Friday, January 8, 2016

Is Your Drinking Water Safe? You might be surprised

It’s a fact that the U.S. has the safest drinking water in the world. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the water where you live is completely free of contaminants. Although it may seem counterintuitive the water systems in our country that serve less than a thousand people are usually where problems occur although large cities have also had problems in the past.

The quality of the water coming into our homes is regulated by standards set forth by Congress that are part of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. Many laws have been passed since then in municipalities throughout the country and are often more stringent and more specific than those passed by Congress. Never-the-less the quality of our water is not always what we would like it to be.

There are many contaminants that can cause illness in many areas including heavy metals, germs, man-made chemicals, nitrates and even radioactive particles. It’s important to keep in mind that children drink more water for their size than adults and this could be water straight from the tap in our homes. This is why ensuring the quality and safety of our drinking water should be a priority to all of us.

For some of us buying filtered water at the store seems an easy solution but what about when we brush our teeth, wash our hair or bathe? Bottled water is also much more expensive than the tap water in our homes and for some people this can also be an issue. It’s also important to note that a lot of plastic waste is generated when using store bought water and that is not good for the environment.

A whole house water filtration system is an excellent solution that will ensure that the water in your home is pure and free of most contaminants but can be very expensive. If money is an issue there are some things that you can do to reduce the amount of contaminants in your water.

You can use cold water for cooking and drinking as contaminants tend to build up inside of hot water heaters. Running the cold water for 2 minutes every morning before using it is a good way to flush out the pipes and dramatically lower the amount of contaminants that may be in the water as well. Boiling water that you intend to drink or use for cooking will kill germs and bacteria but it will not remove any type of toxic chemicals.

If you would like to find out more about the quality of the water where you live you can call the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 toll free. All local water companies are required to provide testing data to the EPA on a yearly basis. You can also contact your local health department or state environmental agency with your enquiry but the EPA number may be the simplest to deal with.

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