Is Blue/Green Bath Water Harmful?

Yes, green or blueish bath water can be harmful to your body.

Why? Well, water that has a blue/green tint usually means your home’s water has excessive levels of copper. And if humans absorb too much copper (either via skin, inhalation, or ingestion), it can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Higher risk of liver problems and kidney disease

We’ll explain how you can determine if your home’s water has too much copper and what you can do to fix the problem. But first, let’s look at where this copper is coming from in the first place.

How is copper getting into my home’s water in the first place?

If your home’s water has higher-than-normal copper levels, it’s most likely due to corroded copper pipes.

You see, as the pipes corrode, copper dissolves into the water that’s transported into your home giving it that blueish-greenish tint.

What corrodes copper pipes?

In Florida, copper piping usually lasts around 20 to 25 years. So if your home’s copper plumbing is around 20 years old, your pipes are likely corroding due to natural wear and tear.

But sometimes, copper piping can corrode faster than expected due to:

  • pH imbalance of the water—if the pH levels are less than 7.0 and greater than 8.5, the water is more likely to corrode copper pipes
  • High concentration of other chemicals/organisms in the water (like dissolved oxygen, salts, and bacteria)
  • Sand, sediment, and grit scraping against the pipe, causing it to break down and corrode
  • High water velocity, which wears down the inner lining of the pipe through water turbulence

How to tell if your home has copper pipes

Really the only way to tell if you have copper pipes is to look at them. Try going to your attic or a crawlspace to see if you can locate any protruding pipes.

If your pipes look red/brown, then you have copper pipes. If you don’t have copper pipes, but your bathwater is still green, contact a plumber to test your water and figure out what’s causing the problem.

How to verify your water has too much copper

So, you already see the green/blue water—which is the most obvious sign that your home’s water has too much copper. Another sign that your home has too much copper is pinhole leaks in copper plumbing. Check out our blog, “Why Do Copper Pipes Get Pinhole Leaks in Florida?” to learn more about pinhole leaks and how to fix them.

But the best way to know for sure if you have too much copper is to test the water.

You can purchase a copper water testing kit and try testing the water yourself, or you can contact a professional to test the water for you.

According to the World Health Organization, the maximum level of copper should not exceed 2.0 milligrams per liter. But even copper levels over 1.0 milligrams per liter can cause health issues, so you’ll want to make sure the copper levels are lower than that.

My water has high levels of copper, now what?

If you think you have copper contamination, you may need to have a professional repipe your home, or at the very minimum, repipe whatever section of piping has corroded.

Contact a plumber to inspect your piping and check for corrosion. Your plumber will offer repiping costs if it turns out your pipes are corroded.

Need a trusted plumber in Florida?

Contact Plumbing Today to schedule an appointment with one of our local plumbers today. We have locations in Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, and Naples and serve the surrounding areas with expert plumbing service.

Posted in: Troubleshooting

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