If your house was recently constructed, you might assume that you don’t need water treatment. Thankfully, lead was outlawed in pipes and plumbing fixtures in 1986, meaning you probably don’t need to worry about heavy metals leaching into your drinking water from your own pipes, as you do with older homes. However, there are several reasons that water treatment may be a worthwhile investment even in newer homes.
Hard Water is Common in Pennsylvania
Southeast Pennsylvania is notorious for hard water, which includes high levels of calcium and magnesium. Dierolf has seen this first hand throughout our service area. Hard water strikes new and old homes alike. Because humans need both these minerals to function, hard water isn’t dangerous to drink. But because it prevents soap from dissolving properly, bathing in hard water can cause a lot of annoying side effects, from itchy skin to dry hair and hard to clean soap scum residue in your shower. It can also leave your clothes dingy and discolored when they come out of the wash, and may stain your brand new bathroom fixtures orange or leave behind crusty white mineral deposits, which are challenging to remove.
Although you may be willing to ignore those minor grievances, hard water can cause significant damage to your appliances that will eventually require costly repairs or replacements. Over time, calcium and magnesium build up on anything that comes in contact with your water–including your pipes, plumbing fixtures, and water-based appliances such as your dishwasher, washing machine, hot water heater, and even your coffeemaker and the ice machine in your refrigerator. These minerals can clog the water input lines, forcing your appliances to work harder and use more energy to get the water they need to function. Hard water is particularly damaging on hot water heaters, where mineral deposits on the bottom of the tank keep your water from heating adequately.
If you’ve invested in top-of-the-line appliances for your new home, don’t let hard water shorten their lifespan and force you to replace them early. Hard water can also narrow the inside of your pipes, eventually leading to poor water pressure and significant plumbing issues, like leaks, burst pipes, and clogged drains–which can in turn cause significant water damage. Dierolf can install a water softener to remove excess minerals from your water and prevent costly repairs and a lot of frustration.
Your Water Might Taste Weird
Imagine you’ve just moved into your brand new home. You turn on the tap to get a glass of cold water, take a sip–and discover that you hate the taste! There’s no need to despair and resign yourself to the cost and inconvenience of buying bottled water. Several water treatment options, such as a reverse osmosis system, can improve the taste (and smell) of your water.
There are many reasons you might dislike your water’s taste. Only a few are dangerous, but many are unpleasant. The most common complaint for those who use municipal water, especially if they had a well at their former home, is that their water tastes like chlorine. This is because chlorine is often used at water treatment plants to prevent the growth of bacteria and other pathogens that could make you sick. This can leave your water tasting like a swimming pool. It’s completely safe to drink – but not very pleasant.
There’s also a chance your water might taste bitter, sour, salty, or earthy, even if your home is brand new. That’s because most of these issues come from your water supply before it ever enters your house. Even brand new pipes won’t remove something unpleasant that’s already in your water–but water treatment can. Dierolf can test your water and recommend the best system to improve the taste of your water and remove anything that might be hazardous.
Your Plumbing Infrastructure Might Be Older Than Your Home
It’s easy to assume that a brand new home, with brand new pipes, would provide you with clean, uncontaminated water, especially if it’s coming from a municipal source. Yes, municipal water goes through multiple levels of water treatment and is routinely tested for several contaminants. And yes, your brand new pipes should not be leaching anything into your water.
But the water must travel through underground pipes from its original source to your home, and that can be problematic. These pipes may be significantly older than your home–and older than the laws that forbid using lead in plumbing. The American Water Works Association estimates that 6.1 million municipal water lines still use lead pipes. And because water authorities test your water before it enters those pipes, not before it enters your home, you won’t know if heavy metals are leaching into your water until you start having problems. Consuming even small amounts of lead can lead to a wide variety of unpleasant and potentially fatal side effects, and is particularly dangerous to pregnant women and small children, as it can lead to significant developmental damage. Although federal funds have been allocated to identify and replace these lead pipes, this process will take years. Installing a water treatment system can protect you and your family now.
Your Well Is Unregulated
If you get water from a private well instead of a municipal source, water treatment can provide an extra safeguard of water quality. Pennsylvania does not regulate private wells after they’ve been dug. That means that there’s no automatic system in place to ensure that your water supply is safe.
There are several steps you can take to maintain your well and check your water quality on a regular basis, although many homeowners grow lax or are unaware of what they should be doing. Even if you test your water regularly, your water source could become contaminated between tests. Anything from a dead animal to chemical runoff could leave you with a nasty surprise.
It’s important to get your water tested whenever you notice a change in its taste, appearance, or smell. But water treatment may be able to preventively address common problems. Dierolf can test your well water to identify any concerns and suggest a water treatment plan.
The water quality in your home can affect both your health and your quality of life. Even if your home is brand new, various issues with your water supply could lead to water that tastes less than ideal, is too hard, and might even be unsafe. But most water issues can be corrected with the proper water treatment plan. As your local water experts, contact Dierolf Plumbing and Water Treatment to test your water and recommend the best water filtration system for your new home.