Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?
Many of us don’t think twice about the water we drink. We turn on the faucet, fill a glass and gulp it down in one go. But have you ever stopped to think about where this water comes from or whether it is safe to drink? Probably not.
When water leaves the treatment plant in your neighborhood, it goes through rigorous testing procedures and meets extensive safety standards. Of course, accidents can happen and in most cases water suppliers will promptly inform you about any mishaps.
Is Tap water Safe for Drinking?
Is tap water safe to drink for you and your family? Well, if it comes from a public water system from the US and is maintained by a municipality then the answer is yes. The US government takes extensive measures in ensuring that tap water is safe to drink. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors all public water systems and ensures they abide by health standards.
The tap water coming out of your faucets taste and smell like chlorine and also contain a number of other contaminants. Some possible contaminates include mercury, arsenic, volatile organic compounds, lead, atrazine and byproducts from chlorination.
“Additionally, impurities and contaminants may leech into municipal pipes via household plumbing before coming out of your faucets.”
Contaminants to Lookout for
Here are a number of contaminants that you should be wary of:
The government started adding fluoride to drinking water in the 1940’s to reduce tooth decay. While this may sound like a commendable decision, fluoride is an endocrine disruptor and neurotoxin. The effects of fluoride have been found to be detrimental, which is why several countries have banned water fluoridation. Today, a number of cities in the US have also eliminated the process of fluoridation. Fluoride removing systems are HERE.
Chlorine is a popular disinfectant that is commonly used for cleaning swimming pools and is useful for manufacturing cleaning products. Chlorine is also added to purify drinking water despite it not being completely safe. Prolonged exposure to chlorine can result in numerous health problems.
Despite being poisonous, arsenic is used in numerous industrial processes. Environmental contamination can cause arsenic to find its way inside wells and other natural water sources. Even in minute amounts, arsenic can cause several diseases and even lead to death in severe cases. Prolonged exposure to arsenic can increase the risks of lung cancer, skin cancer and bladder cancer. Arsenic removing systems are HERE.
Other Downsides of Tap Water include:
Aside from having poor effects on your health, here are some other downsides of drinking tap water:
Tap water can sometimes accompany an unpleasant metallic taste and a strange odor. This can be as a result of contaminants in your water supply or because of the chemicals added by the municipality. Installing a granular carbon filter will help improve taste and odor issues, significantly, increasing the quality of your tap water. Bacterial or mineral contamination can also result in pungent odor in your water supply.
Corrosion of pipes can not only contaminant the water but lower its pH value as well. Corrosion of pipes can contaminate drinking water with iron, copper, zinc in addition to vinyl chloride from low-quality plastic pipes. Bluish-greenish stains on the sink are signs of pipe corrosion. The bitter metallic taste can also be as a result of contamination. If you suspect there are any problems with your water supply, call a plumber who can use a comprehensive water testing kit. Using a water filter can also improve pH and make the water more pleasant to drink for you and your family.
How to Test Tap Water at Home?
It is worthwhile to find out whether the water coming out of your kitchen taps are safe for consumption or not. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can test the purity of tap water and one of the most convenient ways include using a purity test kit. Most purity test kits available in the market can be used to measure the amount of nitrates, chlorine, iron, copper and the hardness of tap water. Most test kits are easy to read and come with a handy chart that allows you to compare results and determine what is inside your water. You may consider investing in a filtration system based on the results.
The most convenient way of testing water at home is by evaluating its taste, appearance and odor. Fill a glass with water and hold it up into the light. If you can see particles floating around, its time you call your local water supplier and invest in a water filtration system. A strange odor and metallic taste are also signs of a contamination.
“Anything other than clear liquid is a sign of contamination.”
How to Purify Water?
Fortunately, there are a number of methods to remove contaminants and impurities from water. Individuals can select from a number of purification technologies after they have conducted a thorough water test. Some of the most common water purification techniques include:
Installing a carbon filter is one of the most effective ways to remove impurities from your drinking water. Carbon effectively absorbs objectionable flavors, odors and other hazardous chemicals that might make water hazardous for drinking.
Municipalities, especially in the South have started adding combined chlorine, such as chloramine, chlorine + ammonia, to disinfect water (over 20% of water companies now do). These chemicals are difficult to filter out – fortunately, we have a range of chloramine-specific carbon filters that gets rid of these chemicals.
Reverse Osmosis filters work using the same principals as living cells. This type of water incorporates a semi-permeable membrane. The quality of water typically depends on the quality of the semi-permeable membrane. You are sure to receive high quality results after installing this type of filter. This ensures your family has access to clean drinking water. Read more about reverse osmosis here.
Forget all the gadgets and gizmos; boiling tap water is among the easiest and most inexpensive ways to kill bacteria. Boiling water kills bacteria and other harmful microorganisms that significantly reduce the chances of you getting ill. It method is most suitable for campers or in time of emergencies.
“However, it might not be possible for you to boil water every day so installing a water filter is the most convenient way to purify water at home.”