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Water Problems

Information on some of the most common water issues.

Common Water Problems

Learn more about these common water issues by clicking on the plus sign in each section.
Have further questions? Give us a call at 406.755.3674

Hard Water

Whether water is supplied by a private well or a municipality, most homes in our region suffer from hard water. Hard water problems are caused by an abundance of minerals in the water. Sometimes boiling can remove the hardness, but some water with a high mineral content—that which is high in calcium and magnesium sulfates—cannot. As water dissolves or suspends, it exchanges elements and compounds with many things it comes in contact with during its travels.

Therefore, all freshwater sources likely contain varying quantities of calcium and magnesium. Depending on your water supply’s geographical location, your water may also contain elevated levels of aluminum and manganese. Avoid these hard water problems by learning more about your home’s water quality and what hard water treatment system is right for you.

Blue-Green Staining

Do you notice blue-green staining around your shower and sink drains? The primary culprit of staining of this type is usually the pH balance of your water. Staining of this type is the result of the corrosion of copper pipes or fixtures. The lower the pH, the more acidic the solution in the water. Corrosion of copper pipes can create several issues for homeowners. You can test the pH of your water to ensure that your water has the right pH balance to reduce the risk of copper corrosion. Usually, raising the pH levels of your water will help to eliminate corrosion and staining and will ensure that your water is safe and healthy to drink.


Do you taste and smell chlorine in your water? Municipalities use Chlorine and \Chloramines to disinfect the water. Chlorine can also cause drying of your skin and unmanageable hair. Drinking water is considered safe as long as the chlorine/chloramine levels do not exceed 4 milligrams per liter. While this may seem alarming, the good news is that this doesn’t necessarily mean that your home’s water is contaminated. Below this level, there are no known harmful health effects.  When either of these two chemicals is found in large doses, it can become harmful.

Our professionals have the solution to eliminate the taste and odor of chlorine in your water. Contact Pettyjohns for more information.

Iron in Water

Iron is known for the orange and brown stains which are caused when ferrous iron is exposed to oxygen. These unsightly stains can be seen in toilets, bathtubs, showers, sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines. Manganese leaves a brownish-black stain on laundry, plumbing, and fixtures. A water filtration system can help remove unwanted iron from your water supply and easily remove metallic tastes and odors.

Contact Pettyjohns and schedule a water test today!

Rotten Egg Smell

There are a couple of explanations for the so-called “rotten egg” odor and sulfur-smelling water.

  1. The presence of “sulfur bacteria” or hydrogen sulfide in your plumbing system. Hydrogen sulfide gas causes the smell. This is mostly found in well water or groundwater.
  2. Chemical reaction specific to your hot water tank, especially if you notice the smell while using the hot water tap. This is caused by the magnesium rod and aluminum in your water heater that produces hydrogen sulfide gas.

 Contact us for your water test and recommendations.


Does your drinking water contain harmful levels of lead? This is becoming a common question as more people are becoming aware of the potentially harmful issues associated with lead in drinking water.  Lead can contaminate water through piping, older faucet fixtures or water supply sources. This happens when water is not properly treated with an anticorrosive—it picks up lead as it travels through lead pipes or faucets. If you know your home has lead pipes, don’t panic just yet. As long as your water is properly treated, you have nothing to fear.