Do You Know What’s In Your Drinking Water?
Depending on where you live, your water supply comes from one or a combination of a two sources. Homes are supplied by city water or they have to rely on water from a private well. Regardless of where your water comes from. it is a smart idea to know what’s actually in your water. Having clean, potable water is one of the most important things you can do to maintain healthy living.
Most people believe the tap water they receive at home is safe to drink. But what really is “safe” and does your tap water live up to that meaning? According to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), hundreds of contaminants have been found in the nation’s drinking water. Most of these contaminants have no standards and are not regulated. Legal does not necessarily equal safe. Getting a passing grade from the federal government does not mean the water meets the latest health guidelines. Legal limits for contaminants in tap water have not been updated in almost 20 years.
Over time, the increased use of water disinfectants, pesticides, herbicides, and ongoing environmental pollution all contribute to the contamination of our drinking water. If you drink tap water without filtration, it is likely that you’re consuming chemicals and contaminants including chlorine, chloramines, led, mercury, pesticides, herbicides, and volatile organic compounds
Fortunately there are steps you can take to become informed on the quality of water coming into your home so you can make informed choices on the action to take, including filtering your water.
Perform a Home Water test
Water can become contaminated as it passes through the distribution channel and even as it passes through the pipes in your home. A home water test will give you a general indication of certain contaminants present in the water from your tap. Home water tests are available at many home supply stores and online. Depending on the home test kit, you can test for a variety of contaminants including E.coli, lead, pesticides, nitrates/nitrites, chlorine, hardness and pH. Even though these tests can be less than 100% accurate, it is a fast and easy way to identify the contaminants present in your water.
Download and Review the Annual Water Quality Report
Each year you should receive a water quality report typically called a Consumer Confidence Report or Water Quality Report. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all drinking water suppliers to provide this report annually. The first step is to review this report. It will include water quality statistics on regulated water contaminants. It will also tell you where your water comes from and contaminants that may be present in your water, including which chemicals are used for water disinfection.
You can also access your water quality information online. The EWG maintains a national drinking water database and the EPA maintains a directory of water quality reports. Your local water supplier usually has a water quality report section on their website as well.
Utilize an Independ Lab To Test Your Water
Submitting water samples to an independent testing lab is by far the most accurate way to determine the quality of your water. Although a bit more expensive (most start at around $100), lab tests are quite extensive and provide accurate readings when the lab instructions are followed exactly.
Use filtered. To Make Sure Your Home Water is Clean
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