Drinking tap water could be causing your health problems - signs to look out for

Woman sick tap water

Sickness could be caused by low quality tap water

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 01/12/2023

- 10:35

Updated: 01/12/2023

- 11:50

Tap water could be behind some of your health problems, according to an expert

A warning has been issued over drinking tap water excessively after it was revealed it could be linked to some health issues.

Experts shared the signs in your body that could signal health problems caused by tap water, and what to do if you are suffering any of these.

Hardwater areas can be particularly harmful after long exposure - leading to some digestive issues and itchy scalp, according to experts.

Residents can keep an eye out if they taste a strong mineral taste in their water to use water softeners or descalers to aid the problem.

Water expert at SteamShowerStore Andy Ellis said: "Most start to notice signs of hard water after picking up on a slight mineral taste when drinking out of the tap.

“At first it can seem harmless, but prolonged exposure to hard water can result in digestive issues and itchy scalps which can make the problem uncomfortable to live with."

Some germs and chemicals can also get into the water supply potentially causing health problems, with sickness the most common.

Woman drinking water

Tap water could cause health problems if the tap needs tended to


Tap water can make Britons sick if unwanted germs and chemicals are present, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

It said: "Some chemicals can make you sick if they are in your tap water at unsafe levels."

Arsenic is a chemical from natural deposits that can be found in tap water. It can cause symptoms including nausea, vomiting and abnormal heart rhythm.

Those who rely on private wells or boreholes for their water supplies are most at risk of this in the UK, but only if water is left untreated.

The health body warned against lead in tap water, which most commonly comes from lead pipes.

Germs can also cause sickness if they get into the water. They can enter the water stream in the rare case that sewage systems are not operating property.

Cryptosporidium, Campylobacter, E. coli O157, Enterovirus and Giardia can get into tap water and cause illnesses such as sickness or fever if they contaminate water.

The UK Government has warned against drinking tap water that has any discolouration.

It states: "Your tap water should not smell and should be clear - if it is not, contact your water company, or local council if you have a private water supply."

What health problems could be caused by tap water?

An upset stomach is one of the most common signs of problems with the tap.

Experts said: "General consumption of hard water is safe to drink, but excessive usage can cause the minerals to upset your stomach.

"Make sure to contact your water supplier if you notice your stomach hurting after consuming tap water."

How the skin feels is another sign and homeowners should look out for itchy and uncomfortable skin.

"If your skin gets itchy shortly after bathing it’s likely due to the water system pushing out high-mineral content," the experts added.

Tap water

Itchy skin and a dry scalp can be signs of low tap quality


"The minerals strip the natural oils from the body making the skin dry and resulting in uncomfortable itching."

A dry scalp is another problem Britons could face as a result of low water quality.

Experts continued: "Hard water from the showerhead can strip natural oils from hair leaving it dry.

"It can also cause an itchy scalp as hard water can leave residue."

As well as the lesser-known health issues, problems with a tap can be detected by low water pressure, high energy bills or even mould.

Tap water in the UK is safe to drink and is treated at some of the strictest levels in the world, according to Water UK.

It is completely safe to drink and passes 99.97 per cent of health and safety tests.

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