My parents recently bought a home in an area that has a "neighborhood water
supply", whatever that means. Suddenly, their hot water has started having
a green tinge; the neighbors say they've all had this problem off and on,
and it's due to excess acidity in the water. The fellow who nominally runs
the water supply says things like "I don't know anything about water" and is
generally not interested in the problem. That's perhaps not surprising: the
neighbors say this goes back over two decades! Anyway, the conventional
wisdom is that the problem is due to the acidity leaching copper from the
pipes, and that the solution (!) is not to drink the water.
We'd like to understand this better. I was thinking that since it's just
the hot water, could it be aggravated by a depleted hot-water tank anode?
My parents have tried contacting folks like the local EPA office, and
haven't gotten very far. Any suggestions for how to approach analyzing the
problem and solving it would be appreciated! I'm remote, so I can't do much
for them other than make suggestions, alas.
Obviously the first thing to do is to find out what a neighborhood water
supply is, and who is legally responsible for it.
Do they pay anything for the water? To who?
My hot water stinks, but at least it is clear.
I respectfully submit that the first thing to do is have the
water tested at a reliable testing lab; which are found easily in
the yellow pages. Kids, dogs, cats & who knows is drinking that
water, and health & safety depts would be seriously interested,
but I don't see EPA caring much.
THEN address liability. The tests are cheap until someone
gets sick, which is possible, or people get upset about wearing
green nurse's uniforms, etc., in which case it becomes litigious.
"Corrosion of copper-containing alloys in pipe fittings may introduce
measurable amounts of copper into the water causing blue or green stains..."
"copper corrosion" or "blue water syndrome"
"There are some telltale signs of copper in water (a metallic taste and/or
blue-green deposits on faucets and sinks)..."
have the water tested in a lab for known contaminants/pollutants
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