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Old 07-14-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default Bad tap water question

My wife and I have moved into a new house, and I've already knocked out two brews with a third on the way. Unfortunately our tap water isn't good. At all.

For example, we have an in-line water filter a couple feet in from where the water enters the house. The filter housing is supposed to be clear with a slight blueish tint. Instead, the water coming in has turned it brown. Some of that brown even gets through the filter, so when I go to make sanitizer, the water has a brownish tint to it. When I add the StarSan, the water turns hazy within a couple hours.

Our landlord (who pays the water bill BTW) says that the water has always been dirty, and that her parents (the previous occupants) always drank bottled water.

So my questions:

1) Will using this water in sanitizer cause me problems? I've done it for two beers, and would prefer not to have to buy extra bottled water just to sanitize.

2) What are the chances that bypassing the filter and opening all the taps would flush the line out sufficiently? I took the housing off and let the water flow from it for a few minutes and it came out REALLY brown.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-14-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
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No way to know for sure without knowing exactly what is in the water..... organic and inorganic. That being said, I would likely be thinking about getting RO water from the store in the 3-5 gallon refill jugs.

Have you tried your first couple beers? How did they turn out?

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Old 07-14-2013, 09:44 PM   #3
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That being said, I would likely be thinking about getting RO water from the store in the 3-5 gallon refill jugs.
I wish! In Richmond I had two places to get RO water. So far I haven't found any in the Scranton area. Probably worth a post in the regional forum. RO water is so much cheaper, and my two no-chill containers are perfect for transporting it.

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Have you tried your first couple beers? How did they turn out?
Just bottled the first one today, and if I can motivate the wife, we'll bottle the second today as well. I used store-bought bottled water for the beer, but tap for the sanitizer. The hydro sample tasted pretty good.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:53 PM   #4
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No way to know for sure without knowing exactly what is in the water..... organic and inorganic.
I would second this. Is this well water or city water? If you have your water tested and find out its just inorganic dirt. Then (for the sanitizer) just pour water in a bucket add a few drops of chlorine and let it sit a few days and the "dirt" will drop out and the chlorine will dissipate. Make up a batch of star san, save it when done and go from there. You can always build a small still and distill the water or just buy distilled water to mix up your Star San. Mixed with distilled water it (as per 5 Star) will last forever.

I have several customers that are on dirty well water and do the bucket trick with great results. But a water test is in order first.

Cheers
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:00 PM   #5
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It's city water, which I find curious, because I'm sure no city would allow water like this to flow into people's homes over a long period of time. I'm wondering if the filter is restricting the flow so that any sediment that would have otherwise passed gets held up.

I'd gladly go to the water company, but since the landlord covers the bill, and I'm not sure who services our area, I'm not sure how to proceed. As for a water test, any recommendations? Where does everyone get their water tested?

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Old 07-14-2013, 11:31 PM   #6
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Are there any local fresh water springs?

I live in the country a bit and there are a few ppl who have springs on their property that are "open" to the public. They sit out Dixie cups etc and only ask for a dollar donation. So for me, a dollar for local spring water for my beer is cheap.

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Old 07-14-2013, 11:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by eulipion2 View Post
It's city water, which I find curious, because I'm sure no city would allow water like this to flow into people's homes over a long period of time. I'm wondering if the filter is restricting the flow so that any sediment that would have otherwise passed gets held up.

I'd gladly go to the water company, but since the landlord covers the bill, and I'm not sure who services our area, I'm not sure how to proceed. As for a water test, any recommendations? Where does everyone get their water tested?
OMG eulipion if this is city water... Call the city! Like ASAP. There is a problem with their water municipal for sure. How is the neighbors water? You probably have a broken water line on the city side and have 1 water leaving the pipe (costing the city money) and 2 dirt coming in. I would call the City and talk to them on Monday. No way in Haiti should the city water be that dirty.

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Old 07-15-2013, 12:42 AM   #8
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I agree with Jaybird.

City water should never be dirty.
You should check into this and get it figured out. No telling what kind of crap is in that water.

I doubt I'd even shower in it. Might not even be fit for flushing the toilet!

pb

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Old 07-15-2013, 01:49 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the feedback. I think I'm gonna start with wasting some water and opening all the taps to try and flush the line. If it's not improving after 15-20 min I'll take a sample and head to the water company.

At what point does it stop being a water company problem, when it enters the house, the property, or other?

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Old 07-15-2013, 01:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eulipion2 View Post
Thanks for all the feedback. I think I'm gonna start with wasting some water and opening all the taps to try and flush the line. If it's not improving after 15-20 min I'll take a sample and head to the water company.

At what point does it stop being a water company problem, when it enters the house, the property, or other?
In most places it changes at the meter. But I suspect it's in the main. Might not be, but it sounds too me like it is.

pb
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