weird water

I hope today we are back to posts that are useful and helpful to you. Or that at least I’m in a better mood.
Today I wanted to write about a strange occurrence regarding water, bleach, and a spray bottle. In order to more efficiently clean up after my daughter’s potty training accidents, I put some bleach and water in a spray bottle.
For the first couple of days, everything was fine and normal. However, a few days in to using it, the water would be discolored when in sprayed out. At first, just tan but now really dark brown (see photos below). But, the water in the spray bottle is still clear.
It isn’t a big deal. I’ve dumped it out and moved on. But I really, really, really wanted to know why. Something in the water? Some kind of reaction with the plastic bottle? cause for grater concern about our water or not that big of a deal?

I asked a few smart friends on wechat and the best answer came back from Dave, who lived here briefly a few years back but now is an engineer with the agency that governs Oklahoma’s water.
IMG_20150529_202756 IMG_20150529_202808
So above you have the clear water in the spray bottle, and the brown water on the floor when it sprays out.
The reason (according to my knowledgeable friend Dave): iron and manganese. These two elements are commonly found in ground and surface water and if not removed in treatment process they go into the public water supply. When mixed with an oxidant like bleach, they basically turn to rust. (Iron turns red, manganese turns black). Thus the source of my nasty brown water.

Dave also tells me iron and manganese are unregulated in the USA and that the EPA says it won’t harm us. Therefore, it means the water is “most likely safe.”

I haven’t found a source to verify this information, but I’ve heard that Hohhot’s water comes from two sources: wells and the Yellow River and each xiao qu’s water comes from one of those sources. I’ve written a bit more about my thoughts on the water situation here.

The good news for me is that Dave tells me these elements are more likely to be in well water which means it is more probable that our water source is a well instead of the Yellow River. (If those truly are the sources of Hohhot’s water).

What are your thoughts about Hohhot’s water situation? What precautions do you take? Leave us a comment.


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