Is tap water safe to drink? Let’s find the answers to this question and filter out the genuine data. Is there a difference between bottled water and tap water? Which type of water is fertile with minerals and which type with chlorine and other contaminants? Let’s discuss restaurant and beer manufacturers’ strategies and finally make a choice that will bring our survival to the next level.
Water is one of the most important conditions of life on earth. We use water every day to satisfy many of our needs, from drinking and cooking to washing clothes. But to maintain health in a body, a person needs clean drinking water. Does tap water meet these needs? Can we drink it without health risks? Is water quality on the required level for our community?
To deliver water to your taps, a complex plumbing system, gray water recirculation, and many pipes are used. Do engineers manage to create such systems in which tap water will be safe and beneficial for humans? Let’s figure it out.
How Tap Water Enters Your Tap
The path of the water to your tap is rather winding. It starts from the source of water. It can be a natural source such as a river or lake or an artificial source such as a reservoir. Further, the water follows complex pipelines to the treatment facilities. The water goes through all the purification stages and moves forward again through the pipeline to your home.
Once the water has been cleaned, it can travel many miles of pipes, so there are many water contamination chances. Poor purification, chemical additives, pipe erosion, can all lead to water pollution. Water contamination, in turn, can lead to health problems. Poisoning may simply occur, or there might be a fatal case.
So Is it Safe To Drink Tap Water?
It largely depends on who you ask this question. If you ask the local government, the chances are high that they will answer you there is no danger, and of course, you can drink tap water. But we would not recommend believing their words without any independent verification. When it comes to your health risk and your children’s health, the concern is never unnecessary.
On the problem of water safety, some skepticism does not hurt. A water filter is a necessary addition to the system. We think so.
In our article, we will answer whether it is safe to drink tap water, what history and science say about it.
DO NOT Do As The Romans Do With Tap Water
We have all heard about the greatness of the Roman Empire. This once great state occupied a huge territory throughout Europe, stretching to the Middle East and even Africa.
But now, it is only the great empire of the past.
The once-great country turned to ashes. Brilliant art, a strong army, developed culture, philosophy did not help this empire to survive in our times. Why? There are several reasons, but one of them (and far from the least) is the quality of the water and its pollution.
Rome was famous for its developed water supply system. And all would be fine if their magnificent pipes were not covered with lead.
We now know that lead and its use are fatal to humans. The most interesting thing is that the Romans knew it too. But they decided that the metal that personifies the Roman god Saturn cannot be replaced with another. The Romans had terracotta pipes at their disposal. If they had used them instead of the lead pipes, perhaps the story would have turned out completely differently. But they decided not to betray their god, so according to today’s history, the Roman Empire no longer exists.
This historical example makes us think how much we depend on drinking water, on water quality. It can kill the strongest empire in the world, or it can elevate it.
Drinking-Water Problems in the USA
The Roman Empire fell to make way for the modern ones. America can call itself one of the greatest nations. A developed, rich society, well educated, having access to all the benefits of civilization, science, medicine, exploring space and the secrets of our planet. But nevertheless, drinking water problems were not spared here either.
A large society implies the need for a complex and extensive water supply system. And some of these systems are not as harmless as we would like. Our needs and cravings for consumption make us pay a high price.
To mine coal, people sometimes use extreme methods such as mountaintop removal. It is often used on the east coast of America. With this method, specialists blow up the tops of the mountains. And, of course, the explosion of the mountains cannot be safe. Pollution of nearby waters occurs, chemical particles of mountain origin enter the water supply system. This leads to dire consequences for human health and serious illness. Due to water pollution, lung diseases, chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and cancer are possible.
Colorado’s Animas River
The terrible pollution occurred in 2015 at a mine in Colorado near Durango. As a result of the toxic leak, the Animas River was poisoned with manganese, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and copper. The whole river has taken on an orange hue.
The pollution was so strong that the lead content exceeded the norm by 3500 times and arsenic by 300 times. All drinking water sources in the surrounding area were contaminated. The entire Navajo Nation was left without clean water, which of course, affected all residents.
A developed society consumes a huge amount of energy. Scientists are looking for more and more new ways to extract it. Fracking is one such method. This method uses drilling to release the energy of natural underground gas.
Fracking is good because it allows specialists to immediately produce a large amount of gas that cannot be released in any other way.
All would be fine, but people living near the places of gas production began to complain about the water quality. It was found that during the extraction, gas enters the groundwater, which is the basis for the tap water in that location.
Some cases of contamination are so terribly impressive that you can easily set fire to tap water. You can imagine what this water can do to the human body.
Flint in Michigan
A terrible case of water pollution in its scope and negligence. The city authorities decided they could save on water systems in the city. They decided to save an unprecedented amount of $ 100 by changing the water source. This was done incompetently because this change entailed tragedy.
At first, residents began to complain about the taste of the water, then the sight and smell. Soon, many developed strange rashes, and hair began to fall out.
The city government wanted to save $ 100; in the end, they would have to spend about 1.5 billion to fix the consequences of the problem in the area. Not the price they wanted to pay. Unfortunately, it is far from the fact that this money will help people to restore their health fully.
What Can Be Found In Tap Water?
The examples above show some of the worst cases of drinking water pollution in recent history that can affect the whole community. But unfortunately, this is not all kinds of contamination. They only give you an example of how the negligence of the government or private corporations can poison the water of many people, ruin their health or kill them.
Tap water pollution is widespread, and sometimes you do not even know what you can find in the water composition.
Even drugs can be in the water. A national study was conducted according to which the percentage of drugs in the water is quite high. And we are not talking about some kind of drug cartel. Doctors can prescribe them to people for treatment. For example, hydrocodone is used for chronic pain and hydrochlorothiazide for heart failure. And all these substances can get into our tap water. Particles of medicine get in due to improper disposal or even through urination. Not all water comes to us directly from natural sources. Most of it is recycled water.
All of these substances affect animals and aquatic life.
Nitrates and nitrites also get into the water. They are used as fertilizer in agriculture, so they easily penetrate into a natural runoff.
Although these substances are found everywhere in the natural environment, in modern water supplies, they can mix with other substances and form hazardous compounds.
They are especially dangerous for children. Remember the terrible Blue Baby Syndrome, which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea and lead to the death of the child.
According to the drinking water quality report, let’s see other contaminants that can be in tap water.
Tap Water Lead
We have clearly described the actions of leaders in the case of the Roman Empire and their pipes. There is no safe level for this substance in water. Lead has a detrimental effect on a person’s mental and physical development and brings irreversible harm to our body.
Lead gets into the water not only from lead pipes but also from soil or the atmosphere.
Water Fecal Coliform
E. Coli is a common type of bacteria that is often found in our tap water. Drinking water with this bacteria causes such unpleasant consequences as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea.
We sometimes hear about this type of bacteria in the news. Not only water is infected, but also food.
Not all substances that are not particularly useful for humans get into the water by accident. Some add intentionally, such as fluoride.
Fluoride is widely used in toothpaste and is added there to get rid of plaque, enamel cleaning. Therefore, the government decided to add this substance to the water without the consent of the people. With the thought that its use will help keep our teeth healthy. But of course, it is not that simple.
Fluoride is only useful as long as it is applied to the teeth. Numerous studies show that adding it to water does not help avoid tooth decay, but it can also cause other health problems.
The good news is that there are water filters that will clear tap water from it.
Atrazine ends up in the water because it is used in corn and soybean fields. This pesticide has been shown to cause breast cancer. Therefore, we cannot say that water pollution is only a problem in big cities. Farming places also suffer and pay their price.
This is not the most common pollution, but if your home is located with a possible radiation source, it is better to take care of a powerful water filtration system.
Water becomes radioactive due to contact with minerals such as radon, radium, uranium.
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), about 200 people a year get cancer from radioactive water. And maybe this is not a large number, but no one would like to be in this group.
Another substance that seems to have been used for good purposes but can lead to dire consequences.
Trihalomethanes are used to purify water, but the chlorine they contain reacts with organic substances. This reaction can cause severe human diseases, such as cancer of the pancreas, bladder, rectum. In addition, congenital disabilities such as neural disorders are possible.
In today’s world, we have to use all the water that is available to us. We purify and filter wastewater, rainwater, lake, or river water. Unfortunately, this means that it is possible to use contaminated water. We do not understand all the consequences that such use can lead to.
Back To The Main Drinking Question
What can we answer to the article’s main question — is it safe to drink tap water?
We think that everything that we have listed above will scare a sane person. Of course, there is no 100% certainty that your tap water contains contaminants. Therefore, it may be safe.
But for us, we will not risk our family’s safety and health and will not use tap water. Therefore, for ourselves, we will answer this question as follows:
It Is Not Safe To Drink Tap Water.
What Can You Do To Get Clean Drinking Water?
Our entire article leads to the fact that you cannot rely on the state to get clean drinking water. Somewhere the government may not notice, somewhere water pollution may happen from insufficient attention, somewhere from the human factor, somewhere for other reasons. If you want to be confident, then you need to take matters into your own hands.
There are many home filtration systems and water filters available in both budget and volume. You can choose a water system that meets all your requirements. There is no need to waste a fortune on it. Let the water purification happen on your terms.
Some see the solution to the problem in buying bottled water. We think that this will not help much, because often it can be the same tap water. This water comes from the same pipes and water treatment facilities. Bottled water cannot give you a guarantee, but cleaning yourself and using water filters can.
Although in rare cases, bottles of water can be purchased as a necessary alternative.
If you want our advice, we recommend checking out the Brita Purifier.
It reduces pollution by 99.99%, making your drinking water not only safer but also tastier by eliminating contaminants.
Even if you have done a series of water quality tests and are sure that your water is safe to drink, no one is safe from accidents. Sudden contamination can happen, and you may even not know about it, and contaminants can enter the water. Therefore, we recommend that you always use a quality water purifier to get clean drinking water.
Is it bad to drink water from the tap?
The Drinking Water Quality Report best answers this question. Water quality may vary from city to city, but to be honest, we would not risk our health anywhere. You can use bottled water as an alternative, but it is essentially the same water. The best solution is to use water filters, which will give you clean drinking water. They will help get rid of all contaminants. Or you can buy water in bottles, but we see bottled water only as a temporary solution for unfamiliar places.
What happens if you drink sink water?
You may get poisoned by contaminants in the water. If you want to drink tap water, it is best to do water quality tests first. But even this will not guarantee the safety of your water. An accident can happen, pipes can get dirty, whatever. In large cities, by default, there cannot be clean drinking water from the tap. But also chemicals used in agriculture, haloacetic acids, can get through the soil to your well water. The illnesses that can occur range from nausea, diarrhea, and muscle weakness to serious kidney disease or cancer. If you want to get safe drinking water, purify it.
Is spigot water safe to drink?
The only water that is safe to drink is water that has passed through water filters. Spigot water cannot be considered safe and be at a high water quality level. Water pollution is not just a big cities problems. Chemicals and fertilizers used in agriculture can penetrate through the soil to your well water. Make sure you are using filters for safe drinking water to get rid of contaminants.
Is it safe to cook with tap water?
Sometimes it is safe to use tap water for cooking. Boiling allows water to be purified. But the problem is that not all harmful substances go away at high temperatures. And it is definitely not safe to use hot tap water, as it contains a lot of harmful substances.
Therefore, we insist that the safest way is every day using home water filtration systems. This water is safe to drink and to cook.
Can you die from drinking tap water?
In the worst cases, tap water can lead to serious illness and even death. One of the most dangerous contamination is the presence of lead in water. It can lead to brain and kidney disease. The first at risk are children and pregnant women.
Check the water quality periodically in your home and use water filter systems on an ongoing basis. Bottled water may not be the main alternative.