Friday, January 2, 2009

If you are going to buy a house...part 2-water company water

So I am NOT an expert in home construction, electrical, plumbing (but I know some things), spetic (again, I know some things), lawn care (I know more here) and market value, but I am one of the experts in the water supply (and maybe the one with the most experience).
I have been in the employ of the Health Department for 29+ years, I have worked with water quality since 1975. I have seen a lot, analyzed a lot and talked to people even more knowledgeable than I over the years. I have kept a good rapport with well persons, home owners, the State of Connecticut experts and environmental groups. I am on a do not talk list with many people who sell treatment devices and have been involved in environmental investigations since 1975.
So much for my credentials.
The water being supplied by the water companies in the area, is generally good. Having said that, there are several things that you should know.
1) They are regulated by rules created by the USEPA (an agency that I usually have problems with, but in this case, the rules they have a quite thorough), some times made more stringent by the State of Connecticut Department of Health and required to report often to the State.
The water is taken from one of 2 reservoirs and one large well. They gross filter it (to get out leaves and fish, flocculate it ( to bring out natural organics), Chlorinate it and then sand bed filter it. I believe thay put it through a carbon filter also. The water is prety good, with no heavy metals or nasty organics and no bacteria or viruses.
The water is aggressive even tho there is an additive in the water to make it less so. The blue staining coming out of the faucets is copper because of this.
Chlorine and fluoride are also added. The chlorine to kill any bacteria, the fluoride to help our teeth.
In Stamford, there are no lead pipes, so lead is only a problem within the house plumbing.
They also deal with water main breaks and that will create discolored water (iron, manganese and dirt at non harmful levels. They generally over chlorinate the water when this happens, so the chance of having bacteria issues is non-existent.
Because chlorine is not a pleasant taste, you could carbon filter it or let it sit overnight in the fridge, but that is the only treatment I could think that you would need. A particle filter would deal with the water main break issues.
That is water company water and that is what most homes have,. the next post will deal with wells.


kate said...

Interesting blog, I just stumbled across you via Soundbounder. You mention fluoride, but in passing. I was wondering since you look like you deal quite a bit with water quality how you feel about the whole fluoride thing since there's a movement to get rid of it in the public water (which I support). I wrote a blog about it and had some interesting responses, but I'm always looking for more opinions. Looking forward to reading through more of your blog when I have time! -kate

Whitemist said...

In this case and for well water in particular, there is no significant amount in the area. Well water will not protect your teeth or poison your body.