Here in the Los Angeles area, we’re extremely privileged to enjoy a clean and dependable supply of potable water that is distributed to our homes and businesses. The network of treatment plants, pumping stations, and main water lines that carry water to customers throughout the area are nothing short of a truly magnificent marvel of engineering. However, while the water we receive and consume is clean and safe to use, it cannot be described as “pure.” This is because Los Angeles area water commonly contains things like minerals, chemicals, and other substances that could impact its overall quality. It’s these inclusions that frequently cause damage to plumbing systems, wear out components of our water grid, and can even impact our day to day lives both at home and at work.
The full list of substances that could be found in your water would be extremely expansive and take ages to discuss, so instead, our team has narrowed it down to just a few of the most common substances that are frequently found in our water here in the L.A. area and will discuss what they are and what you can do about them.
Calcium & Magnesium
Calcium and magnesium are two of the most common substances found in our water supply here in the Los Angeles area. While they are generally invisible in a glass of normal tap water, they are actually composed of incredibly tiny particles that are dissolved into the water itself. You can usually tell if your water has a problem with calcium and magnesium by looking for a chalky white residue on faucets and taps, and for water spots that stay on your glassware after you run the dishwasher.
With that being said, calcium and magnesium are not bad for you. In fact, calcium is an extremely important part of our diets, as it promotes bone density and skeletal health. In particular, middle-aged women who are prone to bone decay diseases like osteoporosis actually need calcium from our water because they don’t get enough from their regular diet.
Isn’t chlorine that chemical that they use to disinfect the water in swimming pools? That is correct, and it’s found in our drinking water as well. This is by design: water utilities carefully monitor the amount of chlorine in our water supply, and will actually add more should the levels dip too low. While our drinking water may not have the same amount of chlorine as our pools do, they do carry trace amounts that function as a disinfectant.
As with calcium and magnesium, this is not a bad thing. In fact, this innovation has been widely hailed as one of the single greatest advancements in public health and sanitation. In the past, water supplies used to be incredibly risky, and waterborne diseases like cholera could spread through wide areas extremely quickly. Chlorine greatly reduced the chances of these diseases and viruses spreading, making our water safer to drink and use for everyday activities. However, we can totally understand if you’re not a fan of the taste—chlorine adds a sour taste and a strange texture to water that you are probably familiar with if you’ve ever swallowed a mouthful of pool water.
The presence of ammonia in our water actually scares a lot of people. Ammonia is a chemical commonly associated with high-strength cleaning fluids, and it’s known for being incredibly toxic in high quantities. However, ammonia is not necessarily an unnatural pollutant. Fish actually excrete ammonia, a substance that is in turn toxic to them, meaning you need to frequently change out all or part of the water in your home aquarium to keep your tank in good health. While the ammonia levels in our water are not generally believed to be high and they are carefully monitored by water utilities at all times, we can totally understand if you’d rather this substance wasn’t there at all.
Nitrates are chemical substances and compounds that often feature nitrogen. Generally, they occur naturally in plant life, and thus they are a normal part of our water supply. However, modern fertilizers often add additional nitrates to soil, helping plants to grow and thrive bigger and stronger. Thus, agricultural businesses like farms have started to use them heavily to increase crop yields every year. The water that is used to help these crops grow then absorbs these nitrates before dropping back into the groundwater table. From the groundwater table, it ends up back in our drinking water, bringing the nitrates with them.
Getting Rid of Contaminants
What can you do to remove these and many of the other substances that are commonly found in our drinking water? For many people, the answer lies in bottles of purified water. But this is expensive, heavy, and tedious. Instead, we recommend letting a professional plumber install a water filtration and treatment system in your home or business. This will provide you with clean drinking water for years and for the low cost of just pennies per gallon.
Learn more about installing a whole-home water filtration system from the experts at Moe Plumbing! Give us a call at (818) 396-8002 to request more information today.