The Impact of Bad Plumbing on Indoor Water Quality

Although there are many myths surrounding how bad plumbing can instantaneously breed harmful water, and how it should be avoided like the plague unless you have a filtration system. Although the circulation of these rumours can largely be traced back to filtration companies trying to sell products, the tabletop retractable banner notion isn’t as mythical as you might think. Your indoor water quality may be bordering on the line of unsafe right now and you don’t even realise it. In this article, we will discuss how bad plumbing can negatively affect your indoor water quality, and what you can do to solve the sanitation problem you’re facing.


There are a few things you may have noticed about your indoor water quality that may indicate to you that there is an issue with your plumbing, but this isn’t always the case. Some believe that bad-tasting water, bacteria growth, pollution and plasticisers used to manufacture PVC pipes are responsible for bad indoor water quality or even harmful water, but this isn’t often the case.

Harmful water is usually sourced from rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water that may contain the contaminants you believe to be present in your pipes. This can include nitrates, bacteria, microplastics, and possibly thousands of other chemicals. These chemicals may be noticeable in the taste because the water treatment plant it came from had to use excessive levels of chlorine to thoroughly clean the water. Although unfortunately, the taste is compromised, it is better to have a more desirable indoor water quality. Communal water tanks can breed bacteria if water has been left to stagnate, for long periods.

However, pipe contamination caused by bad plumbing can result in the deterioration of water quality in your home.

Pipe Contamination

The contamination caused by pipe corrosion usually comes down to the material the pipes are made from. Each type of pipe comes with its risks as they get older, and each can negatively impact indoor water quality.

  • Galvanised Steel Pipes

Household pipes are often made of galvanised steel, and as is the nature of steel, they will deteriorate eventually. The rust will eventually inflict a metallic taste on your water, but should not be of any health concern.

  • Copper Pipes

Similarly to galvanised steel pipes, copper pipes will corrode over time, but deteriorating copper pipes are a bigger health concern than those made of iron cast. Health guidelines have limits when it comes to the volume of copper in your water as although copper poisoning is rare, severe poisoning can cause liver failure or be fatal. You may notice a very bitter taste in your water, or it might even be orange as a result of the rust before any poisoning has a chance to occur.

  • PVC Pipes

Corrosion in PVC pipes usually occurs when the pipes have been installed for more than 30 years. PVC corrosion can affect water at varying levels but can release enough contaminants to alter the taste and smell of water. You could claim that PVC pipes are a bad plumbing material due to the number of chemicals used to make them.

  • Lead Pipes

Although lead piping has been practically eradicated in the UK, it has still existed as a bad plumbing practice for many years. Lead poisoning can be fatal in many cases, and there is no safe level of exposure for children. Lead poisoning can affect the body and mind, and be carried through the water we drink.

  • Bacteria

Bacteria growth can occur due to excess moisture, hot weather, and exposure to oxygen. Biomass such as bacteria, fungi, algae and mould are all forms of bacteria that can affect your water. It is not uncommon to find bacteria in your tap water, but excessive exposure can contaminate your water and make you very sick.

You should endeavour to check your plumbing every once in a while to ensure there are no underlying issues that could pose a risk to your health. For new pipework, GK Plumbing is the company you need.

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