infants and children. Lead exposure can damage the brain, kidneys, blood cells, nervous system and lower the IQ. Other metal effects, such as copper poisoning may lead to a variety of health issues, including diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and feelings of nausea. Removing heavy metals from your water supply should be a priority and the best option is a reverse osmosis filtration system. The incoming water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure to remove 99% of all contaminants.

4. Higher Water Bills

Experts estimate that more than $1 trillion would be required to fix current water infrastructure problems and maintain the levels of service for a growing population. This cost will be passed on to the consumer via a hike in water bills over the next 25 years. Sadly, there isn’t much that you can do about this problem aside from budgeting and reducing your water consumption. Making a switch to water efficient appliances and taking shorter morning showers is a good start.

If you’re concerned about the water quality in your home, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.