One area of home health that often isn’t given enough consideration is the safety of the drinking water that comes out of your tap. Do you know what’s in your tap water?
Outbreaks of drinking water-related illness are reported every year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tap water may contain:
- naturally occurring chemicals such as arsenic
- microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites
- pesticides and chemicals from heavy industry
- disinfectants such as chlorine
- contaminants from failing septic systems and sewer overflow.
Large public water systems are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, water quality and contaminant levels vary from one town to the next, with not all types of drinking water contaminants being regulated. Moreover, one in seven Americans get their water from a small public water system or private well, neither of which are subject to any federal regulation.
Many families turn to bottled water as an alternative to drinking tap water. But this is not a better solution. Unlike large municipal tap water systems, bottled water is not regulated by the EPA, and thus may contain even more contaminants than tap water. Plastic bottles may also leach harmful chemicals. They also represent a significant environmental burden.
The best way to ensure your home drinking water is safe to drink is by installing a home filtration system. Such water treatment systems filter out harmful chemicals, microorganisms and other contaminants. They also eliminate odors to make your tap water more palatable. Installing a water treatment system in your home is especially important if you have a septic tank or get your water from a private well.
For more information on the topic of drinking water safety, visit the EPA’s Healthy Water website.
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Home is Where the Health Is is written & published by Thompson Plumbing Heating & Cooling