Pennsylvania prides itself on being a tough state full of individuals who really know how to work. This blue collar image holds true with a solid mix of industrial, agricultural, and urban zones that sit atop its soil.
The Pennsylvania water supply is heavily impacted by all of these industries. As most of the water comes from groundwater supplies, any contaminants making their way through the soil ends up in the water source.
Contaminants from the high amount of industry occurring in Pennsylvania include toxins, metals, and waste runoff. Pennsylvania water supplies are often heavily treated to eliminate these foreign substances from making their way to residents.
The positive news is that the water is made safe for use and consumption. The aggressive treatments lead to side effects like itching, discolored water, or water that has an unusual scent. These impacts can be mitigated with appropriate diagnoses and home treatment options.
Common Water Problems by City
While most of Pennsylvania shares the issues of the water supply being vulnerable to contaminants, each area has its own problems. The variety of industries has led to many different contaminants depending on the region. Treatments vary and produce unique problems.
Depending on the source of the water, specific contaminants, and treatment plans, residents within an area can experience different challenges.
Rotten Egg Smell
Little Lehigh Creek
Philadelphians get their water from the nearby rivers. Each river provides about half the supply for the city. Philly features three water treatment facilities that filter and clean the water before sending it into the system.
Discoloration is not uncommon in the city and results from metallic deposits entering the water supply. While safe for drinking, staining of sinks, tubs, and even appliances like washing machines can occur.
A high dissolved mineral content leads to the aggravating problem of hard water, which can cause dry skin and limescale build up when not treated. The build up can become severe, causing issues with plumbing and appliances.
The Steel City was once home to a booming industrial revolution. As you can imagine, the amount of industry there impacted the water supply. Now a burgeoning city once again, Pittsburgh processes about 70 million gallons of water a day through its treatment facility.
Dissolved minerals enter the water supply along its distribution route and provide residents with hard water. Thus, dry skin, scratchy laundry, and limescale stains are common.
Pittsburgh also frequently experiences some levels of hydrogen sulfide in its water. There is minimal impact on safety but it can put off a strong rotten egg odor.
Discoloration is not uncommon as higher levels of metals and organic materials can be found. It is safe to drink but can lead to stains.
Allentown has a diverse water source, claiming it from four different supplies. All are surface water, featuring the common issues experienced by sourcing this way.
Hard water is the most common issue experience in Allentown. Using hard water can lead to several physical problems including dry skin and dull, dry hair.
Hard water can also lead to a buildup of limescale. A minor concern is the stains this can leave on faucets and fixtures.
More major problems occur when the build up becomes severe. This can lead to plumbing issues, clogs in air conditioning and heating systems, and poorly functioning appliances.