It is a known fact that every state in the US has a different water source. For example, in Portland Oregon, the water source is the melted snow that flows from the mountain streams and collects at certain points.
This water is fresh and is not stored in tanks nor has it ever been underground, reducing the chances of contamination or pollution due to industrial waste which seeps into groundwater.
Whereas on the other hand, the water source of Florida is an Aquifer. The main hazard of having an aquifer is that it can contain a dangerously high level of Sulfur.
Despite being filtered and cleansed, the Sulfur does not just go away, it stays there and that accounts for the smell in the water. The interesting thing is, this “smell” actually accounts for the taste as well, so that means you are essentially drinking sulfur contaminated water.
So, what might the reasons be for this sulfur water to still exist in 2022? And which States are suffering from the same problem? Which State has the best, clean drinking water? Why does Florida water taste bad? Let’s dig in deeper into this topic and find out more, and answer any questions that may arise.
Yes, the water in Florida can taste bad, and that is due to a lot of reasons. The main reason being that the water in Florida has a lot of contaminants in the water, such as chlorine, sulfates and metals. These contaminants can be the cause of the poor smell, and the bad taste of the water.
Florida is the home to more than 8,426 miles of Coastline, and all the beaches are safe for swimming throughout the year. And it is backed up by the Florida Department of Health as well.
The only thing to worry about and keep an eye out for is the water quality, the presence of sea animals, the currents and the high waves. But the water is generally safe for swimming.
Florida’s main source of water is groundwater. There are aquifers present deep below the ground, which are formed due to the presence of air pockets which are present between rock layers and the sediments. Rain water finds its way to the aquifers through seepage from the surface.
This groundwater is transported to the main water filtration plants through water pipes which are underground. Here they undergo a rigorous cleanse and purification process.
After the cleansing and purification is done, this water is delivered all across Florida through underground pipes. That is where the tap water of Florida is coming from.
Florida’s main supply of water is mostly hard water. That is because the source of this water is underground water which comes from aquifers which are found very deep below the ground level, and these aquifers are located between carbonate rocks.
These rocks are rich in magnesium and calcium, which dissolve and mix into the rain water. This gives the water its high mineral content. It is this high mineral content which makes Florida water hard.
Hard water contains a lot of minerals such as magnesium and calcium, and what these minerals do is, they build up a layer or a film on the hair, making it almost impossible for the moisture to penetrate the surface. This leads to the weakening and eventually falling of hair.
Since most of the water in Florida is hard water, and as we know hard water is bad for your hair. Then the answer is yes, Florida water is bad for your hair.
The clearest drinking water you can find in Florida is in Destin. Many surveys were conducted and the clearest and the cleanest water was located in Florida at Northwest Emerald Coast, and it ranked number one. These are the following places which are considered safe and the cleanest, and they are as follows:
- Miramar Beach
- Coastal Villages along South Walton
- Panama City Beach
Whereas if you talk about clean drinking tap water, then that can be found in the State of Rhode Island. This place has the cleanest tap water in the United States and it has the cleanest natural environment as well.
Florida is one of the most affected places in the United States that suffers from smelly and unclean water. While there is no single reason one can point out, as to why the water is so bad, there are many worrying reasons the water is that bad. The main being the contaminants that are found in the water.
Florida water tastes bad and icky and that is because of the presence of Chlorine in the water. There is an ion of Chlorine, which is used to treat the water and get rid of its contaminants, you can call it disinfection of the water.
Some states use chloramine instead of the chloride that is required, and chloramine is a mixture of ammonia and chlorine.
This combination alone can account for the bad taste and the bad smell, because it is the chloride which gives the water its foul and salty taste, and the chloramine is what gives the water the bleachy taste and smell.
Actually, Florida’s tap water is ranked the second worst in the country. The residents are exposed to this dangerous and unfit for drinking water. The problem being, the pollution that is done in Florida, it is of a large concentration, which is directly affecting the water supplies.
While Florida tap water can be considered safe, because legally it is below the level of contamination that is deemed unfit and illegal for people to drink.
However, despite being below the legal limit of contamination, Florida water does have the risk of carrying dangerous and harmful elements like copper, lead, arsenic and trihalomethanes.
The amount of contamination and whether or not it is safe for drinking depends on where the user is living in Florida. That is because there are different sources and different materials used to build the pipes that carry the water.
Despite the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deeming Florida water safe to drink, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is dismissive of the EPA’s recommendation and deems the water unfit for drinking.
Florida is plagued and haunted by the outbreaks of the blue-green algae and the red tide algae, which are harmful and can kill sea animals, pets, animals in general and even humans! This growth of algae has resulted in the emergency closure of beaches and even reduction and restrictions on fishing.
But that’s not all, the water that comes with Florida water isn’t just haunted by algae, it has many other chemicals in it, which can be harmful and deadly to life as we know it.
The amount of these toxicants depends on where the user lives in Florida and what the source of water is.
But there are a few toxic substances found in Florida water, which are as follows:
Copper and Lead:
These metals can be found in the pipelines of many homes in Florida. And these can be found in Florida water because of the corrosion of these pipes over a long time and not only that, but there is erosion of natural deposits as well that contributes to the addition of these poisonous elements into the water.
If traced, then these substances are removed from the public water filtration systems. But the problem is, even if they leave the filter plant clean, and travel miles from the plant to your house, they travel through pipes. If those pipes are corroding, they will contribute to the water being contaminated, without you knowing it!
This toxic and harmful contaminant is found in rocks, and can seep into groundwater because it is naturally found deep underground. It is very toxic if it is found in large quantities. This finds itself in Florida water mainly by the erosion of rocks.
Florida’s main source of water is groundwater.
This means that arsenic creeps its way into the water from the rocks that are near or in the surroundings of the water.
The only positive and good thing is that this contaminant is not found in large quantities and can be safely consumed, which means the tap water is safe enough to drink.
More than 10 million Florida residents are consuming water with Chlorate present in it. More than 200 utilities are sending water that is heavily contaminated with Chlorate. This dangerous element finds itself entering the water stream through groundwater again.
But this time, pesticides and disinfectants used on crops and plants leads to these chemicals seeping underground.
Like we mentioned above, Florida’s main source of water is groundwater. These chemicals are mixed into the groundwater and form chlorate. This is particularly dangerous for little children as it hinders the body from absorbing Iodine.
These contaminants are found in water because of disinfection of drinking water. That goes to say that the chlorine or chloramine that is used to kill the germs in the water and to disinfect it in water filtration systems, it combines with the natural organic materials to produce trihalomethanes.
The liver, the kidney and the central nervous system are the most affected organs, and cancer is also a very likely possibility. This is the negative and harmful effect the consumption of Trihalomethanes has on the human body.
Thankfully the amount of THHM is quite low in the tap water, but in Fort Lauderdale, the amount of Trihalomethanes was found to be extremely high.
It is estimated that around 130 utilities are delivering water that is contaminated with Uranium to over 3 million people in Florida. Uranium is a radioactive and natural element which can be traced from air, water, soil and rocks.
The adverse and harmful effect of Uranium is that it can lead to kidney damage, changes in the composition of urine, and it can lead to inflammation as well.
Nitrates are very dangerous and it is estimated that more than 7 million people in Florida are drinking water that contains high levels of Nitrate. A shocking number of 700 plus utilities are delivering water that contains high levels of nitrate, and an estimated 1100 utilities are delivering water that contains some levels of nitrate.
Nitrate affects the body in a very dangerous way, as it affects the efficiency and working of red blood cells. The red blood cells are hindered from carrying oxygen and it is dangerous to women who are pregnant, and it can be the main cause of blue baby syndrome.
These are all the major contaminants that are found in the composition of Florida’s water. As we all know, some of these elements are highly dangerous and carcinogenic, and have adverse and negative effects on health and the human body.
But is it the same for the other States, or are there states with better drinking water quality? Let’s explore and compare Florida’s water condition to other states.
Tap Water Quality in Major Cities of the United States
The EWG reported that Miami Dade County had a total of 24 contaminants present in its water. Out of those 24 contaminants, 8 of them were the ones that exceeded the health and safety guidelines. But, the tap water that is used in Miami is compliant with the drinking water standards set.
The main contaminants found in Miami water are copper and arsenic. Miami has a total of four water systems.
A whopping 34 contaminants were found in the EWG water quality report for Jacksonville’s water. Out of these 34 a total of 13 contaminants were found to be exceeding the health and safety guidelines.
Luckily, Jacksonville has amounts of copper and lead which are well below the legal limit, but the problem they have is that of trihalomethanes. The EWG states that it has also detected an alarming amount of arsenic in Jacksonville’s water as well.
The EWG water quality report detected a total of 18 contaminants in the city of Tampa’s water. Out of these 18, a total of 6 contaminants were found to be exceeding the health and safety guidelines. But the good thing is the water is compliant with the federal water drinking standard guidelines.
Tampa’s tap water is safe to drink and the levels of copper, chlorine and trihalomethanes are well below the safety guidelines. However, arsenic has been the major cause of concern, as it has been flagged to be contaminating Tampa’s water.
The EWG water quality report detected a total of 16 contaminants in the water of Orlando, out of which 5 were found to be above the health and safety guidelines. It is pertinent to mention here that the water of Florida is in compliance with the safety water drinking standards.
Orlando is facing the same problem of having too much trihalomethanes in its water. The amount of chromium has also been found alarmingly too high, almost twice as much as the recommended safety standards.
So we can see by comparing different cities to Florida, we can derive that many major cities are facing the same problems as Florida. The availability of clean water is becoming a big cause for concern and that is persistent across the entire United States.
The Natural Resources Defense Council conducted a recent study in which a prediction was made about the states which would be the most affected by water shortages or even a total running dry of water.
Out of those 14 states, Florida was predicted to be one which would face a high risk of water shortages, as soon as the year 2050. The state’s main source of water are the Aquifers, water from Saint Johns River, The Ocklawaha River and the Suwannee River.
Conclusion | Why Does Florida Water Taste Bad?
Water as we know it, is essential for life. Our body is 70% water and without it, life wouldn’t be the same as we know it.
Many states are facing the same problem, and that is the unavailability of clean drinking water. Moreover, the source of water they have is also contaminated, which is putting the lives and health of millions of Americans at risk.
It is for this reason that we should be very careful when it comes to water. Groundwater is going deeper underground, and there will come a point it will eventually run out as well.
It is our responsibility to use water with care because it will not come back if it is gone. We should recycle water and use other methods such as installing Reverse Osmosis filtration systems in our homes so we have a clean source of drinking water.