Aging City Water Pipes

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Water is among the most essential substances for sustaining human life. Crucial to the advance of urban civilization has been the ability to bring abundant clean water to population centers while safely removing sewage and wastewater. In fact, many municipalities have been pumping drinking water to residents’ household plumbing for so long that the infrastructure is starting to decay. That’s a serious civic issue – but it also has the potential to lead to health problems for you and your family.

First of all, it’s important to understand that the water that comes from your household plumbing is nearly always safe to drink. Municipal water is subject to stringent testing and actually has stricter regulations than the water you buy in bottles. Unfortunately, in rare circumstances, the water can become contaminated on the way from the treatment plant to your faucet.

In some older cities, sections of water main pipes can date back as far as the 1820s. Most of it isn’t quite that old, but the country is behind in some areas putting the modern infrastructure in place. That may have negative implications for the quality of drinking water in the coming years.

The most obvious sign of aging infrastructure is a water main break, which is often a high-profile event that results in the flooding of city streets. They also pose a health hazard if not handled properly – bacteria or other contaminants can get sucked into the system through the break and end up in your household plumbing.

Rust is another potential consequence of outdated water mains. The good news is that although rust can cause the water to become discolored and have an unpleasant taste, it is generally not a health hazard in and of itself. If lead leaches into the water, however, you have a much bigger problem on your hands.

So what are your options if you are concerned about contaminants from the city water supply getting into your household plumbing? The first step is to test the water to make sure it is safe to drink. You can buy testing kits at a local hardware store, or have a plumber conduct a more thorough assessment. If the water is contaminated, you may want to install a filtering system to ensure that any particles that find their way into the supply don’t end up coming through your faucets.

If you have any concerns about the integrity of your drinking water, contact us at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing today at 903-526-1776 or click here to visit our website.