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Is Your Drinking Water Safe?

We all know it’s important that our drinking water is clean.  Often, we think about this in terms of what our water looks like, and not necessarily what it contains.  Unfortunately, you can’t always see the contaminants in your drinking water, and some of them could make you sick.  Drinking bottled water won’t necessarily fix the problem, either.  25% of bottled water is actually tap water, and it is not guaranteed to be completely safe.  The following contaminants can be found in both tap and bottled water:

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-Arsenic:  This heavy metal is found naturally in the Earth’s crust.  Industrial processes such as mines and power plants can help disperse this contaminant into the air, water, and soil.  Arsenic can cause damage to the heart and nervous system and can cause birth defects. 

Chromium:  Chromium is used in the production of paints, mortars, and leather goods.  It can leach into the groundwater system from the industrial processes or incorrect disposal. This carcinogen can cause many illnesses, including kidney and liver failure, stomach cancer, and premature dementia.  The Environmental Working Group found this contaminant in the drinking water of 31 American cities in 2010.

-Fluoride:  You’ve no doubt seen this ingredient on your toothpaste tube, but don’t worry.  In small amounts, fluoride can reduce and prevent tooth decay.  Larger amounts, however, could cause poisoning or death. 

-Lead:  Lead is often thought of as a contaminant in old paint, but it can be found in your pipes as well.  It can interfere with nerve development in children and can cause seizures and anemia.  Lead piping was banned in 1986, but can still be found in some homes.  If you’re concerned, call your local health department to get a free lead test.

-Radioactivity:  While we may think of this being a non-issue in America, radioactive elements are everywhere.  They are released by nuclear power plants and occur naturally in some minerals, spreading easily through waterways.  It is cumulative, which means it builds up in your body over time.  This can cause various cancers as well as kidney damage.

So what’s a person to do?  One of the primary ways you can make sure your drinking water is truly clean and safe is to have a good water filtration system installed.  Reverse osmosis filters can remove numerous pollutants and metals, including radioactive particles.  Other contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, can be eliminated as well.  Have your water tested to see what’s really in it.  Also, make sure that you dispose of chemical waste properly so you aren’t contributing to the problem. When you’re ready to rethink the water system in your home, call A&W Plumbing.