If you have bathwater resembling radiator fluid, you likely have serious issues with your water quality. Water that is blue or green in color can become a serious problem that will get worse over time. If your bathwater is anything but clear, you should be hesitant to bathe in it.
What causes water to turn blue or green in the first place, and how harmful can it be to bathe in? Most importantly, what solutions exist to get rid of this discolored water?
This article will assist you by giving you the information you need to understand the root causes of blue or green bathwater, the possible health risks associated with it, and provide you with solutions to get rid of this problem.
Let’s get your bathwater back to its original crystal clear quality.
Why Is My Bathtub Water Blue/Green?
Heavy levels of copper or other contaminants in your water supply will give your water an undesirable blue or green color. Copper contamination can happen as your water passes through your pipes or can even occur at the water’s source.
Many plumbing systems use copper pipes which can degrade over time. If you use a private well, copper can also build up there as well. If copper contaminates your water, it will have a metallic odor or taste.
Many plumbing systems use copper or galvanized steel plumbing. While copper and steel are great materials for transferring water eventually, they give out and degrade. Electrolysis is a process in which metal breaks down more quickly than usual, in this case, resulting in green or blue water.
Electrolysis is sped up if you have a contaminated or corrosive water source or old plumbing. The symptoms of corroded plumbing are similar to contaminated water, as each can become the cause of the other.
Limescale is a common issue in most bathrooms. Hard water deposits minerals, which, when dissolved, create limescale. You will often find limescale on your tile and around your faucet. Limescale is usually white, but when it combines with water from a copper plumbing system it can contribute to blue or green bathwater.
You can usually tell when your bathroom has limescale buildup. The limescale around or within your faucet is most likely going to cause discolored water. Though limescale is not a common cause of green or blue water, it is possible.
Mold or Mildew
Mold and mildew are serious problems not just because they can turn your water blue or green but also due to health concerns. In addition, mold and mildew can come in various colors, from black to white or green and blue.
While unlikely, it is possible that mold developing near plumbing like in your basement or wall can get into your water supply, turning it green or blue. Mold in your water supply is a very serious health concern.
Is Blue/Green Bath Water Harmful?
Yes, in most cases, blue or green water can be very bad for your health. Usually, your water is discolored due to copper, which when ingested or bathed in can be bad for your health. Copper in small amounts can be okay to bathe in, but you should first determine how much of it is in your water.
Use a water testing kit to determine what is causing your water to turn green or blue and whether or not it would be safe to bathe in. Signs that you have ingested or bathed in water with heavy copper levels include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and a higher risk of liver or kidney disease.
How to Get Rid of Blue/Green Bath Water
- Plumbers Wrench
- Plumbers Tape
- Tape Measure
- Replacement Plumbing with Fittings
- Hard Water Softener
- Water Test Kit
- Water Treatment Kit
- Undistilled Vinegar or Bleach
- Safety Equipment: Gloves, Eye Protection, and a Mask
Uncontaminating Your Water
Begin by using a water test kit to determine what is contaminating your water and how bad the contamination is.
If you have a private well, you should test your well water. Testing your faucet should suffice if you get your water from a local city source.
If your private well water shows high copper levels, you should use a water treatment kit to bring your water back to acceptable standards.
If your local city water shows high levels of copper, you can contact your local city water district to resolve the problem.
Suppose your local city water district does not take action. In that case, you can contact a government service like the EPA who considers 1.3mg of copper per liter of water an actionable offense. Just make sure your own plumbing is not to blame before calling the authorities.
Replacing Your Corroded Piping
If your copper plumbing has degraded or is rusting, you are best off replacing the bad plumbing before your issues get worse and lead to water damage.
Determine which pipes are bad, measure them, and buy replacement plumbing.
You can buy new copper pipes or another alternative such as PEX plumbing which does not degrade and is less expensive.
Before you remove any plumbing, make sure you turn off your home’s water supply.
Use a plumbers wrench to remove your bad copper plumbing and replace them with new pipes and new fittings. Use plumbers tape as necessary.
Turn your water supply back on and check for any leaks or discolored water.
Getting Rid of Limescale Buildup
The most efficient way to get rid of limescale buildup is to treat it at the source by getting rid of hard water.
Use a water softening kit, which you can use in your well or water source.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions given on the water softening kit. It will likely take a few days to see results.
You can also use a homemade remedy with lemon juice and vinegar to remove limescale on surfaces around your faucet and tile.
Getting Rid of Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are serious concerns that should be taken care of promptly, not only due to possible water discoloration but due to possible structural damage and health concerns.
Vinegar mixed with baking soda is an excellent non-chemical method to get rid of mold. Bleach is a stronger chemical-based alternative.
Begin by equipping your gloves, mask, and eye protection.
Using either bleach or vinegar in a spray bottle, saturate the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.
You can then use a brush to scrape away the mold.
Certain species of molds require different cleaning solutions, so if vinegar does not work, try bleach instead.