Turning on the tap and drinking a tall glass of water is not something many of us think twice about. The water looks crystal clear, it’s not murky and I don’t see anything floating in it. So it must be safe to drink, right?
Wrong. There are microscopic amounts of contaminants and chemicals in your tap water, even though the municipality does treat it. While the level of contaminants are regulated by the EPA, there is still evidence of harmful side effects, besides for the number of harmful byproducts that are unregulated or accounted for while the city treats your water, and even after it is treated. So what exactly is in your water? Here are just a few of the most common contaminants in unfiltered tap water.
- Lead – although lead pipes have been banned in the mid-eighties, a lot of pipes still remain.
- Arsenic – This is found naturally in the earth and can leach into the groundwater through groundwater pumping.
- Radioactive substances – some come from nuclear power plants, some are found naturally in the ground. Coal mining and construction can cause these to get into the groundwater.
- Copper – as pipes age, they can leak copper into the water.
- Chlorine – Chlorine and ammonia, along with other chemicals, are used by the city to clean the water. When mixed with organic compounds already in the water, harmful byproducts are produced.
- Mercury – mercury can get into the groundwater through industrial waste and household waste such as paint.
- Nitrate – this is also a groundwater contaminant and can leak into the water supply through fertilizers or septic systems.
- Pharmaceuticals – improper disposal is one of the most common ways these chemicals from prescriptions end up in the water supply.
From increase cancer risk to kidney, liver, and brain damage, the side effects of these contaminants and chemicals are numerous and serious, especially for young children.
To find out the exact contaminants in the water in your city, please check out the Environmental Working Group’s data base.
Knowing what is in your water is the first step in creating a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. With the right filter and water purification system, you will notice the difference in your tap water, clothing, dishes, and even your hair and skin, besides for having the peace of mind you are only drinking the purest form of water.