If You Have Oily Water, You May Have Impure or Contaminated Water
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Oily Film on Water

When you turn on the faucet, the water quality may not always meet your expectations. That’s because water quality can vary from house to house and even from day-to-day. The weather, environmental conditions, and other impurities in the groundwater can affect your home’s water quality, including taste, smell, and appearance. In some cases, you may notice an oily film floating in the water. It is typically due to organic impurities or industrial contamination.

water testing, orange lake nyOrganic Impurities

Iron Bacteria: Iron, manganese, and other minerals are naturally present in soil and groundwater. When High concentrations of iron are present in the well, it can attract microorganisms that feed on the iron to survive. The iron bacteria can multiply and contaminate the well and plumbing system. In addition to a slick biofilm on the water, it has an unpleasant smell and taste. You will also notice severe rust stains in your toilet and other plumbing fixtures. It also corrodes the well casing and plumbing, which may require many expensive repairs
and premature replacements.

Hydrogen Sulfide Gas: Another possible cause for the oily film on the water is hydrogen sulfide gas or sulfur water. Its presence is often distinguished by its offensive “rotten egg” odor. Sulfur is naturally present in the soil and groundwater and consuming small amounts of sulfur water is not harmful to your health. However, it is highly corrosive and will damage metal pipes and fittings in your plumbing and appliances. Wells with high concentrations of iron or manganese or low pH often have higher levels of hydrogen sulfide.

The recommended water treatment for removing iron bacteria and hydrogen sulfide in well water is chlorine disinfection. Also, installing a whole house water filtration system with a chlorinator and a reverse osmosis drinking water system can help prevent a re-occurrence and provide a continuous supply of healthy water throughout your home.

oily film on water, monroe nyIndustrial Contamination

Another potential cause is industrial contamination. Industrial facilities that use oil or petroleum products and chemicals, oil or gas spills, and damaged underground fuel pipelines can leak petroleum into the soil and pollute nearby wells. Water that is contaminated with petroleum is not safe to drink and can cause severe health issues, including stomach pains, vomiting, and in some cases, death.

If you notice an oily film on your water, you should test the water to determine the cause of the contamination. The Water Source provides a free water test that will identify the contaminants that are in your water and the recommended treatment options to correct the problem so that your family can enjoy clean, clear, and healthy water.