Black particles in mains water for a few years now... Soil??

Hi,
I'm driven a bit demented by this problem. I have had the rising main checked for leakage, and was told there wasn't one by a leak detector, and he was fairly adamant about it. The neighbours don't seem to have this problem, but it is ruining our water quality inside the house. Basically, in every glass of water you pour from the mains kitchen tap, it contains some small dark particles. I know these are soil particles, as every few months I have to clean out the attic tank of settled mud when it accumulates. Showering is always bad, and makes your skin feel horrible, its like you can feel the soil contained in the water drying your skin...
The house I live in is 30 years old, black plastic rising main. I notice that when I run the water right through the system very quickly, it is much better. I've tried everything, even whole house water filters, which were a complete disaster. The water took a brief turn for the better though when the aforementioned leak detector guy was here and turned off the outside stopcock briefly, and then back on again... for the next few days the water felt so much nicer, and looked cleaner. Could soil be pulled in from the outside stopcock somehow? I checked it the other day and its completely covered in dirt and other crap, but I don't know if this is a real possibility.
The county council just keep telling me, "Oh yeah, if there is building or roadworks going on near you, then some sediment can flow into the water.." When I tell them its been going on for years, they haven't a clue, no help whatsoever... Can anyone offer enlightenment/ advice? Cheers.
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If the water company hasn't taken samples for chemical analysis then they should do so. This will confirm whether this really is soil or is some other contaminant.
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I live in Dublin, where there aren't any water charges, and it is therefore regulated by the county council, who are bellends unfortunately. They will only test for serious pathogens really, like E-Coli etc. I've lived elsewhere in the city (even nearby here for a while) and never had the slightest concerns with the supply. Its just frustrating that I can't turn to anybody who properly regulates this here.
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"None" wrote:

In that case all I can suggest is that you send samples to a laboratory and pay for analysis and a report. Until you know precisely what these contaminants are then I don't see how you can know the source and therefore who is liable. You need to find out whether the water is arriving at your property contaminated, or whether the water is being contaminated on your property. If the former then presumably the county council is liable, if the latter then you will be liable.
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The water in your mains is at high pressure. Any leakage would be outwards. Soil particles could not get into a pressured pipe unless the pressure was turned off, the soil enters the pipe through the leak, the pressure is turned on again and the soil would go up the pipe. Maybe there's is a Leprechaun keeps turning the water off while your back is turned? Only joking, my regards to one of the countries and people I love. Keep the place dry for my next visit to Kerry.
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What you say makes sense, but what if the water pressure inside the house changes, for example, when a toilet is flushed or something, then at that moment, the soil could find its way back into the pipe? Because every single glass I pour these days contains it... On top of that, the water out of the bathroom taps is generally pretty green; disgusting. All this must be linked, how I don't know. Kerry is a grand old place, but its people are the butt of legendary jokes.
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No because the main is still under positive pressure. If it weren't, the toilet cistern would never fill.

It may or may not be. The black particles may be from the insides of the pipe, or the filtration is not working properly at the water works - it's probably the former.
Drinking tap water is a bad idea anywhere.

I did read one true story of a Kerry man of agricultural occupation, who insisted on going to mass every Sunday morning, with his family using a horse and cart. What with the dirt and the discomfort as she became older, his wife eventually pushed for buying a car in which to go to church.
A brand new Ford Escort was duly purchased. There was one small problem. Neither of them could drive.
The solution was that the engine was removed and modification made to the front bodywork such that a suitable arrangement could be fitted to attach to the horse. This was perfect. The wife went to church in the car, and the farmer rode the horse as he always had.
I don't suppose that they worried about their water supply too much.
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I thought of that, but if that's the case, wouldn't parts of it be disintegrated by now? We also get a lot of dirt accumulating in the attic tank over a few months, and yes there is a lid over it. This dirt is definitely soil. The water can have a completely different quality to it if I pull out the washing machine connection and drain it into the sink for a few minutes, for a few days after that it feels much better. Have no idea why this is the case.

Well they wouldn't would they?
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What makes you think it is soil? Soil is made up of many things both rock and organic, I'm no expert as you can probably tell, but if it was from the ground I would expect a noticeable quantity of grit in the storage tank at least. I have no idea what it would cost but maybe take some of the sediment from the tank and have it analysed, Have you tried asking your water company to do this rather than just testing a water sample?
--
Bill

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You may have a point there with the grit, I haven't found any of that, just a light brown sandy looking substance, which goes much darker when scooped en masse into a bucket. Our local council wouldn't test it for though, theyre reluctant enough to test water.
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None wrote:

Cuprous oxide.
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Could be...

What happens if you collect some of this and leave it out to dry?
If it were iron particles from the pipe, one would expect them to go rusty.
If it's soil, perhaps it entered the main at some point following a water main burst and repair? Is the soil in the area naturally black once you dog down say half a metre?

Because you are flushing out the crap.
You could put a particulate filter in line with the main and empty that periodically.
Have you asked people in the area whether they have the same problem?

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wrote:

http://www.dogging.co.uk /
--
Frank Erskine

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Andy Hall wrote:

Doesn't it depend where the tap is?
Owain
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Not IME...
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Drinking tap water anywhere bad idea??? Not necessarily. Some recent (within last six to nine months) very thorough tests of several municipal water supplies in this province of Canada, conducted and publicized by our nation radio/TV network, revealed that, for example, the city water supply of St. John's the provincial capital city, was actually equal to or better quality than several brands of bottled water, including some made from icebergs! The tests included analyses for particles and percentages of trace chemicals. Of course after a disastrous and negligent situation in a town in Ontario within last few years, where it appears there was agricultural run-off into one of the towns drinking water wells and several people died; there has been more attention and concern. Newfoundland, Canada.
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|!> Andy Hall wrote: |!> > Drinking tap water is a bad idea anywhere. |!> |!> Doesn't it depend where the tap is? |!> |!> Owain |! |!Drinking tap water anywhere bad idea???
In many parts of the UK it is a *good* idea, notably in the North and West. We get our water straight off the peat moors. and so is very good. Yorkshire Water have only, within the last few years, got the peat out of the water. This appeared as a very fine black/brown dust.
You have to find out where *your* water comes from, YW gets its water from various places, and pumps it around in times of drought.
You can get the regular analysis of your drinking water off the web somewhere.
--
Dave Fawthrop <sf hyphenologist.co.uk> 165 *Free* SF ebooks.
165 Sci Fi books on CDROM, from Project Gutenberg
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On 2007-04-22 07:44:05 +0100, Dave Fawthrop

Actually, notably *not* in the North and West. There is a known correlation, established over many years and in many geographies throughout the world between softness in water and increased incidence of ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.

Depending on your definition of "good"

That's pretty disgusting.

I prefer to read the analysis on the bottle and to choose between suppliers rather than taking what the local draft supplier wishes to deliver.
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Andy Hall wrote:

Is there also a correlation between soft water areas and deep fried Mars bars, though?
Owain
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Owain wrote

Only if the water is so loaded with contaminants that it can be used as cooking oil.
--
Roger Hunt

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