We all know water is made up of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen (H2O), but that’s not all it contains. There’s a lot more to consider when you’re talking about water for use by people. For example, do you get your household water from a borehole or well? Does your water come from treated water from an aquifer the ground or a reservoir, or a combination of both? The answers to these can greatly affect how suitable your water is for drinking, bathing, cleaning, and all the other tasks you use water for in your home.

Where your water comes from has a lot to do with the impurities that may be in it. For instance, water that comes from an underground aquifer is more likely to be classified as “hard water” – meaning it contains high concentrations of dissolved minerals – than a surface water source, such as a lake. Hard water is safe to drink but can create a variety of problems in your home, such as limescale buildup that can damage your pipework.

A lake or reservoir, on the other hand, may be more likely to contain bacteria and sediment in comparison to groundwater.

No matter where your water comes from, it is bound to contain impurities. Even if your home receives water from a municipal source that has been treated to meet safe drinking water standards, your water likely contains contaminants that make it less than ideal for household use. Some of the impurities that homeowners frequently find troublesome include:

Residual chlorine remaining after disinfection

Sulfur that causes foul odour and leads to bad taste

Iron and manganese that can stain pluming, sinks and clothing

Floating sediment particles