Having clean drinking water is probably one of the most important things to any household and community. You can sometimes take advantage of access to safe water coming from your taps and not really think about it until something happens, like the disaster that happened in Flint, Michigan. The following are the biggest factors that affect water quality.

Erosion and Runoff

When land erodes, it affects not only the fertility of the land but also the quality of water in nearby streams. Sediments and pollutants make their way to streams and rivers. Many cities across the country pull their municipal drinking water from these rivers. Many times, lands that are eroding are those used for industrial agriculture. The soil in these areas can be full of excess nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients make their way into the groundwater supply and degrade the water quality. The increase in sediments, nutrients, and other pollutants begins to clog the waterways, decrease the water quality, and cause a decline in fish populations.

Dissolved Oxygen

The level of dissolved oxygen is one of the main factors that experts look at in determining water quality. As global temperatures continue to rise, so does the temperature of water in streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans. As water becomes warmer, its ability to hold oxygen decreases. This not only has a major impact on organisms living in the water but also on your drinking water. A higher level of dissolved oxygen in your drinking water makes it taste better. However, it is also important to keep in mind that water that is too high in dissolved oxygen can erode your water pipes. So, there is a happy medium between water that is too high and too low in dissolved oxygen.

Pesticides and Herbicides

Pesticides and herbicides are some of the biggest pollutants of water quality. When they are applied, they can run off into nearby waterways and ultimately into the municipal water supply. They are toxic to wildlife, fish, and the health of the general public. Some pesticides’ half-lives are short, but many others are much longer, taking years to degrade.

Household Cleaners

Many people may not think of household cleaners as a source of water pollution because they are confined to the inside of a home for the most part. However, cleaners inevitably end up down the drain and into the local septic system. Some of these chemicals are considered as volatile organic compounds and eventually make their way into the air and contribute to smog. Eventually, they make their way back down to the ground and run off into our waterways and can even penetrate groundwater sources. The manufacturing of these household cleaners is a major source of environmental pollution as well. You should opt for natural cleaners as many work just as well as the toxic industrial options.


Like most other pollutants, detergents make their way into the waterways through runoff. Detergents have a huge impact on aquatic wildlife. Most detergents are high in phosphate salts. Discharge or runoff that is high in phosphate can cause an increase in algae, which decreases the dissolved oxygen in the water and decreases the populations of aquatic life. Additionally, phosphate can inhibit the biodegradation of organic compounds. Compounds and substances that are non-biodegradable are not able to be removed by current wastewater treatment processes, and inevitably these substances make their way back to the waterways and groundwater supplies.

Increasing Population

An ever-increasing number of people leads to more demand for clean water. However, more people means more pollution. Humans are the number one cause of decreasing water quality. So, it is important to be mindful of the choices you make in everyday life. The simplest acts, such as choosing natural cleaners and detergents and avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides, can make an impact on your local water supply. Choosing products from companies that are environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral can help lead the way toward decreasing your impact on the water supply.

Home Solutions for Improved Water Quality

If you want to improve the quality of water in your home, you can install a water filtration system. AZ Water, Drain & Sewer offers several water treatment solutions and reverse osmosis systems that will provide your household with pure, clean, and safe water.

You can choose to have a whole-home water filtration system installed where the water main enters your home, or you can choose to have systems installed at just the kitchen sink where you pull your drinking water from. You may also choose to install a water softener to remove ions that cause buildup in your pipes and that can sometimes affect the taste of your water.

Whole-Home Water Filtration

As the name suggests, a whole-home water filtration system will provide filtered water to every faucet in your home. These systems are installed on the main water line that enters your home. Depending on the type of system you choose, it will likely consist of at least a water softener, sediment filter, and carbon filter. Some come with the option of ultraviolet light that kills bacteria and other living organisms. The water softener will remove hard water minerals like magnesium and calcium that cause water spots and clogged pipes. The sediment filter is a physical step that removes larger particles like sand. Lastly, the carbon filter removes chlorine and other dissolved chemicals from the water, which improves overall quality and taste. There are many different setups to choose from, and our technicians at AZ Water, Drain & Sewer can walk you through your options and give advice on what would be the right choice for your home.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis offers the purest water. It works by pushing water that is under high pressure through a series of membranes. This type of system can remove up to 99% of dissolved pollutants from your water. You may be tempted to install a whole-home reverse osmosis system, but this can get very expensive to install and maintain. These systems are best used at the point of use, especially if you already have a whole-home water filtration system. For example, you can install a reverse osmosis system at the inlet of where your water comes to your refrigerator or at your kitchen sink.

AZ Water, Drain & Sewer is a veteran-owned company that is committed to offering our customers the best solutions for improving their water quality in Gilbert, Arizona. We also offer water heater services, leak detection, drain repair, pipe lining, sewer repair, and camera inspections. If you have a problem in the bathroom, we can perform toilet, faucet, and shower repair and installations. Need sump pump services? We do that, too. We even offer maintenance agreements for added peace of mind. With our over 25 years of combined experience and being HomeAdvisor-screened and -approved, you can trust the services we offer. Call us today to learn about all your plumbing services and how we can help you!

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