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Old December 25th, 2005, 08:23 PM   #1
requiemofroses
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Question White, fizzing tap water?

Ok, so I grew up in a small town around wells and septic tanks, and I still haven't figured out all the quirks about metro tap water since I moved to a bigger city, and this latest suprise is definitely new to me.

I pretty much figure it's just some sort of water treatment to keep city water "clean", but it just visually alarmed me. It smells highly chlorinated, it's fizzy, and it's literally a shade of white, like a bit of 2% milk mixed with water. But, the main question I have come to ask is if this is okay to shower in or if I should try to wait until it "clears up" in the system...? It doesn't seem like it would be very healthy on my hair, but I don't really think they'd put anything in the water which would be too unsafe without notifying people, would they? Also, for those of you who have dealt with this, how long does it usually take to normalize?

Thanks!
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Old December 25th, 2005, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

This happens to my water, too, sometimes, especially in the winter. I think that for some weird reason air gets into the water, and that's why it's white. If you get a glass of water, does it turn back to clear in a moment? Usually it clears up where I live when the weather gets warmer.
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Old December 25th, 2005, 08:38 PM   #3
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

Is it milky in the sink or just as it comes out of the tap? I would suggest a shower filter! But I Hate chlorine! It makes my skin feel yukky!

It could just be an airator on the system if it is just coming from the faucet white, but clear in the sink. However if it is milky in the sink, call someone at the water company, it sounds like someone overfed the chlorine, or something else.
I would check though. I wouldn't bath in it until I knew!
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Old December 25th, 2005, 08:51 PM   #4
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

It's probably dissolved gasses in the water (carbon dioxide, etc.) coming out of solution in tiny bubbles. I had that same milky-looking water in one place I lived. I would run a glass from the tap and let it sit for a few minutes to let it clear up before I drank it just because it looked so funny! But it's harmless, so don't worry.
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Old December 25th, 2005, 08:52 PM   #5
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

NO this is NOT ok to shower in. You obviously have some very nasty water. drinking or washing hands/face etc. in that water would be bad enough but when you shower you are inhaling the steam if it's warm/hot water and inhaling and absorbing water particles thrown into the air by the shower regardless of temperature. A chlorine sauna basically. Inhaling and abosrbing chlorine and heavy metals into your body is very dangerous. The government likes to omit the fact that tons of cases of bowel cancer and lung disease are caused by years of inhaling/absorbing "water" filled with toxins. As for your hair, I'm sure it wouldn't last long with that water. Municipal tap water is on the top of my list of things to avoid like the plague (especially scary white frothy water). I highly suggest you get yourself some VERY strong filters before you go near that water again. In case no one noticed, this is a subject I feel very strongly about. Don't you just love how we're being slowly poisoned in our own homes trying to get the one resource we cannot live without? If I were you I'd go and find whoever is in control of this nasty water and let them know that it is unacceptable. Getting samples tested at a lab are also a smart bet you prove your points.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 01:14 AM   #6
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Red face Re: White, fizzing tap water?

Thanks for the replies so far everyone! As far as how long it stays white...it clears up if it sets for a minute or two, but it does stay. It's not just as it comes out. Also, just so it's known, this just started day before yesterday. Before that, we had always had clear water.

But, now I'm even more unsure about it all that I was to begin with! And, I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to filters and whatnot. Where would I get any, how would they be utilized/applied? Is this not something that will clear itself up in a few days? Also, I live in an apartment complex, so should I call the main office to see if they would know anything about it, or should I just circumvent them and try to find out who does stuff with the local water? [I must sound so silly and naive, but I'm still very much just a small town girl when it comes to little things like this kind of stuff. ]
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Old December 26th, 2005, 03:49 AM   #7
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

Talk with the landlords, and if they don't know what it is, or if you think they're lying, talk with the water works. The apartment I used to live in sometimes turned the water off, and when they turned it back on there was air in the water line. What you're getting is unlikely to be the apartment's doing, but they may know about it.

The water filter I use is by Kent Marine. A friend of mine has one too; he uses it to fill his fish tank. It's a RO filter which slowly fills up a big water bottle; it's not for showers.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 03:53 AM   #8
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

The white and fizzy is probably just that you have an airrator on your tap - a little sieve like device that mixes air with the water. No big deal, and not dangerous at all.

If you fill a glass with water, does it clear up in a few minutes?

Does it go clear from the bottom up?

Is there any sediment at the bottom of the cup when done?

If you answer "yes" to the first two questions, and "no" to the last, it's just air.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #9
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

Okay, thanks everyone!
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Old December 26th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #10
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

Ooh - this has just started at my friend's house. She vaguely remembers it might have happened last year too, and might be to do with the cold. I'll try and remember to ask her Ursula's checklist!
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Old December 26th, 2005, 05:30 PM   #11
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by requiemofroses
Also, just so it's known, this just started day before yesterday. Before that, we had always had clear water.

You've possibly had a burst water main in your area, which has let air into the pipes. Whenever I get the fizzy white water, if I ring our local water authority, there has been a burst water main near by (the pipes in our area are old). Usually clears up in a day or two (once they've fixed the problem)

If burst water mains in your area are common, you may also sometimes get brown water (water main bursts, dirt and stuff get flushed through the pipes) If this happens, you want to go run your outside tap on full until it runs clear - you don't want to drag that muck through your pipes to your inside taps.

Is there a hotline in your area that you can call to check? I always report all changes in my water to the Water Authority so if there's something bad going on they know about it.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #12
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

How old is the place you're staying in? There was a big blow up a few years ago in Tucson about the new water delivery mechanism- using water from the Central Arizona Project (CAP) and delivering it to houses. Turns out that the water had a slightly different mineral mixture that the well water in the region and knocked loose a boatload of minerals in the pipes of the test houses. That might be part of the problem.

But otherwise drinking water always fixed in Tucson for me and depending upon time of year the chlorine mix seemed to change. For drinking it worked pretty well to just fill a pitcher and stick it in the fridge, the chemicals would dissipate and the gunk would settle leaving clearer water.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #13
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

The presence of oxygen in the water is normal. If it's sputtering then there are pressure changes going on in the supply (such as a repair man recently did a repair to the water line). If in an apartment building albeit remote possibility to explain sputtering water (you didn't ask, but it's part of the picture), where the tanks can be shared, as can the lines, then sometimes when a roommie takes a shower, or even in the worst cases, a neighbor uses water, your pressure goes down--especially if you try to take a shower or run the dishwasher at the same time. The area around these parts sometimes cleans the water pipes so it comes out yellowish looking on occasion. We just let the water flow til it runs clearer. That fizzy whitishness is harmless. As already suggested, wait a few moments and let it settle.

You have minerals in your water supply. Most water does unless it's softened or filtered. Minerals are picked up as they go through rivers, streams, and so on.

If you want to be sure about the integrity of your water, you can test it with pH strips, and there's water testing kits to purchase.

It's simple enough to add a filter to most shower heads or kitchen sink taps. They're also fairly inexpensive. For filtering drinking water, consider a Britta.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 05:30 AM   #14
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

Water is such a great thing isn't it? Provided in abundance, its uses are almost endless. Drinking clean, clear, free of harmful contaminate water is something we take for granted. Turn the spigot, lift the handle and, voila' - water .

Most days, it's just as we expect. Then there are the days, like those previously mentioned, when water does things we don't expect. Most are harmless. They are the visual and odor kind of change. Some are not. Suspended things like bacteria that you can't see. Bad metals and the like. That's why municipal water supplies are tested, tested, and tested more. Some tests go on continuously. Some tests are done hourly or every few hours.

Chlorination, ozone, ultraviolet light, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), and others clean and filter our water. Of course, then we add things. Flouride is the most common I think.

Sudden changes in water pressure cause most complaints in water quality. These changes stir up the systems and can cause havoc all the way back to the filter plants.

Ask any firefighter who has used a fire hydrant recently about complaints. Or, those periods around the twice yearly water main flushings done by most municipal water providers. "Yellowing of laundry may occur."

But the suspended/disolved gasses in water do leave. The milky or cloudy look will settle.

Whenever you are concerned with your water quality, find out where your local water authority is and take them a sample in a very clean sealed glass jar. A plastic bottle is ok if it has NEVER had anything else in it.

I hope this added something to the discussion.

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Old December 27th, 2005, 11:04 AM   #15
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Re: White, fizzing tap water?

I run my water a while before drinking it or using it for coffee. The mineral buildup from the pipes happens overnight, and is worse in the hot water pipes than the cold water. So this is if you have zinc piping instead of copper, and that's what's causing it.

But it's likelier that you're getting the air people talked about above. Just let it settle and you'll be fine. I still like running it a bit, though, before using it when I get up, simply because it's been sitting there.
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