The human body is composed of 70% water by weight, and as such, we need to be drinking the best quality water available. When water is not sufficiently clean and pure, it can quickly become a breeding medium for germs, viruses, and bacteria. In fact, waterborne diseases are one of the greatest threats to human life on our planet today. Here in the first world, this is less of a problem because we’ve developed methods and systems to clean public water effectively. In this article, we will look closely at this belief and ascertain whether it is still true today.
The Cleanest Tap Water on Earth?
The tap water here in the U.S. is amongst the cleanest (if not the cleanest) tap water on the entire planet. Despite this, there are still significant dangers that we need to be aware of every day. There are microscopic parasites and organisms, such as Cryptosporidium that exist on the surface in and around our sources of water. These organisms are capable of attacking our immune system and causing a great deal of harm. Our country was one of the first nations on Earth to institute a comprehensive public water treatment system. The system that proved to be most effective was using chlorine to disinfect our water and make it safe to drink. The systems have evolved over the years, but the basic principle remains, and chlorine is still used in many areas today.
The Chlorine Problems
Although chlorine is an effective disinfectant, it comes with its own set of potential health problems that we need to be aware. The use of chlorine introduces a byproduct into our water supply which is known as chloramine. This byproduct can create a number of health issues, including allergic reactions, asthma attacks, sinusitis, bladder conditions and cancer. This is not the only issue with our water quality, chlorine disinfects water, but it has no effect on other contaminants, such as lead, arsenic, barium, toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Some of these materials occur naturally in water, but their concentration has increased because of pollution. Data gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the last decade revealed that one in every five schools had water supplies that violated the Safe Drinking Water Act.
What Can be Done?
The only way to stay safer is to limit your exposure to regular tap water as much as possible. Even washing with chlorine treated water is a health risk and additional measure need to be taken to make sure our water is cleaner. The best solution to this problem is to install a reverse osmosis (RO) whole house water treatment system. An RO system uses high pressure to force the water through a filter membrane that can trap contaminants that are 0.0001 microns wide. This is an effective way to allow the clean water through and remove all the unwanted contaminants from your water supply. A local water treatment specialist will be able to offer advice on the best system to suit your needs.
By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University. He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)