IS MY DRINKING WATER SAFE?
The EPA considers water that has minimal levels of up to 90 contaminants safe. Some of these contaminants include chlorine, fluoride, mercury, copper, lead, asbestos, and arsenic. All of these are accepted and allowed in small amounts by the government to be in our tap water in your homes.
While they consider this water to be safe for drinking and cooking they still advise people with compromised immune systems and children to have other, cleaner water supplies. The question about whether or not your drinking water is safe is really based on how safe you feel with almost 100 contaminants in your water.
Some of the contaminants you will also find in your tap water include microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria. As you know certain bacterium and viruses can cause illness. You have probably had a bug that you couldn’t cure, which is usually a virus that has to run its course. A bacteria you can get treated for with antibiotics.
Too much mercury can cause kidney damage. Lead can cause physical and/ or mental problems, especially in children. As you know chlorine can cause problems with your skin and hair, but what about inside your body? Chlorine can cause stomach discomfort and anemia and even nervous system problems (chlorine dioxide) as well contributing to cancer.
WHAT TYPES OF WATER FILTERING SYSTEMS ARE THERE?
Activated Carbon and Mechanical Filters
An activated carbon filter does a great job of cleaning water, however, there is one problem with it. Activated carbon filter does not change the pH balance of your water, this means if you have acidic water you will continue to have acidic water. Additionally, these filters tend to need to be replaced more often than others because they hold the waste they filter from your water.
People used to think that water in it’s more pure form was the best water and the safest. Distillation treatment systems would take everything possible, such as ion and bacteria and other chemicals, out of the water so that you have a pure water supply. The problem with distillation units is they take out many minerals that are naturally part of water and are a big part of how helpful water is to our bodies. Because of this fewer distillation units are used for water filtration systems.
Reverse Osmosis Systems (RO)
This water treatment system was first used in submarines to effectively clean and desalinate water from the sea. It was very effective in its job and today, RO systems are considered the best form of water purification you can get. However, as with distilled water, reverse osmosis water does not contain the natural minerals our bodies need from water but considering what’s in some of your water coming out of the kitchen faucet, the minerals our bodies need can be added from other sources and you still benefit from removal of all the contaminants mentioned above.
Whole House Water Treatment Systems
Whole house water treatment systems simply mean a filtering system that can filter all of the water used in your home from one central source, usually where the water comes into your home. You won’t have to buy any other water filters or purifiers (except replacement filters) since all water is filtered in one location for your entire home.
SHOULD I HAVE MY WATER TESTED?
If you would like to continue using your tap water and you are unsure about whether it is healthy you might consider getting your water tested to see if the levels are within government allowed levels of contaminants. This may cost anywhere from fifteen to hundreds of dollars in your local area for a single test but sometimes is advisable prior to spend money on a whole house water purification system to determine exactly what contaminants are in your water so you know what requirements your filtering system needs.