Do you have questions about your private drinking water supply? How about wellhead protection including the management of your private sewage treatment system? Send your questions using the Ask An Expert feature on this web site. University of Nebraska - Lincoln Extension Water Quality Educator Sharon Skipton will address your questions.
Q: We have blue stains on fixtures. It was recommended we have the water tested for copper, total dissolved solids, and pH. Does this make sense?
A: At high enough concentrations, copper can cause blue-green stains on plumbing fixtures. Copper rarely occurs naturally in the source water supply for drinking water systems. Most copper contamination takes place at some point in the water delivery system. This occurs as a result of corrosion of the copper pipes or fittings, which are widely used in household plumbing.
Some water is naturally more corrosive. Factors causing corrosion include low (less than 8.0) pH, low total dissolved solids (TDS) content, high amounts of dissolved oxygen or carbon dioxide, and high temperature. Therefore, testing for these possible contributing factors to the copper corrosion problem does make sense.