Wondering about Black Slime Mold on
Plumbing Fixtures and Appliances?
Your water is safe to drink. Black mold and slime that can appear in sinks, toilets, dishwashers, etc. is not found in the drinking water supply. Instead, it is caused by airborne mold spores that are naturally occurring. Spores can enter your home through doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets, which in turn can then be carried indoors.
Molds are living organisms. Mold is like all living things, it needs water to survive. Mold can grow almost anywhere and on almost any surface. Mold only requires a damp environment and a food source (such as soap residue).
This is not a water quality issue. As an additional water quality assurance, bacteriologic samples have been taken from homes experiencing black slime mold and the results of those samples were absent of any bacteriologic contamination. The Amador Water Agency, in accordance with California Codes and Regulations, also takes monthly bacteriologic samples throughout its public water systems and reports these results to the public in our annual Consumer Confidence Report. All sample results are absent of bacteriologic content. False Positive results do periodically occur, and these results are immediately reported to the State, repeat samples resulting from false positives invariably come back as absent. Were repeat tests to be found positive, the water system would be placed under a “Boil Water Advisory” until the results of the contamination cause could be determined then remediated.
Molds are everywhere. Over 1,000 different kinds of spores have been found in U.S. homes. Molds that have been found in samples taken from customer homes by other water purveyors in different parts of the country and analyzed by a certified, independent lab are: Cladosporium, Paecilomyces, Phialophora, and Aspergillus. Water taken from these homes and the water pipes feeding these homes was analyzed by a certified, independent lab and it was found that the water did not contain any mold spores.
What can I do if I see mold in my home? Black molds, like other molds, will grow in places where there is moisture, such as around water leaks, windows, drain pipes, appliances, toilets, etc. Black mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. They can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery. For faucets, toilets, sinks, pet water bowls etc., regular cleaning with a mild bleach solution is recommended to remove these deposits.
photo from: michaelkummer.com