Water should have no detectable flavor. Trust your tongue, it is very sensitive to outside factors.
pH: Is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of water. Neutral water is 7.0. Lower is acid, higher is alkaline. The range is 0 to 14, like the ‘Richter Scale’ in earthquakes, it is geometric. This means that water with a pH of 5.0 is ten times more acid than water that is 6.0. Water with a pH of 4.0 is 100 times more acid than that of 6.0. Alkaline water is hard on the skin, hair or any appliance. Acid water slowly dissolves metals such as copper, lead, aluminum, iron and zinc, which are used or have been used in plumbing systems. We call it “drinking your pipes”. Symptoms of corrosive water are blue-green stains. Correction is recommended for any pH below 6.5 or above 8.5.
Water may be contaminated by animal and vegetable matter such as bacteria, viruses, cysts, algae, fungi, spores, smut, etc. Most are harmless but some are pathogenic (harmful). Some signs of microbiological contamination are; foul odors, oily, black, slimy or fluorescent films. Contaminated water can cause unexplained illnesses and more. If in doubt, take no chances. A certified water test is essential.
Hard water simply means that the water is ‘hard to use’. Hard water has dissolved limestone in it. Limestone is mostly calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is everywhere, and of which, teeth, bones, seashells, pearls, mother of pearl. Stalactites and stalagmites, the “White Cliffs of Dover”, marble and the “Carlsbad Caverns”, for example, are made. When hard water is heated, it causes scale to form inside pipes, causing constriction. Hard water reacts with soap causing soap scum, the stuff of which bathtub rings are made. It coats your skin, your hair, your appliances, your dishes and flatware. It can cause dry skin, rashes and acne. Correction is recommended for any reading over 3.5 grains per gallon, and pays for itself in cost savings.
Usually the result of over-fertilizing in agriculture or signs of a failed septic system, nitrates & nitrites are a serious health concern that, like lead and other toxic heavy metals, affect brain growth and development. It is known as a neurological dysfunction agent. Thus it is more severe to the young. Infants and the unborn are more affected than adults are. Correction for contamination near and above 10 ppm is strongly recommended.