You might have heard of the word “tannins” and wonder what they are. Why are they in water, anyway? Get answers in this guide.
What are tannins?
Tannins are a type of chemical that shrinks or constricts tissues. It is an organic matter that occurs in nature as a result of its fermentation process. These are some of the chemical components of wines that give a drying sensation to the mouth.
It is a yellowish bitter-tasting substance found in trees and other plant tissues. Leather and ink also consist of tannins that are based on gallic acid and are referred to as gallic tannins.
Polyphenols are the scientific name of tannins. There are two main types; they are hydrolyzable tannins and condensed tannins.
Can tannins exist in water?
Tannins can exist in water as the chemical can pass through decaying plants or animals from the surface. It can then dissolve into the water below ground and contaminate wells, seawater, rivers, lakes, and streams.
The water supplies normally come from these sources, and knowing where your water comes from is necessary to assess its quality. Some people even have maps to identify and calculate the risk of contamination.
The water quality depends on the land that surrounds the source. From the surface, water can run over decayed matter and pick up the chemicals before it joins the stream, river, or lake. Since tap water comes from these sources, tannins can reach your home and can be at higher levels.
Are tannins harmful?
It is easy to identify if your tap water is contaminated with tannins. If your water looks yellowish or brownish, that is a sign of contamination. Tannins at high levels can make your water look like tea.
This chemical can also leave a trace in your toilet bowls and sinks. If you see stains on your bowl, that is also a sign that tannin exists in the water.
Smelling your water is also a good practice because tannins have a musty smell that is hard to miss. If you happen to drink water with tannins, you will notice that it has a bitter taste.
Testing your water would give you the most accurate result of the tannins present in the water. Although tannins may seem like an unfamiliar chemical, it does not typically cause any significant health concerns. But you still would prefer not to have tannins on your water because it gives an unpleasant taste, and it can stain your plumbings and clothes.
How to remove tannins in water?
Removing tannins in your water is not overly difficult. You only need to install a filtration system in your faucets at home to remove tannins and other impurities.
With a physical barrier, you can lower the contamination of water. There are multi filtration systems on the market today, and you have the option to install one for your home’s entire water system.
This kind of system will solve the staining issue in your clothes, sinks, toilet bowls, and plumbing system. If it’s impossible to install the filtration system in all your faucets, you can focus on a specific area where the water is most used.
2 thoughts on “Tannins in water: What are they and are they harmful?”
Good to know Christy! I don’t think I’ve ever thought about tannins in our drinking water!
I think it’s a topic that needs more discussion! Thanks for appreciating this one, Dorothy x