What’s in the water?

Cocaine? Calcium? Tin-oxide? or tasty tasty grape-drink concentrate?

In the first week we were here I discovered a murk to our boiled water. We kind of ignored it for a bit, but then this murk seemed to settle out and collect at the bottom of my glass regularly. We got into the habit of tossing the last quarter of the water because it usually contained quite high concentrations of this stuff, of which did not taste like orange juice or chocolate, so we did not care to imbibe. After a bit of pondering and observing a really murky glass of water or a fresh glass of boiled water, I noticed the particulate was never actually dissolved in the water. Unlike a supersaturated salt solution, there was no solution, just dirty water that separated after a bit of time. What I originally thought was a high concentration of salt in our water now appears to be different – or so I believe. More so, looking at a glass of water poured directly off the tap doesn’t seem to show signs of collecting the same solids and therefore it appears that this comes from water boiled in our kettle. So I inspect the kettle.

Earlier this week I boiled down about four liters of water in the kettle – don’t tell dan. The house was quite comfortable, full of steam and wonderfully humidified. Once the kettle was sufficiently dried out I spooned out all the dry powder from the bottom of the thin metal. (Pictured above) Yet, after a short attempt to burn it off the spoon on the range, I found my spoon to deteriorate quicker than the powder, quickly followed by the burner ring it’s self. I relished in the made in China stamp that abounds.

So, here’s the question: What is it? I suspect many things. In fact I’ve since become quite suspicious of everything. Perhaps it’s the kettle quietly deteriorating while we boil water in it, or perhaps the water contains a substance that is binding with the metal of the kettle, and then dropping out of solution. Perhaps it’s the carrots conspiring with the soy sauce to upset my bowels. I’ve even begun to suspect Dan, though my bowels don’t have issue yet.

While quite limited in scientific supplies, suggestions of flame test are under consideration.

http://www.chemguide.co.uk/inorganic/group1/flametests.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flame_test

Other experiments currently under observation:
– Cold tap water poured into the cleaned out kettle and set aside.
– Alternative pot boiling tap water.