It’s estimated that 70% of all buildings in the United States have water damage that can lead to mold growth [Wilson Web Physics]. If this growth leads to mold in your drinking water, you may begin to notice some symptoms which can lead to more serious issues.
First, we’ll explore what mold is, how it gets into your drinking water, and the potential dangers to your health.
With that out the way, I’ll recommend some home testing solutions specifically for mold.
Finally, drawing upon my experience reviewing over 50+ different water filters, I’ll recommend two of the best water filters for preventing mold.
Let’s get to it.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that can be found both indoors and outdoors and come from many different sources, including soil, plants, and decaying leaves. Mold spores are very small and can be easily inhaled. When mold spores land on a damp surface, they can begin to grow.
When mold is present in indoor environments, it can often be found growing on walls, ceilings, floors, or HVAC systems. Mold growth can cause a musty or earthy smell and can also cause health problems, such as allergies and respiratory infections .
There are other 100,000 different types of mold, but you may most often have heard people talking about black mold and white mold .
Black mold is a specific type of mold that’s often found on damp surfaces. It develops by penetrating the surface it grows on. This type of mold generates mycotoxins that can cause health problems, such as allergies and respiratory infections.
You can recognize black mold spores by their color, which is often black or greenish-black, and by their irregular growth patterns.
White mold is another type of mold that’s often found in damp areas. It grows on the surface and is often described as ‘mildew’. This type of mold mostly affects plants. You can recognize white mold spores by their color, which is often white or cream-colored. In contrast to black mold, white mold grows flat and has a fluffy or powdery appearance.
How Do Mold & Mold Spores Get into Drinking Water?
Mold can enter your drinking water in several ways. It can enter through cracks and holes in pipes, or it can be carried by animals, such as birds or rodents. Mold can also enter your drinking water if you live in an area with high levels of humidity. Mold can also grow on water filters when they are not maintained satisfactorily.
Mold Inside Water Pipes
Mold can enter drinking water through cracks and holes in pipes . These cracks and holes can be caused by many different things, such as corrosion, damage from freezing temperatures, or damage from earthquakes or other natural disasters. If you have mold growing inside your pipes, it’s important to have the problem fixed as soon as possible to prevent the mold from contaminating your drinking water.
Mold in Your Water Bottle
Mold can also grow in your reusable water bottle if it’s not cleaned properly. When you’re cleaning your moldy water bottle, be sure to use a bottle brush to reach all the nooks and crannies where mold might be hiding. If you see mold growing in your water bottle, it’s important to clean it immediately and then replace the water. Vinegar can kill 82% of mold spores , so mix white vinegar and water in your water bottle and leave it to soak overnight. For metal water bottles, you should use boiling water too.
Mold on Water Filters
If you have a water filter that is not maintained properly, mold can grow on it and contaminate your tap water. For example, mold can grow on a paper filter cartridge if it is not replaced frequently enough. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacement schedules and proper maintenance of your water filter.
Dangers & Symptoms of Mold Exposure from Drinking Water
Firstly, drinking a few sips of mold-contaminated water is not going to kill you. That’s because our stomach acid is strong enough to kill most of the mold spores that we consume. However, if you’re drinking a lot of water that contains mold, it can lead to some health problems.
Continued short-term exposure to mold in drinking water can cause a number of different symptoms, such as:
- Allergic reactions
- Skin rash
- Respiratory problems
Those with mold allergies or a compromised immune system should be particularly careful.
In the long term, exposure to mold in your drinking water can make you sick and cause serious health problems, such as toxic mold syndrome, organ damage, the development of asthma, and Legionnaire’s disease .
If you are concerned that you may have mold in your drinking water, it’s important to have the problem tested by a professional. A water test will identify the type of mold present and the levels of contamination.
Is there a Safe Limit of Mold in Drinking Water?
There is no safe limit of mold in drinking water, as even low levels of mold exposure can cause health problems. If you are concerned that your drinking water may be contaminated with mold, it’s important to have the problem tested and corrected as soon as possible.
How to Test for Mold Growth in Drinking Water
You can’t always smell or taste mold in drinking water, as the level of contamination may be low. If you are concerned that your drinking water may be contaminated with mold, it’s important to have the problem tested and corrected as soon as possible.
Taste and Smell Tests
This is not recommended as a test per se. But if you have noticed a musty, or moldy taste if your water and other people in your household confirm it, you should get a professional water quality test.
Take a look at your fixtures. Can you notice a slimy, biofilm-type build-up on your faucets or around your water filter? Or can you notice black sediment-like material in your toilet bowl or tank? If so, it’s likely that mold is present in your drinking water. If you have a drinking water dispenser, inspect the area around it for water stains or mold growth.
Water Quality Test
A water quality test will identify the type of mold present and the levels of contamination. Professional water testing laboratories can perform these tests.
We recommend Tap Score’s Mold and Fungus Water Test, it analyses your water for more than 30 different types of mold and fungi. They offer free shipping each way, and you’ll have your results fast: within 8 days!
Ways to Remove Mold from Drinking Water
If you have mold in your drinking water, it’s important to have the problem corrected as soon as possible.
Fix pipes & changes your water filter
First, if the cause is cracked pipes you should get them fixed, cleaned, and replaced.
Best Water Filters for Preventing Mold
If your water filter is to blame, then you’ll need to check with the manufacturer about the recommended maintenance schedule. Filters need to be changed regularly.
To prevent mold growth, choose a water filter that is easy to maintain and easy to replace.
Culligan IC4 EZ Change
We recommend the Culligan IC4 EZ Change.
The secret is the twist-on and twist-off mechanism, which means you’ll never leave changing the filter for too long again – significantly reducing your chances of drinking moldy water.
There’s also a cartridge change reminder sticker, so you’ll always know exactly when a filter change is due.
See our Best Inline Water Filter article for more inline water filter reviews.
Hskyhan Alkaline Water Pitcher
Another option for preventing mold is the Hskyhan Alkaline Water Pitcher. It produces water of 8-10pH which creates alkaline conditions that are much less favorable for mold.
It has a digital filler timer on the top, so you won’t forget to replace the cartridge.
See our review of our favorite alkaline water filter pitchers here.
Overview: Mold in Drinking Water
If you’re worried about mold in drinking water, give yourself peace of mind and get your water tested for mold and fungus today.
If you’re having trouble getting the problem sorted, or you’ve found your problem is an old moldy water filter, consider getting yourself an easy-to-change water filter like the Culligan IC4 EZ Change. These filters will also remind you when it’s time to change the filter. No more mold!