What Temperature Does Water Boil At? Boiling Point & Elevation
The Boiling Point of Water at Different Elevations

Water always boils at 100˚C, right? Wrong! Though it’s one of the basic facts you probably learnt pretty early on back in school science lessons, your elevation relative to sea level can affect the temperature at which water boils, due to differences in air pressure. Here, we take a look at the boiling points of water at a variety of locations, as well as the detailed reasons for the variances.

From the highest land point above sea level, Mount Everest, to the lowest, the Dead Sea, water’s boiling point can vary from just below 70 ˚C to over 101 ˚C. The reason for this variation comes down to the differences in atmospheric pressure at different elevations.

Atmospheric pressure the pressure exerted by the weight of the Earth’s atmosphere, which at sea level is simply defined as 1 atmosphere, or 101,325 pascals. Even at the same level, there are natural fluctuations in air pressure; regions of high and low pressure are commonly shown as parts of weather forecast, but these variances are slight compared to the changes as we go higher up into the atmosphere. As your elevation (height above sea level) increases, the weight of the atmosphere above you decreases (since you’re now above some of it), and so pressure also decreases.

Boiling Water Science: Why Does Water Make Noise Before It Boils?

In order to understand how this affects water’s boiling point, we first need to understand what’s going on when water boils. For that, we’ll need to talk about something called ‘vapour pressure’. This can be thought of as the tendency of molecules in a liquid to escape into the gas phase above the liquid. Vapour pressure increases with increasing temperature, as molecules move faster, and more of them have the energy to escape the liquid. When the vapour pressure reaches an equivalent value to the surrounding air pressure, the liquid will boil.

At sea level, vapour pressure is equal to the atmospheric pressure at 100 ˚C, and so this is the temperature at which water boils. As we move higher into the atmosphere and the atmospheric pressure drops, so too does the amount of vapour pressure required for a liquid to boil. Due to this, the temperature required to reach the necessary vapour becomes lower and lower as we get higher above sea level, and the liquid will therefore boil at a lower temperature.

This is, of course, a fact that’s true for all liquids, not just water. And it’s also not just atmospheric pressure that can affect water’s boiling point. Most of us are probably aware that adding salt to water during cooking increases water’s boiling point, and this is also related to vapour pressure. In fact, adding any solute to water will increase the boiling temperature, as it reduces the vapour pressure, meaning a slightly higher temperature is required in order for the vapour pressure to become equal to atmospheric pressure and boil the water.

Another factor that can affect the boiling temperature of water is the material that the vessel it’s being boiled in is made of. Experiments have shown that, at the same pressure, water will boil at different temperatures in metal and glass vessels. It’s theorised that this is because water boils at a higher temperature in vessels which its molecules adhere to more strongly – there’s much more detail on this phenomenon here.

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So, water’s boiling point is anything but absolute, and it can be affected by a whole range of factors. Useful information if you ever find yourself wanting to make a cup of tea on Everest – the lower boiling point would mean the cup you end up with is rather weak and unpleasant!

Boil Water Advisory
Boil Water Advisory | Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene-related Emergencies &  and Outbreaks | Healthy Water | CDC

If your local health officials issue a boil water advisory, you should use bottled water or boil tap water. This is because a boil water advisory means your community’s water has, or could have, germs that can make you sick.

Advisories may include information about preparing food, drinks, or ice; dishwashing; and hygiene, such as brushing teeth and bathing. Boil water advisories usually include this advice:

  • Use bottled or boiled water for drinking, and to prepare and cook food.
  • If bottled water is not available, bring water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes). After boiling, allow the water to cool before use.
  • Boil tap water even if it is filtered (for example, by a home water filter or a pitcher that filters water).
  • Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator.
  • Breastfeeding is the best infant feeding option. If you formula feed your child, provide ready-to-use formula, if possible.


  • In many cases, you can use tap water and soap to wash hands during a boil water advisory. Follow the guidance from your local public health officials.
  • Be sure to scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Then, rinse them well under running water.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Bathing and showering

  • Be careful not to swallow any water when bathing or showering.
  • Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Brushing teeth

  • Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water. Do not use tap water that you have not boiled first.

Washing dishes

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  • If possible, use disposable plates, cups, and utensils during a boil water advisory.
  • Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if:
    • The water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66°Celsius), or
    • The dishwater has a sanitizing cycle.
  • Sanitize all baby bottles.
  • To wash dishes by hand:
    • Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
    • In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water.
    • Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute.
    • Let the dishes air dry completely before using again.


  • It is safe to wash clothes as usual.


Caring for pets

  • Pets can get sick from some of the same germs as people or spread germs to people. Give pets bottled water or boiled water that has cooled.
  • If bottled water is not available, bring water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes). After boiling, allow the water to cool before use.
  • Boil tap water even if it is filtered (for example, by a home water filter or a pitcher that filters water).
  • Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator.

Caring for your garden and houseplants

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  • You can use tap water for household plants and gardens.
Top five reasons why water is important to our everyday life

In a recent article from SHAPE magazine, the top six reasons — beyond water being the basis of life — are given, according to Yahoo Shine.

We chose five of those reasons for why drinking water solves any problem:

1. It protects your heart

Drinking a large amount of water could help prevent heart attacks.

2. Gives the brain a boost

Water provides the brain much-needed oxygen to perform at optimum levels.

Read more: How much water do we need and why?

Water and Healthier Drinks – Zatulet

3. Helps save money

Soft drinks are becoming increasingly more expensive at restaurants; drinking water can be a cheap alternative.

4. Helps you lose weight

Drinking water has the ability to increase your metabolic rate, thus helping your body’s ability to burn fat.

5. Keeps you alert

Dehydration is a huge cause of fatigue; drinking water can keep you alert and active during the day.

7 Health Benefits of Water Backed by Scientific Research
blue glasses of water in the sun

You know you need water to survive, and you feel better when you drink it regularly. But what’s really at play in the body when you sip H2O?

In short, a lot.

Believe it or not, your body weight is about 60 percent water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.  

RELATED: 6 Unusual Signs of Dehydration You Should Know About

The amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors, according to the Mayo Clinic: The climate you live in, how physically active you are, and whether you’re experiencing an illness or have any other health problems all affect recommended intake.

Here are the reasons why water is such a powerful element when it comes to your health.

1. Water Protects Your Tissues, Spinal Cord, and Joints

Water does more than just quench your thirst and regulate your body’s temperature; it keeps the tissues in your body moist, according to the Mayo Clinic Health System. You know how it feels when your eyes, nose, or mouth gets dry? Keeping your body hydrated helps it retain optimum levels of moisture in these sensitive areas, as well as in the blood, bones, and brain. In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints.

2. Water Helps Your Body Remove Waste

Adequate water intake enables your body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. Water helps your kidneys remove waste from your blood and keep the blood vessels that run to your kidneys open and filter them out, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Water is also important for helping prevent constipation, points out the University of Rochester Medical Center. However, as research notes, there is no evidence to prove that increasing your fluid intake will cure constipation.

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RELATED: Are You Drinking Enough Water? These Are the Health Risks of Dehydration

3. Water Aids in Digestion

Water is important for healthy digestion. As the Mayo Clinic explains, water helps break down the food you eat, allowing its nutrients to be absorbed by your body. After you drink, both your small and large intestines absorb water, which moves into your bloodstream and is also used to break down nutrients. As your large intestine absorbs water, stool changes from liquid to solid, according to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Water is also necessary to help you digest soluble fiber, per MedlinePlus. With the help of water, this fiber turns to gel and slows digestion.

4. Water Prevents You From Becoming Dehydrated

Your body loses fluids when you engage in vigorous exercise, sweat in high heat, or come down with a fever or contract an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re losing fluids for any of these reasons, it’s important to increase your fluid intake so that you can restore your body’s natural hydration level. Your doctor may also recommend that you drink more fluids to help treat other health conditions, like bladder infections and urinary tract stones. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you may want to consult with your physician about your fluid intake because your body will be using more fluids than usual, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

RELATED: Water Fasting 101: What You Need to Know

5. Water Helps Your Brain Function Optimally

Ever feel foggy headed? Take a sip of water. Research shows that dehydration is a drag to memory, attention, and energy, per a small study on adult men from China published in June 2019 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It’s no wonder, considering H2O makes up 75 percent of the brain, the authors point out. One reason for that foggy-headed feeling? “Adequate electrolyte balance is vital to keeping your body functioning optimally. Low electrolytes can cause issues including muscle weakness, fatigue, and confusion,” says Gabrielle Lyon, DO, a functional medicine physician in New York City.

6. Water Keeps Your Cardiovascular System Healthy

Water is a huge part of your blood. (For instance, plasma — the pale yellow liquid portion of your blood — is about 90 percent water, notes Britannica.) If you become dehydrated, your blood becomes more concentrated, which can lead to an imbalance of the electrolyte minerals it contains (sodium and potassium, for example), says Susan Blum, MD, founder of the Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, New York. These electrolytes are necessary for proper muscle and heart function. “Dehydration can also lead to lower blood volume, and thus blood pressure, so you may feel light-headed or woozy standing up,” she says.  

RELATED: Is It Dehydration or Something Else?

7. Water Can Help You Eat Healthier

It may be plain, but it’s powerful. In a study of more than 18,300 American adults, people who drank just 1 percent more water a day ate fewer calories and less saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol, according to a study published in February 2016 in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Water may help fill you up, especially if you drink it before eating a meal, a notion that was backed up in a small study of 15 young, healthy participants that was published in October 2018 in Clinical Nutrition Research.

How Much Water Do You Need?

As the Mayo Clinic notes, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that men consume 3.7 liters (15.5 cups) and women get 2.7 liters (11.5 cups) of fluids per day, which can come from water, beverages in general, and food (such as fruits and vegetables). You can also try the Urine Color Test, courtesy of the U.S. Army Public Health Command, to evaluate how you’re doing on drinking up. After going to the bathroom, look at the color of your urine. If it is very pale yellow to light yellow, you’re well hydrated. Darker yellow is a sign of dehydration. Brown or cola-colored urine is a medical emergency, and you should seek medical attention.

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One of the first things I do when I wake up from the bed is to visit my kitchen, open the cupboard, get my cup, and drink some cup of water. Even if I’m not thirsty, as I know the importance of drinking water for my brain, I immediately gulp down some H20 down. From all the tricks I have picked up from my extensive research of keeping my mind sharp for work, staying active, and getting enough sleep, staying hydrated is the one I adhere to strictly; I don’t joke about it at all. The reason is that it’s so easy to get a drink, and I don’t need any effort, or have to go through pain drinking water in the morning and throughout the day.

Your brain depends on proper and appropriate hydration to perform optimally. Your brain cells require a delicate balance between various elements and water to function. When you become careless and lose the water, the balance is disrupted and your brain cells will lose its efficiency.

A lot of research found out that we have more difficulty maintaining focus. Dehydration can disrupt the recall of long-term memory and impair short-term memory function. Your ability to determine whether you’ll be late for work or not when you decide to hit the snooze button or to perform mental arithmetic like calculus is affected when your brain fluid is low.

The longest spell most of us can go without water intake, within the 24 hours in a day, is between six and eight hours, and that’s the period we dedicate for sleeping. It’s not that sleeping is that a big deal- as a matter of fact, we all enjoy sleeping. Just know that during your sleep, you lose fluid. In short, in every passing breath of yours, moisture is expelled. Now imagine the level of liquid that you’re left with after eight hours of sleep? The loss of fluid from the brain can be attributed to inability to store up liquid.

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  • It helps to deliver nutrients to your brain
  • It gives your brain the electrical energy that would allow your brain to perform its functions (memory processes and your thought) optimally.
  • When your brain has sufficient moisture, you’ll be able to be more focused, think faster, and experience greater clarity and creativity.
  • It helps to keep your nerve signals going
  • It contributes to removing toxins from your brain
  • Proper hydration may help decrease the risk of Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
7 Wonders of Water
Glass of Water on Woman's Stomach

Stay Slimmer With Water

Trying to lose weight? Water revs up metabolism and helps you feel full.

Replace calorie-filled beverages with water, and drink a glass before meals to help you feel fuller.

Drinking more water helps amp up metabolism – especially if your glass is icy cold. Your body must work to warm the water up, burning a few extra calories in the process.

woman drinking water

Water Boosts Your Energy

If you’re feeling drained and depleted, get a pick-me-up with water. Dehydration makes you feel tired.

The right amount of water could help your heart pump your blood more effectively. 

And water can help your blood transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to your cells. 

Woman Tilting Head Back in Ocean

Lower Stress With Water

About 70% to 80% of your brain tissue is water. If you’re dehydrated, your body and your mind are stressed. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already a little dehydrated.

Keep a glass of water at your desk or carry a sports bottle and sip regularly.

Man Rubbing Shoulder On Beach

Build Muscle Tone With Water

Drinking water helps prevent muscle cramping and lubricates joints in the body.

When you’re well hydrated, you can exercise longer and stronger before “hitting the wall.”

Woman Under Shower

Nourish Your Skin

Fine lines and wrinkles are deeper when you’re dehydrated. 

Drinking water hydrates skin cells and plumps them up, making your face look younger.

It also flushes out impurities and improves circulation and blood flow, helping your skin glow.


Stay Regular With Water

Along with fiber, water is important for good digestion.

Water helps dissolve waste particles and passes them smoothly through your digestive tract.

If you’re dehydrated, your body absorbs all the water, leaving your colon dry and making it more difficult to pass waste.

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Water Reduces Kidney Stones

The rate of painful kidney stones is rising. One of the reasons could be because people — including children — aren’t drinking enough water.

Water dilutes the salts and minerals in your urine that form the solid crystals known as kidney stones.

Kidney stones are less likely to form in diluted urine, so reduce your risk with plenty of water!

Glass of Water on the Beach

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Most healthy adults get enough to drink by letting their thirst guide them.

But the exact amount you need depends on your size, level of activity, the weather, and your general health.

You may need more water if you exercise or sweat heavily.

Potential Well Water Contaminants and Their Impacts

Drinking water can expose people to a variety of harmful pollutants and pathogens. Public water systems use water treatment and monitoring to protect consumers from such contaminants. Generally, private wells do not receive the same services that wells supplying the public do. Well owners are responsible for protecting their drinking water. To do so, a well owner must be aware of their well’s potential for contamination and the possible health effects those potential contaminants can have.

Potential Sources

Private wells can be contaminated by both naturally occurring sources and by human activities. The following are commonly found contaminants, their sources, and their possible human health impacts.

  • Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites. They can be found all over the surface of our planet and are found in human sewage and animal waste. People that consume drinking water containing microorganisms can experience gastrointestinal illnesses and infections. Water run-off from rainfall or snow-melt can contaminate private wells by washing microorganisms into the well system or seeping underground. Leakage of waste from underground storage tanks and effluent from septic leach fields can reach a water source and result in microorganisms being present in water wells.
  • Nitrate and nitrite are present in chemical fertilizershuman sewage, and animal waste and fertilizers. They can contaminate a private well through groundwater movement and surface water seepage and water run-off. Once taken into the body, nitrates are converted into nitrites. High levels of nitrate and nitrite are most serious for infants. High levels of nitrate/nitrite in drinking water can cause methemoglobinemia or “blue baby syndrome”. These substances reduce the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. This acute condition can occur rapidly over a period of days. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin. Infants below six months who drink water with high levels of nitrate can become seriously ill and die. 
  • Heavy metals can leach into drinking water from household plumbing and service lines, mining operations, petroleum refineries, electronics manufacturers, municipal waste disposal, cement plants, and natural mineral deposits. Heavy metals include: arsenic, antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, selenium and many more. Heavy metals can contaminate private wells through groundwater movement and surface water seepage and run-off. People that consume high levels of heavy metals risk acute and chronic toxicity, liver, kidney, and intestinal damage, anemia, and cancer.
  • Organic chemicals are found in many house-hold products and are used widely in agriculture and industry. They can be found in inks, dyes, pesticides, paints, pharmaceuticals, solvents, petroleum products, sealants, and disinfectants. Organic chemicals can enter ground water and contaminate private wells through waste disposal, spills, and surface water run-off. People that consume high levels of organic chemicals may suffer from damage to their kidneys, liver, circulatory system, nervous system, and reproductive system. 
  • Radionuclides are radioactive forms of elements such as uranium and radium. They are harmful to humans and can be released into the environment from  uranium mining and milling, coal mining, and nuclear power production. Radionuclides may also be naturally present in ground water in some areas. Radionuclides can contaminate private wells through groundwater flow, waste water seepage and flooding. Drinking water with radionuclides can cause toxic kidney effects and increase the risk of cancer.
  • Fluoride can be present in many aquifers and can be found in private wells. Fluoride can be helpful in preventing tooth decay. However, excessive consumption of fluoride can cause skeletal fluorosis, a condition characterized by pain and tenderness of bones and joints.  Excess consumption of fluoride during formative period of tooth enamel may cause dental fluorosis, tooth discoloration and/or pitting of teeth. 
Image credit: JEAN AURELIO PRUDENCE/L’Express Maurice/AFP via Getty Images

Boil Water Notices – Fact Sheet and Templates for Public Drinking Water Suppliers

Delray Beach issues boil water notice after water main break

This fact sheet will help public drinking water suppliers recognize when a boil water notice is needed and what their responsibilities are under State and Federal regulations.

  • Protect your Customers
  • Prepare
  • Consult with your Local Health Department
  • Meet the Requirements
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Drinking Water Utilities
  • Boil Water Notices – Templates for Download

Protect your Customers

  • Public drinking water suppliers are responsible to make sure the water they deliver to the public is safe to drink. When there is reason to suspect that water delivered to the public could be contaminated with disease-causing organisms, a boil water notice may be necessary. Timely distribution of accurate, understandable information is essential for your customers’ protection and is required by State and Federal regulation. Attached are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that can help utilities meet the public need and remain in compliance with regulatory requirements.


  • Public drinking water suppliers need to be prepared so that effective boil water notices can be distributed quickly to the public, local officials, consecutive (purchasing) water systems, and critical water customers. Pre-prepared boil water notices and up-to-date contact information are key items that will help water suppliers complete this notification. These items must be in the water supply emergency plans that are required for community water systems that serve 3,300 or more people and are highly encouraged for all other water suppliers.

Consult with your Local Health Department

  • Conditions that warrant a boil water notice are considered a public health hazard. Whenever conditions arise that may pose a public health hazard, public water suppliers are required to notify their Local Health Department. The Health Department will help determine if a public health hazard is present and provide guidance on appropriate actions. In many cases, a boil water notice can be avoided by immediate corrective action. This could include changing water sources, altering treatment, opening interconnections, isolating water quality problems, using storage, etc. For very small water suppliers, especially non-community systems, this may also include temporarily shutting down until water conditions are acceptable. When a boil water response is needed, the water supplier must distribute a boil water notice to its customers within 24 hours of learning of the conditions that pose the public health hazard. This makes it necessary to consult with the Health Department as soon as possible once these conditions are identified.
Copper & Zinc Water Contamination

The strange effect copper and zinc can have on drinking water, sound almost mythical. Yet, these two essential minerals in high doses can cause sensational harm to the human body. Normally with pipes connected to homes, they contain brass copper fittings to ensure a long duration as the years go by. No one wants to spend thousands each year replacing water pipes. However, the copper fittings could be adding to the high than normal copper levels found in drinking water a.k.a tap water. 

Doctor Samuel Kinner Wilson

This name is important to individuals who suffer from Wilson’s disease? Why? At the moment this disease is only known to be purely a genome mutation. But Wilson’s disease helps to cause a strange and unique buildup of copper minerals in the body. If an individual or child has gone undiagnosed and the drinking water contains high traces of copper, this is putting the individual at extreme risk.

Receiving Notice to Boil Water from the Water Department

It seems nowadays, no matter where you live, we have all received a notice from the water department. Suggesting we boil our tap water to cancel out some of the overloaded minerals that could be contaminating our water. Did you know that some have claimed that if a household continues to drink from the tap without taking proper precaution, that could end up with long-term liver damage? Or damage to the kidneys? Yes, this is happening now and it’s cause for alarm to ensure safe drinking water is available from the tap. So, the main question is what can be done?

1. Ion tablets can dissolve the excess copper and zinc
2. Using filters that promote reverse osmosis
3. Apparently, the best way to remove zinc compounds that are extremely hazardous (zinc cyanide) is through sand filtration

The Copper Problem

Elevated levels of copper in drinking water can affect the kidneys. The usual effects of too much copper can result in vomiting, cramps, and horribly digestive issues. Be careful if you are attempting to give a child under a year old tap water. Their body hasn’t fully developed the right digestive structure to protect against such this metal mineral. 

In some cases, individuals have experienced epigastric burning after drinking water. This is caused by too much copper possibly nearly blocking a water pipe. If you are at a drinking fountain and you notice the water is coming out with a slight copper-like tint, by all means, do not drink. Instead, contact your city Water department right away. 

How to tell too much copper is in your drinking water? There will be a definitive metallic taste. Remember, as a child and noticing the smell of pennies, that’s the exact same smell and taste.

If you’re a homeowner and you’ve noticed corrosion around the pipes, this is easily connected to copper. That’s why boiling water straight from the tap is expected when these pipes have corrosion. 

The Zinc Problem

What is unusual is people tend to be lacking zinc. Yet, in concentrated overloaded doses zinc can harm the human system. Typically, this comes from zinc chloride, which can cause extreme coughing, trouble breathing and problems with the respiratory functions. Severe cases of zinc intake have shown damage to the pancreas, developing anemia, and raised cholesterol. Also, it maybe should be suggested that a woman who is currently pregnant should stay away from tap water. How to tell if there is by far too much zinc in your water? The water will come out of the tap cloudy and chalky. We have mentioned boiling water, yet this method does not work with removing zinc. We highly suggest reverse osmosis as the best route.

Using filters

Filters such as Brita, Pelican, DuPoint, or Aquasana are known for purifying water of excess containments. We suggest you look into what specific minerals are registered with a higher ratio than the others with your Water Department. This way you can select the right type of filter to use at home.

The application in which copper and zinc water contamination are present and at what measurements depends on a number of theories. Is there a leak between the pipelines and the soil? How are these minerals sinking into our drinking system? Is it the way our drinking water is processed? Or there so how it’s not processed properly? We suggest contacting the Water Department to receive a test list of all the minerals present because you could have a copper and zinc water contamination within your drinking water.