adelaide's tap water

Is Adelaide's Tap Water Really That Bad?

Every state likes to brag about how wonderful their local drop is. Unfortunately for Adelaide and its residents, there is a widespread perception that South Australia’s tap water is some of the worst in the country but is it really that bad? Metropolitan Plumbing explores all you need to know.

What gives tap water its taste?

Because tap water is sourced from various catchments across the country, there are several factors that could influence the flavour and appearance. Things like iron, sodium, chloride ions, algae and manganese in dams and lakes can impact the taste.

Iron sediments can give off a metallic taste, whilst algae can make water taste swampy. Different types of rocks at the water site can also affect the flavour, however, they are more likely to influence the colour of the water.

What does this mean for Adelaide’s tap water?

Most of Adelaide’s tap water is sourced from the River Murray. The state has to grapple with being at the end of the river, where the water picks up different organic and chemical contaminants on its way to residents’ taps. It also doesn’t help that the waterway is heavily polluted from sewerage, agricultural chemicals, animals and rubbish dumping, but hey what can you do?

But before the water hits the taps of Adelaide’s residents, it passes through a treatment plant where chlorination and fluoridation occurs and then onto a storage tank before it reaches the taps. The filtration plant gives it a lovely clean, clear appearance. Sometimes, the water can give off a slight chlorine smell, but if it is left to settle the colour disappears.

The Evolution of Tap Water in Adelaide

Adelaide’s tap water has come a long way in the last 50 years. Back in the 1970’s the water was considered to be so rancid that many people would drink rainwater instead or disguise the taste with cordial. In the 1980’s the state’s governing water body figured out a way to remove the impurities to improve the taste. Today, the water is considered satisfactory but many homes feature water filtering taps to use for drinking water.

The authorities conduct regular testing which indicates any changes in the levels of naturally occurring compounds in the water. However, most homes who have a water filter system in place will never notice any difference in the taste and smell of their drinking water. Water filters remove most chemicals from tap water including chlorine and ammonia which is added in the water sanitation process.

How can I improve water quality in my home?

Certain things like running your cold water taps for two minutes before you drink it and cook with it can help. However, the best thing you can do is to install water filters and make sure your household plumbing is in working order. If your hot water system is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing it.

A simple Google search for ‘Metropolitan Plumbing Adelaide‘ will bring up Metropolitan Plumbing. We have been in the game for 25 years and specialise in all plumbing services. If you are worried about the integrity of your plumbing, contact us today.


Published: 7 Oct, 2020

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