We were wondering, a group of us Vermont mothers that are here if we are water snobs. Most of us come from areas were we have wells and even in the town there is town water but it is spring water. Are we spoiled? The water here in Michigan smells, well it smells like metal. Hard to take a nice shower when it smells metallic and brushing your teeth in that water – well, let’s just say that we’ve been using bottled water to brush teeth, just like if we were camping. Ask anyone here and they’ll agree, there’s definitely something disgusting about the water. I set out to investigate and see if we were truly water snobs or if there is truly something up with the water. The water fountain has reverse osmosis filtered water.

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health here’s what is in the water:


• Common in Michigan groundwater
• Essential nutrient
• Max. found = 29.2 mg/L (29,200 ppb)
• Criterion
– 300 ppb (aesthetic)
– 2,000 ppb (health-based)

The water is very high in iron, that explains the strong metal smell we found.


• Max. found = 2.4 mg/L (2,400 ppb)
• Criterion
– 50 ppb (aesthetic)
– 860 ppb (health-based)

It’s also high in manganese.

• Essential nutrient (Vitamin B12); too
much affects testes, heart
• Max. found = 0.978 mg/L (978 ppb)
• Criterion = 40 ppb

I am allergic to nickel so the fact that it is high in nickel is not thrilling either.

• Common metal
• Allergic reactions (skin)
• Max. found = 0.390 mg/L (390 ppb)
• Criterion = 100 ppb

In addition it is also high (but to a much lesser degree) in arsenic, lead, sodium and cadmium.

So, as it turns out, we are really not water snobs. The water here is very high in various metals most notably iron.