Drinking water is vital for a person’s overall health and wellness. The human body is composed of more than 50 percent water. Without it, the body will not be able to function effectively. Normal functions like urination, sweating, and bowel movements are reliant on how much water one takes.
Of course, it is only normal that people are wary about the quality of water they ingest. Others would rather buy expensive bottled water that can be bought in stores, while others would be good with water coming from the tap.
It is true; tap water can be safe to drink. But it is important first to know what makes up your water. Not all “clear-looking” water is safe to ingest. A study from the Environmental Working Group showed that there are possibly over 316 contaminants in the water we drink from the tap. Drinking water could be contaminated by the use of pesticides, disinfectants, and pollution.
If you drink water from the tap without a filtration device, you may be consuming more harmful chemicals than you can imagine. You might be giving your body a dose of chloramines, lead, pesticides, mercury, and volatile organic compounds. This might affect your overall health.
Possible effects of drinking contaminated water
The kind of contaminants in your water have different effects on your body. Some are pathogens that cause fatal gastrointestinal problems for both young children and adults.
Nitrates may pose harm to infants, particularly in their intestines. These can also prevent healthy oxygen transportation through the blood.
Lead, a common contaminant in tap water can cause mental and physical problems among children. For adults, drinking lead-contaminated water can trigger kidney problems and blood pressure issues.
How to improve your tap water’s quality
Drinking from the tap can be an economical and eco-friendly solution for your water needs. You can take steps to be informed about your water quality so you can make wise choices. You can ask your local plumbing contractor for details regarding these solutions.
Ask for home water tests
Home water tests will help you see if there are contaminants found in your tap water. These kits are available at hardware stores and can also be purchased online.
Various test kits are depending on your needs. Some are for monitoring E.coli, pesticides, pH levels, and chlorine contaminants, among others. While these tests are not 100 percent accurate, they are instant and easy ways to see if there are particular contaminants found in your water.
Submit water samples for laboratory tests
A more accurate way to know your water quality is to submit it to a testing lab. While these may start at around $100 per test, they offer accurate readings to ensure your water safety. These laboratory tests are also useful for when you want to use a particular water filtration system to install to your tap.
Choose the right filtration system for your home
Boiling water is a common practice among people who want to consume tap water for drinking. While this is usual, it is not always foolproof. Boiling can work for some contaminants as it can help kill germs. However, contaminants like nitrates, pesticides, and lead may stay in your drink even after boiling water.
You must choose the right filtration system for your home’s water systems. Not all bring the same benefits, and there are some contaminants that only certain systems can remove. Here are the four main kinds of filtration systems to consider:
- Activated carbon filters can remove organic contaminants that cause odd tastes and odors in your water. These systems are also able to remove byproducts of chlorine, pesticides, and other metals like lead.
- Ion exchange units can get rid of magnesium and calcium that can make water hard to swallow. These will work best with a different filtration system.
- Reverse osmosis filters can remove sodium, pesticides, petrochemicals, and certain nitrates.
- Distillation systems help boil water while condensing unwanted particles. These can make distilled water that is often sold in stores.
Filtering systems need frequent maintenance and repair. As these pieces of equipment absorb contaminants in your water, not maintaining it can make your water quality worse than before.
There might also be times when water is declared unsafe for drinking. When this happens, even your water filtration system might not do its job well. It is best to follow the advice of your local water authorities when this happens. Take the necessary steps to ensure that the liquid you digest is safe enough for consumption.