Tap Water – Make Sure It Is Safe For Your Body before Drinking
You’ve probably heard that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Getting that much fluid into your body can take some effort, and making sure the water is healthy is another challenge all together.
Is Drinking Water in Your Home or Office Safe?
Generally speaking, yes. It is unlikely that you will die or become serious ill from drinking tap water if it comes from a public water system maintained by a municipality. There are organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States and Environment Canada which monitor the quality of drinking water across the continent. These organizations make sure that water that leaves treatment plants meets strict health & safety criteria before it goes to the faucet in your home or office.
However, just because water made it to your tap doesn’t mean it’s free of contamination. The water that makes it through to your tap has a level of contamination which is so low that it doesn’t pose a serious health risk, according to health & safety organizations. That means you could be drinking contaminated water without realizing it.
What’s more, tap water can become more contaminated by accident after it has left the treatment plant where it is tested. If your drinking water becomes contaminated your municipality or water supplier will notify you as soon as possible, hopefully before anything which can cause serious health problem is ingested. Most water suppliers are given 24 hours to inform you of contamination, depending on where you live. This window of time means that you could be drinking water which poses a serious risk to your health without knowing it. It’s best to keep a case of bottled water or a water filter handy in case of contamination. Some people also install water filter system from reliable companies like City Water International.
What Kind of Contaminants can be Found in Tap Water?
Tap water can be contaminated by three main types of pollutants. Microorganisms such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses get into the water from human and animal waste which seeps into water sources from pastures, septics tanks, and sewage plants. Although there are measures in place to prevent sewage from being dumped directly into natural water sources, an accidental spill may cause the contamination levels to go up. It’s best to be aware of what could be in your water because it’s much easier to prevent dangerous bacteria from entering your body than to get them out.
Industrial waste is another form of water contamination. Industrial facilities and crop spraying often creates chemical run-off which finds its way into the water, and into your body. Other contaminants including minerals such as lead or mercury enter the water system because there are natural deposits in the earth, but these contaminants more often come from industrial runoff.
It’s not a good idea to ingest any contaminants if you can avoid it, but the contamination levels in your home or office water are deemed safe by health professionals. However, if you are weakened by serious illness, are pregnant, or undergoing long-term treatment you are particularly susceptible to being harmed by water contamination. Children and elderly people are also at greater risk of illness from ingesting unsafe drinking water.
If you are interested in learning more about how to test your water for contamination, check out our article on how to test your drinking water for contamination.