Anglian Water is launching a new campaign to help customers keep their tap water healthy.
The aim is to raise awareness of things in the home which can lead to odd tastes, smells and even bacteria getting into the water people use for drinking, cooking and washing.
Poor plumbing, worn out washers and cheap kettles are just some of the easily-fixed problems which have led to a rise in complaints to Anglian Water.
Robin Price, regional water quality manager, said: “Before it gets to your tap, your drinking water is cleaned, disinfected and tested.
“We spend millions of pounds and carry out hundreds of thousands of tests every year to make sure the water reaching customers’ taps is of the very highest standard.
“Yet we receive thousands of calls every year about water issues that have been caused inside people’s homes – all of which are easily fixed.
“That’s why we have launched ‘Keep Water Healthy’.
“People don’t have to put up with unusual tastes and we want to equip customers with the know-how to get rid of them.”
He added: “While they are unwanted, most of these problems are harmless, so we don’t want customers to worry.
“We simply want them to enjoy water in tip top condition and the Keep Water Healthy campaign is about making sure the water that comes out of every customer’s tap is every bit as good as when it was supplied.”
Some of the more common problems include:
Water tastes ‘medicinal’ or like TCP
– Often, this is caused by cheap, plastic kettles. Try boiling water in a pan to see if the taste disappears
Bacteria on taps
– Washing hands or raw meat at the sink and letting pets drink out of taps can allow bacteria to grow in the tap head, so regularly disinfecting them with a bleach solution will keeps bugs at bay
– This is most often caused by air bubbles and is completely harmless. It can happen when hot and cold pipes are too close together, so insulate, or lag, the pipes
There can be more serious problems too, often caused by poor plumbing.
In one case a rain water harvesting system was connected to the home’s drinking water supply.
In another, solar panels were wrongly installed causing drinking water to run through the panels before coming out of the tap.
While such incidents are relatively few, they have increased considerably over the past five years, with 2012’s total number eclipsed this year already.
Robin Price added: “The most important thing to remember is to use an approved plumber for any major plumbing work or complex jobs.
“We have an approved plumber list on our website and if customers are unsure whether their plumber is on the register they can call us.”
Anglian Water’s Keep Water Healthy campaign will provide information and advice through videos, leaflets and at www.anglianwater.co.uk/keepwaterhealthy where customers can tour an interactive house to understand where domestic water problems may arise.
Robin said: “We hope the Keep Water Healthy campaign will equip people to deal with some of the minor water quality issues caused in the home.
“The quality of our customers’ tap water is vitally important, so if anyone has concerns or questions, at any time, they should contact us.
“It may be an easy fix caused by some of the common problems we hope the Keep Water Healthy campaign will help address, but if customers have concerns about their tap water they should contact us so we can investigate and give specific advice.”