About CWQA   |   Ask An Expert   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join CWQA
Common Water Problems


Our most common water problems are the results of their own unique problems and all water problems can be treated accordingly.  If your concern is not listed here, feel free to reach out to us through Ask An Expert to quickly get an answer to your inquiry.


All water problems should be resolved by a qualified water treatment professional.  You can search for your closest water treatment professional in our member directory.


Hard Water Stains

Hard water contains dissolved minerals from the earth, which includes calcium and magnesium.  When it measures 3.5 gpg or more it can result in scale buildup in pipes and appliances (causes spotting on dishes and glassware), increased soap and detergent use, gray and dingy looking clothes, and sticky or filmy skin, hair and dishes. The degree of hardness may vary in different communities and households.


Rotten Egg Smell

Sometimes well waters have dissolved hydrogen sulphide or methane gas.

Petroleum (gas or oil) Smell

Sometimes old underground fuel storage tanks or oil operations could impact groundwater.

Aromatic, fishy, earthy or woody smell

Surface waters could have a fresh taste or odour due to tannins or lignins in the water.

Sharp metallic taste

A sharp metallic taste in the water could mean that there are trace concentrations of iron. Iron in the water is not a health concern.

Chlorine taste

This is unappealing and can dry out your skin

and hair. Some municipalities use chlorine to disinfect the water supply and it should be filtered out before you use it to eliminate harmful and/or annoying effects.

Salty taste 

Well water near the ocean may have the groundwater mixed with sea water. The salty taste can make the water undesirable to drink.


Medicine taste

Some water sources may have some detectable or perceivable tastes.
This may be an aesthetic concern.

Chemicals taste

Sometimes pesticides may get into surface or groundwater sources. More importantly these would be mixed with nitrates and other harmful chemicals.

Yellow, brown or rusty stains

With higher than 0.3 ppm iron in the water, staining of fixtures can occur. The water is clear when it comes from the faucet but oxidizes when exposed to air, then changes colours ranging from yellow to brown.  This is an aesthetic (visual) concern.

Black stains

Manganese concentration of greater the 0.05 ppm can cause black staining of fixtures. This is an aesthetic (visual) concern.

In recent research (2013) Health Canada is exploring whether manganese should be a health based concern.

Gelatinous Slime

Well waters can often become infected with iron bacteria. While not a health concern, it can harbor pathogenic organisms - which are a health concern.

Murky Water

Turbidity, or tiny suspended particles, that are a result of water main scale or silt.  Private wells can contain silt and clay. This is an aesthetic (visual) concern. While this does not cause unsafe conditions in the water, high turbidity can cause an ultraviolet disinfection system to under-perform or fail to do its intended task of keeping your inlet water disinfected.

Bubbles / Cloudy Water 

Bubbles are dissolved gasses in the water that can cause the water to appear cloudy. 

This is an aesthetic (visual) concern, but have the water tested to ensure that the gas is not harmful.


For any of the concerns identified above, please contact a Certified Water Treatment Technician to do an evaluation or analysis of your water and recommend a solution.  Here is a list of CWQA certification water treatment technicians.


Still have a question?  



Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal