There’s nothing better than stepping into a cool, air conditioned home on a hot Florida day and pouring yourself an ice cold glass of water. But if you’re drinking water from the tap, just how safe is it?
In the past, this has been a tough question for Floridians to answer. If you’re like most Floridians, you’re probably familiar with water boil notices, as well as controversial reports about Florida’s water quality.
Still, local government follows strict state and federal laws to ensure the Sunshine State’s water is safe. Read on for an in-depth look into Florida’s tap water, if it’s safe to drink, and what you can do to ensure your family is drinking clean water.
Florida Tap Water Is Safe According to Local Government
Local government has declared the water in Florida safe to drink because the state follows strict state and federal laws that monitor water contaminants.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection requires that,
“…all chemicals added to drinking water and all system components that come in contact with drinking water be certified under ANSI/NSF Standards 60 and 61. These standards ensure that there are no harmful chemicals inadvertently added to the drinking water supply.”
Put simply, this means that under normal circumstances Florida’s water should be safe to drink. However, there is always a possibility that the water can become contaminated. If you’ve ever gotten a “water boil notice” then you’ve experience contaminated water.
…But Florida’s Tap Water Is Prone to Contamination
Although Florida’s tap water is largely considered potable, the state’s water is prone to contamination. But why is this?
Florida’s tap water is prone to contamination because around 90% percent of the state’s drinking water is supplied by aquifers. Aquifers are essentially large, underground rocks that are made of porous limestone and contain a large amount of freshwater.
This freshwater is pumped up to the surface and used for public consumption.
Aquifer water is easily contaminated thanks to Florida’s unique hydrogeologic, which features a “thin soil layer, high water table, porous limestone and large quantities of rainfall coupled with rapid population growth, result in a groundwater resource extremely vulnerable to contamination,” according to the Southern Regional Water Program.
Put simply, chemicals from manufacturers and other sources can easily enter Florida’s water aquifer. The most common contaminants are dry cleaning solvents, underground gasoline storage tanks, and pesticides.
Unfortunately, not all groundwater systems treat the water after it’s drawn from the source, according to the CDC. This means that it’s possible for contaminated water to be drawn up from the aquifer and delivered to your water supply, untreated.
Why Does My Tap Water Taste Weird?
Taste is subjective so it can be hard to pinpoint why water seems to have an off taste. Still, many Floridians report that their water tastes funny even when it’s not contaminated and there is no water boil notice.
The answer likely lies in the fact that water can have a high amount of contaminants that affect its taste. Typically, these contaminants aren’t regulated by the local government because they aren’t toxic and only affect taste.
3 Common Tap Water Taste Complaints
1. Salty or bitter: Water that tastes salty or bitter is likely due to the high amount of minerals in Florida’s water. This includes things like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium.
2. Bleach: Chloramine, often found in Florida’s water, can make your tap water taste like bleach.
3. Metallic: High levels of copper, iron, manganese, and zinc can cause a metallic taste in your water.
Where Your Plumbing Comes Into Play
At the end of the day, Florida’s tap water is largely safe to drink, unless there is a water boil notice. Still, the Sunshine State is no stranger to contaminants in the water.
Weird tasting tap water may mean there are high levels of minerals in the water (and even non-toxic contaminants) that aren’t yet regulated by the government. While the government follows state and federal laws to ensure the water is safe, you can decide what is best for you and your family.
At Sansone, we believe that safe water starts with your home’s plumbing. When your plumbing is old or hasn’t been maintained over the years, your home’s tap water may be increasingly prone to poor water quality. We recommend having your plumbing assessed by a professional once every year to ensure everything is functioning as it should and your home’s water isn’t jeopardized.
Plumbing Services in South Florida
If you’re concerned about the water quality in your South Florida home, Sansone’s fast and reliable plumbing services are here to help. Contact us today for an efficient plumbing appointment and, as always, the best in customer service.Schedule Service