There are no particular standards that can be used to regulate drinking water supply on a global level. Australian homes, though, abide by the standards developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council. These standards are known as the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
The ADWG sets limits for pathogen, aesthetic, radiological, organic, and inorganic contaminants. The government has all the means to assess the water supply on these levels using technology and other water treatment processes, but how can homeowners participate in the same monitoring on their end? The answer is simple: by observing the colour and odour of tap water.
Water quality is affected by different factors, including the council treatment. You may observe these characteristics:
Palpable Chlorine Taste or Smell
Chlorine is added to kill bacteria and microorganisms, but the residue may not dissipate and may end up very strongly perceived. Chlorine has a distinct odour and taste, so it should be easy to pinpoint it.
High mineral concentration results in a rusty and salty taste. This is maybe due to high levels of manganese and iron content in the water.
Rotten Egg Smell
The hydrogen sulphide from decomposing deposits are usually picked up as the water flows from pipe to pipe. Released in the air, it comes off as pungent. Hydrogen sulphide is corrosive and toxic for fish at high levels, and may be present in drinking water at 0.5 parts per million.
Other things picked up as water flows in underground pipes are organic matter and pesticides. All of these elements have the potential to make the water musty.
Volatile organic compounds such as methyl tert butyl ether can contaminate the water supply and produce a turpentine taste and smell. Given that the odour threshold of the compound is very low, it is very unlikely to cause harmful effects in most cases.
If you observe any of these or suspect the presence of worse contaminants, you can choose to use reverse osmosis in your tap water. Our Clean & Clear 5 Series is able to purify your water and remove the suspended and dissolved solids that give the foul odour and taste in tap water. Our systems use the 5 stages of reverse osmosis that removes metals, chemicals and chlorides.
For more information on how we can help you get better tasting and clean smelling drinking water at home, Contact us today.