Think about your water system for a minute.
How does the water get into your house? Where does it come from?
These questions seem innocent enough, but do you really have all the answers?
The pipes that run from your water source, through the ground, and into your home are likely pretty old. In fact, many are reaching retirement age.
This means that any manner of things could grow in those pipes, not to mention the chemicals that might start leaching into your water supply.
When we installed those pipes 100 years ago we didn’t have nearly the understanding (or caring) about the dangers certain materials pose to humans.
We’re not trying to scare you, but it’s the truth. What’s more, even if your pipes are brand new, did you know that sometimes chlorine levels aren’t adequate in public drinking water?
Lack of chlorine can expose the public to many nasty bacteria, viruses, and even protozoa. The importance of filtering and purifying your water is too often overlooked.
We’re lucky that a simple water purification system can limit our exposure to bacteria, chemicals, and any other vile things floating around in your drinking water.
Let’s take an in-depth look at water purification systems and how they keep us healthy.
What Are We Afraid Of?
You wouldn’t think much, considering the U.S. is lucky enough to have treated drinking water straight from the faucet.
However, this water isn’t as safe as some would have you believe. We’re not even just referring to old pipes, but to some of the chemicals used to treat our water.
First, let’s look at the stuff that isn’t supposed to be in our water.
Safe Drinking Water Act
The government enacted The Safe Water Drinking Act in 1974 in an attempt to purify our nation’s drinking water. The Act specifically banned 91 contaminants in our water supply.
This sounds well and good until you realize there are more than 60,000 chemicals used within the United States, per the Environmental Protection Agency.
So we’re only protected against 91 of 60,000? Yes, you read that correctly.
What’s worse, many of those chemicals associated with a cancer risk are sometimes found in drinking water.
A New York Times analysis showed that since 2004, more than 62 million Americans were exposed to water that didn’t meet at least one Safe Water Drinking Act guideline.
How’s that for government regulation? The problems in Flint, Michigan aren’t as contained as one would think.
Not only is our water contaminated per the Safe Drinking Water Act, but sometimes it’s contaminated by modern medicine.
An associated Press report shows that major U.S. drug manufacturers have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into water sources used for drinking.
For some reason, the U.S. government has consistently chosen to overlook this issue. Well, that’s not entirely true, they did monitor some of the chemicals, but only those classified as “industrial.”
So chemicals dumped into the water are only bad when they come from industry. Got it.
Oh, and we forgot to mention the trace amounts of antibiotics, mood stabilizers, sex hormones and anti-seizure medication also found in our drinking water.
Chlorine, Chloramines, and Fluoride
We already talked about Chlorine not reaching safe levels, but what about when Chlorine concentration exceeds safe levels?
It’s something that doesn’t get much coverage but routinely happens. At safe concentrations, Chlorine kills microorganisms in our water, and that’s great. We need it for a safe water supply.
However, higher concentrations of Chlorine are linked to cancer. Chloramine, a chlorine derivative, is even worse. It doesn’t evaporate nearly as well as Chlorine and thus more of it reaches our taps.
Information about Chloramine’s link to cancer is available on the EPA’s website.
Fluoride is the trickiest chemical of them all. Found in almost every water supply across the country, we use fluoride to improve oral health. Specifically, protecting our teeth from decay.
Found in almost every water supply across the country, we use fluoride to improve oral health. Specifically, protecting our teeth from decay.
We’re ever grateful for fluoride, but research has suggested that large quantities over time can cause more harm than good.
Dental Fluorosis occurs when young children with developing teeth are exposed to excessive levels of fluoride. The result is the fluoride eating through tooth enamel.
The condition is widespread enough that the CDC acknowledges that it affects at least some people from every community.
Filtration and Purification
Water purification systems protect people from exposure to all of the aforementioned chemicals.
There are many different kinds of purification systems and they all do different things. We’re going to keep it general and walk you through what systems to choose and why.
Whole House Water Purification System
This kind of water purification system filters water before it reaches the pipes in your home. This means every tap in your home is free from contaminants.
Whole house purification systems remove hard minerals like calcium and magnesium, chemicals like chlorine and chloramines, and other organic materials.
Chlorine and chloramine removal is especially important as the system prevents these chemicals from releasing into the air during hot showers.
Whole house systems also provide the added benefit of softening your water. This helps preserve your hair’s natural sheen and luster.
Reverse Osmosis Filtration
Reverse osmosis filters work best when installed in tandem with whole house purification systems. Working together they provide almost 100% protection from contaminants.
The reverse osmosis systems filter out every contaminant imaginable. This works because the water purification system is pushing water through a membrane at pressure.
By pushing water from high to low pressure, we can force the higher concentration (concentration of contaminants) to filter into the lower concentration.
The lower concentration becomes runoff and we’re left with clean drinking water flowing into our homes.
Quality reverse osmosis systems have upwards of 10 filters contained in replaceable cartridges. This makes home maintenance easy and encourages proper upkeep.
Hopefully, we’ve shed some light on how important it is to install a water purification system in your home.
For us, the amount of unregulated chemicals pouring into our water supply is just too great to ignore. Keep yourself healthy using a water purification system to get the clean drinking (and bathing) water you deserve.