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🔬 Water Discoloration & Residue

Water Nerds

Photo by Zac Gudakov / Unsplash

Host: Analies Ross-Dyjak
Guest: Christina Liu | Science Team Head | Hydroviv
Category: 🔬 Research

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:37] “The white chalky residue is minerals in the water. And it's mostly calcium and magnesium. And […] when it adheres to your stainless steel cookware, it's because it comes out of solution. […] The water evaporates and what's left is the minerals that are in the water. So the amount of minerals in the water differs from parts of the country to other parts of the country. In harder water you're going to get more build up. […] It doesn't harm anything other than it's just really annoying.”

[4:47] “With cookware, you can actually remove it […] [with] a vinegar water mixture. […] Just use a three to one mixture of vinegar and water and then you'll fill it up to the point where you've got the build up, heat it up until it's just about to boil and then let it cool to the point where you can then […] scrub it and it should come right off.”

[7:42] “[Pink slimy residue] is actually caused by a bacteria and that bacteria is called serratia marcescens. And when it grows, it stains pink. […] It shows up in […] the showers, […] toilets, […] sinks. It is airborne and so you can't filter the water and have it not show up. […] If you are showering and you have a window in your bathroom, don't open that window, […] but open the exhaust fan. […] So serratia marcescens in general is not harmful to most people. […] But don't get into an open wound, […] infections can happen. […] So just when you're cleaning it just make sure you wear gloves. It has caused more serious issues in a hospital environment. […] One of the best ways to avoid having it show up is or to reduce the amount of having it show up is after you've cleaned it, just keep it dry. So like squeegee out your showers, […] if you've got a shower curtain, wash it regularly. […] After you clean it, disinfect it again using bleach, because that will slow down the return of the bacteria.”

[11:48] “When [water] is yellow, or brownish, there could be a number of different things and also when it's cloudy. […] Most commonly it's probably some form of sediment. […] If it is sediment, water filters should be able to handle it in most cases […] [If it’s] brownish, or reddish, it could be rust from iron or steel pipes. […] The other thing […] especially in more of a drought condition out West, people were complaining about […] a tan colored brown colored water is tannins. […] The tannins are not harmful, but it can affect the taste and there's not a whole lot we can do about that.”

[14:57] “If it's a blue green color or more of a blue color, it's most likely caused by copper pipes. If there's corrosion in the pipes it can cause a build up and you can kind of see it like at the bottom you're sink […] or around the faucet. […] If it ends up being a lot of it, and it's a continuous issue, you might want to just have a plumber take a look at your pipes, or have your water tested, because lower pH of the water can cause corrosion, which can […] corrode the copper pipes or the metal pipes. […] It's normally not an issue, there are certain medical conditions where too much copper is dangerous to your system. There are some people who don't metabolize copper. […] If it's just green without the bluish, some wells might have algae built up in it. […] Definitely, if that's an issue you want to have that dealt with. […] And then finally […] [if the] water is coming out pink and purple. […] it actually is potassium permanganate, which is used by municipalities and also in some situations for private wells, because it deals with the hydrogen sulfide that's in the water. So it's to make the water not smell so sulfury.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple (Original Title: "The Science Behind Pink Bathroom Slime, White Chalky Residue, and More")
🕰️ 23 min | 🗓️ 09/29/2021
✅ Time saved: 21 min

Additional Links:
Hydroviv Blog