Many people at some point in their lives may have turned on their kitchen tap to fill a glass for a much needed drink of water and discovered that their water is cloudy. In more extreme cases, the water may even contain bubbles much like a carbonated beverage. In many instances, the water seems to quickly return to a normal state, but any faith in the quality of the water is shaken and may take some time to return. What causes these phenomena and are they something to be concerned about?
The Role of Temperature in Bubbles
For many people, cloudy or fizzy tap water is something that occurs during colder months of the year. In some homes, extremely cold temperatures can change the solubility of the water in the pipes as the external temperature drops. Colder water can hold more air, the pipes in your may not be heating the water up to a normal temperature, and this causes the air to be released as tiny bubbles. This is why there may be bubbles in the water when you turn on the tap.
What Causes Tap Water Cloudiness?
There are actually multiple different reasons why your tap water may be cloudy. These could be related to your geographical location or a variety of other factors. One of the most common causes that we will focus on here is a change in water pressure that sucks air into the water supply.
The Causes of Pressurized Water
Water usually becomes pressurized when air is introduced to the water supply via holes and leaks in the water pipes. The air is actually sucked into the water, once captured the water retains the air, and the water turns cloudy. Once the water is drawn from the tap, the air is allowed to escape, and the water returns to its normal color. This explains perfectly how the water can initially appear to be cloudy or even milky in appearance one moment and look fine a few moments later.
The Health Risks of Pressurized Water
By itself, pressurized water doesn’t really represent any real health risk for the water consumer. The introduction of air and its subsequent release is nothing to be too concerned about, but there are other more serious ramifications. As we mentioned above the water can only become pressurized when air is introduced into the water supply via a hole in the pipes. The obvious implication here is that you may have one or more holes in your pipes that need to be repaired. A leak in your water pipes could be a vector for contaminants to enter the water supplied to your home. Also over time, the leak may get worse resulting in a more expensive repair or water damage that is costly to repair.
The presence of cloudiness or even bubbles in your water is not a cause for concern, but it is an indicator that there is a leak in your pipes. These leaks need to be repaired to ensure that the leaks don’t get any worse. Also if you want to enjoy good quality all the time a countertop water filter will fit the bill.
By Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska.
With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.