Many homeowners are well aware of the problems created by cracked plumbing pipes in their own homes. Water leaks can cause a great deal of damage in a short period of time, and there are other issues such as mold growth to consider. But, many people don’t understand the seriousness of cracked and leaking pipes in public water pipes. The water delivered to our homes from the water treatment plant travels to us via a vast network of water supply pipes. If these pipes are cracked, contaminants can enter the water supply and compromise our water quality at home.

The Hidden Water Systems Right Under Our Feet

Underneath every neighborhood, there is an interconnected array of waterways. There are sewage systems to remove wastewater that’s then channeled back to the water treatment facility for cleaning and processing. There are freshwater systems that channel water stored in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs to the water treatment facilities. Once the water has been cleaned and treated, it’s delivered to your home directly to your faucets. There are also water collection systems at public kerbside drains to collect rainwater and runoff that’s diverted to nearby waterways. These water channeling systems are impressive feats of engineering, but they are vulnerable to ground movement and corrosion that can cause cracks and breaks in the pipes.

Cracked Water Supply Pipes

Our villages, towns, and cities are supplied with public water that’s been treated at the nearest water treatment plant. This facility adheres to federal laws pertaining to water quality, and many contaminants are removed before the water leaves the plant. The EPA doesn’t consider every possible contaminant, but the water is basically clean after it’s been treated at the water treatment plant. But, in many areas, the underlying infrastructure requires significant investment, and the water delivery network is aging. This can lead to pipe failures, cracks, and breaks that can appear and need to be repaired to maintain the network. Sadly, there are many minor breaks that don’t get detected early, and it can take time to schedule repairs. During this period, the pipe break allows contaminants to enter the pipe and contaminate the water supply.

This places the public drinking water supply at significant risk from cross contamination. When water supply pipes are compromised, contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, pathogens, fecal matter, fertilizer runoff, heavy metals, and chemical runoff from roadways, can enter our drinking water. This can result in boil water advisories from the local municipality until the broken pipes are repaired. But, tiny breaks are harder to detect, and they may persist for some time until they are discovered and repaired.

What Can You Do?

The best way to secure a cleaner source of drinking water for your home is to install your own water treatment system at home. There are many types of water filtration systems available, and they can remove more contaminants than a water treatment plant. Contact your local water treatment specialist, they understand the water issues in your neighborhood, and they can offer expert advice on the right system to meet your needs.

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