How to Spot Poor Water Quality Warning Signs You Can’t Ignore

Iron Filtration System in Indianapolis, IN

Having good water quality in your Indianapolis home is essential for the well-being of your family. Drinking contaminated water or water of poor quality can cause serious health issues, like stomach illness, cramping, nausea, and more. Part of addressing poor water quality is being able to identify its symptoms.

Murky Water

If the water in your home looks murky or cloudy, it could indicate a high level of minerals in the water. Water typically has some organic material. However, the mineral concentration of your water should be within a healthy range. Opening the faucet and letting it run for a few minutes should clear up the murkiness. If the cloudiness does not go away, you may want water purification professionals to check to see how safe your water is to drink.

Sulfur Smell

Hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) can give your water that rotten egg odor and taste that is often associated with sulfur. Sulfur in the water can occur naturally because of chemical reactions in the rocks and soil or because of chemical decay. It can be the byproduct of sulfur bacteria in the plumbing system or groundwater. Or, in rare cases, it can be caused by pollution.

Signs of sulfur in the water include a bacterial slime. This slime could be reddish, black, gray, or even white. Black stains on plumbing fixtures and silverware indicate hydrogen sulfide gas. Corroded metal pipes and water fixtures could also be signs of sulfur in the water.

Water that contains any level of sulfur could be dangerous to consume. This gas could be produced by pollution or sewage. The safest thing for you to do is to have your water tested and work with a water purification professional to address the causes of the sulfur smell.

Colored Water

The water that comes out of your faucets, especially if you let them run for a few minutes, should be clear. If you put water in a glass and you see that it is discolored or tinted, it could indicate that your water is unsafe to drink.

Tinted-colored water can be the result of high levels of manganese or iron. It could result from rusting or water pipes that have come loose. Discolored water could indicate that it is time to replace old and corroded pipes or a damaged water heater.

When there are upstream pollutants from rain-washed motor oil, chemicals, or pesticides, this could also affect the color of your water. Tinted water may not be safe to drink. If your water is any color but clear, it is likely best to have it tested by water purification professionals.

Chlorine Smell in the Water

Chlorine is commonly added to water to keep it sanitized. Your water treatment plant will likely add a small, safe amount of chlorine to your drinking water to kill bacteria. The amount of added chlorine is carefully measured to dissipate in the water supply quickly. You should not notice a strong smell of chlorine. If the scent of this chemical is present, the water may not be safe for consumption.

In addition to affecting you when you drink it, excessively chlorinated water can lead to skin and eye irritation when you shower or bathe. High levels of chlorine in laundry water can damage your clothing, cause colors to fade, and lead to clothing fiber breakdown.

Oily Water

There are usually two reasons why water has an oily film. One is hydrogen sulfide, and the other is iron bacteria. If the oily film does not break up when the water is agitated, it is likely caused by hydrogen sulfide. If it breaks up, iron oxide material is likely the source. Iron bacteria cause your water to have an oily appearance when there is an excess of iron-containing material and organic matter. Some possible health risks from drinking oily water include diarrhea and a sour stomach. You may see corrosion of metal plumbing fixtures and tarnished silver cookware, as well.

Water That Tastes Like Metal

If you notice that the water in your home tastes like metal or has a bitter taste, your water may have an increased concentration of zinc or copper. Metallic-tasting water is often caused by metal fittings and pipes that are starting to corrode.

Zinc and copper are popular materials used in plumbing systems. Water sitting in these metals for long periods can absorb the metallic flavor. It is more common for water to have a metallic taste in larger buildings with longer links of pipework, such as apartments. This is because the water has to travel through more pipes before it gets to the tap.

If your water tastes like metal, refrain from drinking it and contact your water purification professional. The metallic taste could be a sign of severe water supply contamination. Consuming contaminated water could result in serious illness.

Detergent Smell

A detergent smell in water is a clear sign of disease-causing microorganisms in the water supply. Often, the water smells like detergent when septic discharge finds its way into the water supply. If this happens, the home is at a greater risk for severe waterborne illnesses.

Bluish-Green Stains

If you see bluish-green stains in your sink, shower, or bathtub, this indicates that the copper level in your water supply is elevated. Consuming water with excessive levels of copper can lead to digestive problems, anemia, and long-term could result in liver and kidney damage. A water purification professional can help you evaluate the condition of your water and determine what types of purification or filtration are needed to make the water safe to drink again.

Low Water Pressure

In addition to being an annoyance, low water pressure can seriously threaten your family’s health. Low water pressure can lead to backflow. This allows contaminants into the drinking water via unprotected cross-connections.

Backflow is where the normal flow of water is reversed due to back pressure. This happens when the pressure of a polluted water source is higher than the pressure of the distribution system. Contamination from backflow incidents has led to illness and injury. in some cases, it can even be fatal. Indications that low water pressure has led to potentially dangerous backflow include discolored water, odd taste, and odor complaints.

Working With Water Filtration Professionals in Indianapolis and Surrounding Areas

At Cooper’s Water, we are proud to be the number one choice for reverse osmosis, water softeners, and filtration. Our team has worked with water filtration and plumbing for over 30 years. We have built a reputation based on integrity and honesty. We are committed to ensuring our customers get the best results possible. We are proud to have an A+ Better Business Bureau accreditation. We are Water Quality Association members and are Angie’s List Award recipients.

Our services include water softener repair, installation, and rentals. We offer well water filtration systems and iron filtration systems. We are proud to install reverse osmosis systems, water heaters, and sump pumps. Additionally, we repair garbage disposals and offer general plumbing. Contact Cooper’s Water today and see for yourself what it is that sets us apart from the rest.


Cooper’s Water has been providing water softener services in the local area for more than 40 years. As the recipient of the Angi 2020 Super Service Award and a Best of HomeAdvisor 2020 Winner, we have built a reputation for excellent customer service. All our water softeners come with a seven-year quality guarantee and we provide free estimates as standard. If you are looking for a high-quality, water softener for your home, please contact Cooper’s Water today.

Are you looking for the best water softener company in Indianapolis? Give our experienced team at Cooper’s Water a call today!

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