Tap water is never and will never be safe for drinking. This is because it gets contaminated while on its way to your system. The pipes that are used to convey water are usually made from metal and when this material gets old, it’s bound to wear out gradually and dissolve in the same water you’re drinking.
Sometimes, the water pipes are laid close to stagnant water. When the pipes start leaking due to excess pressure and other factors, clean water gets mixed with sewage water. By the time you’re opening your tap at home, the water is already toxic.
Contaminated water contains bacteria, lead and other chemicals that can cause you to easily contract diseases. Since most households are connected to municipal water, chances are that their tap water contains a lot of chlorine, too, as this chemical is used by most municipalities to treat water that’s supplied to homes.
In cases where water pipes pass through farms, the water is likely to be polluted by fertilizers and pesticides that are used to spray the plants. Here are some of the harmful impurities that can be found in tap water.
This is an obvious element due to the fact that most municipalities use chlorine to treat water. Chlorine is known for killing bacteria and parasites that are inside water. The problem is that its continued use poses a great health risk. People who drink highly-chlorinated tap water tend to have brown teeth. Despite the fact that the dangers of treating water with chlorine are known, it’s still being used by a lot of places.
Fluoride is usually an active ingredient in toothpastes. Municipalities add it into their water to address the issue of brown teeth. Fluoride is made up of other elements that are believed to be toxic due to their nature. Research carried out in recent years have proved that drinking tap water that has high levels of fluoride causes dental enamel to wear out and also affects the performance of the thyroid gland.
Lead, Iron and Other Metals
The pipes that are used to transport water from municipal treatment plants to various homes are constructed from metals. These pipes corrode with time due to being exposed to toxins. It therefore goes without saying that we consume these metals when we drink untreated tap water.
Municipalities get their water from rivers and lakes, and though they treat water before they supply it to home, there are high chances of this water being contaminated by oil spillages – the petroleum spillages caused by ships that transport crude oil. In other cases, oil deposits from leaking pipes get washed away into rivers, lakes and seas.
The Remedy for Contaminated Water
Though tap water is treated by municipalities, there is no guarantee that it arrives at your home pure. It’s therefore advisable to treat tap water to get rid of any harmful pollutants that might be dissolved in it. Failure to treat your water can cause you to suffer from waterborne illnesses such as cholera and typhoid, among many others that include some types of cancer.
The alternative to tap water is bottled water. But everyone knows that buying bottled water is expensive. Additionally, plastic bottles contribute to the pollution of the environment. Harvesting rainwater is out of question because weather patterns nowadays are irregular. Here are a few ways of treating tap water:
- Boiling: boiling tap water works by killing the bacteria and other micro-organisms. These are contaminants that can’t stand high temperatures. However, you should only boil water that you’ll drink within a few days. Storing boiled water for an extended period of time will definitely provide breeding grounds for bacteria.
- Refrigeration: storing water under low temperatures causes bacteria and other contaminants to die. But before you refrigerate tap water, you should filter it to remove debris and other impurities or bad tastes.
- Using pitcher filters: These are large jugs that are fitted with filters to sieve drinking water. Most of them can treat up to ten cups, so are ideal for domestic use. They require frequent refilling because they can’t hold a lot of water.
- Reverse osmosis filters: These are sophisticated water treatment equipment that come with several filters. They are usually placed below the kitchen sink and use activated carbon to remove the impurities in water. They can treat up to to two litres per minute. The downside is that they cost an arm and a leg.
- Distillation: In this method, water is heated to make it evaporate. The steam is then captured in a separate container as it reverts back into being water. The only problem is that chemicals may still be present in the distilled water. Nonetheless, this approach helps in eliminating bacteria and some toxic waste such as metals and debris.
As you can see, there are numerous ways you can treat your water, and the best water filters for your home usually feature the reverse osmosis filter technique.