Top 8 Signs That You’re Drinking Contaminated Water


Did you know that most drinking water contains an array of minerals, chemicals, and other pollutants that can have long-term, hazardous, effects on your health? While there are Federal regulations regarding what deems water safe to drink, scientists generally agree that these standards are far too lenient and out-of-date.

If you suspect your drinking water may be contaminated, have it tested by a laboratory to identify contaminants. Once you have identified the problems, you will be better equipped to find filtration that is necessary for your situation.

Before you order a water analysis, there are several signs you can look for that suggests your water is unsafe for consumption:


Don’t drink your water if it appears cloudy. Drinking water should always be clear. Since water’s mineral content is measured in parts per billion, minerals in purified water should be invisible to your naked eye.


Since most of our drinking water is derived from water tables, wells or reservoirs in the ground, you should expect some sediment to wind up in your water supply. However, adequate water treatment should filter out nearly all sediment so it doesn’t appear in your drinking water.

Visible sediment in your water is generally an indicator that there’s a break in the water main, permitting the sediment to pass through and mix with treated water.

Brown or Orange Hue

Brown or orange colored water usually denotes the presence of excessive amount of iron or manganese in your water. This is most commonly caused by mining or excavation near water supplies, but can also result from rusty water pipes.

Oily Film atop Standing Water

Oily film residue that sitting atop of standing water in your sink, toilets, or tubs is a strong indicator that there is oil or grease in your water supply. Potential causes include a leak in the water main, deficient water treatment, and poor filtration.

Chlorine Scent

Water treatment facilities tend to add miniscule amounts of chlorine to drinking water to kill off bacteria. This works in exactly the same way as when you add chlorine to your swimming pool at home. However, during the treatment process excessive amounts of chlorine can occasionally make it into your water supply, causing intestinal distress and other serious health-related issues.

You can typically detect this via a strong chlorine scent that will emit from your water while bathing or running your kitchen faucet.

Sulfur Scent

Since sulfur occurs naturally in the ground, it’s normal for traces of it to end up in your underground water supply. Like with chlorine, low levels of sulfur in your drinking water poses little to no threat when consumed. However, ingesting high levels of sulfur in your water can be extremely dangerous to your health. Fortunately, sulfur’s most harmful component (hydrogen sulfide gas) produces a strong, persistent, and unpleasant odor akin to rotten eggs, which will alert you to its presence. bacteria is commonly mistaken as sulfur and in most cases a simple well disinfection will remove the smell.

Metallic Taste

Clean drinking water lacks any flavor. If your water has a metallic or bitter taste, there’s a high chance it may contain harmful substances, including but not limited to: medications, pesticides, and industrial chemicals.

Rusted Silverware

Tarnished and rusted silverware often means there is too much iron in your water. Iron adheres to your silverware while your washing dishes and oxidizes (or rusts) once the silverware is when exposed to open air.

If your water isn’t unnatural in color, there’s a very low chance that toxic amounts of iron are present in it. Much like your silverware, however, the inside of your pipes and faucets may begin rust with each water use, resulting in costly repairs down the line.

Order a Water Test Today!

ETR Labs has you covered. Find out if you’re drinking contaminated water now. Order a water test here