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Q: The water supply in my rented apartment contains white flaky particles. There are enough of these particles in the water flow that the faucet aerators contain noticeable amounts after a day of regular use. The aerators will eventually clog without regular cleaning. The particles occasionally slip past the aerator screens so that they're visible in a glass of water.

According to some research I did, these particles could either be bits of plastic from a disintegrating part in the hot water tank called a "dip tube", or built-up mineral scale breaking off from inside the pipes. In either case, they're supposed to be non-toxic, but I still feel uneasy about potentially swallowing bits of plastic.

I spoke with my landlord about the situation, and his suggestion was to use something like a Brita jug to filter the water. He seemed dismissive of the idea that there could be a problem with the water supply.

My question is: should I be expected to live with this? Given that we don't really know what these particles are, is it reasonable to for the landlord to ignore it?

Thank you.
A: Your concern is clearly about safe water. Under section 32 of the legislation, the landlord is obliged to provide rental premises that meet health, safety and housing standards required by law. So, if you want to light a fire under the landlord, you may wish to write the landlord a letter setting out what you think is a problem, and request that he investigate and/or fix the problem without delay. You may even wish to cite section 32, and also advise him that if you donít hear back from him quickly, then you will likely be contacting the Residential Tenancy Branch for resolution. Further, you will likely need a water sample, or two, and might even want to have the water checked out yourself, and/or have a water sample to show the landlord that there is an obvious problem.


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