Water Quality is Not a Guarantee
Avoid Having a Water Crisis like Baltimore or Flint, MI by Knowing What’s in Your Water
We often take our drinking water for granted. We always have access to running water, so we don't think much more about it.However, quality water is not always a guarantee. In fact, a number of cities are having issues with their water right now.The government creates laws to protect drinking water, and the EPA determines guidelines for how to ensure safe drinking water. Unfortunately, water quality issues may still arise that put you and your family at risk for disease–or worse. Let me share some of the most serious risks to your drinking water and how to solve them.
Corrosion occurs when the metal surface of the pipe breaks down. Microbial corrosion occurs when a biological material forms a film that reacts with the piping in your home, and chemical corrosion occurs when the water chemistry becomes unbalanced, leading to pipe deterioration. In addition to harmful chemical and microbial exposure contaminations can lead to a number of waterborne illnesses including, Legionnaire’s Disease, E. coli, Typhoid fever and cholera.
While we now know that no amount of lead in water is safe, that was not always common knowledge. The dangers from lead poisoning are substantial-violence, cognitive delays, headaches, stomach issues and joint issues are the most common symptoms. A recently released study shows there can be irreversible damage done when infants and children are exposed to lead, so vigilance about monitoring lead levels from any source is crucial. Certain water tests can help you determine if there are traces of lead in your drinking water to help you avoid lead contamination.
One source of copper poisoning is the corrosion of copper pipes. Symptoms of copper poisoning can include headaches, fevers, throwing up and jaundice. Copper poisoning may happen when an unsuspecting homeowner installs a “treatment option” purchased at a big box store or online that promises it is the BEST filtration system. Depending on the chemistry of the water and the chemistry/operation of the new filter, a reaction can take place that leads to high levels of copper being introduced into the drinking water. The nice thing about copper is that it can be visible to the eye, if you know what to look for. In high doses, copper turns the water a blue or greenish tint.
Recently, the amount of plastics in our bodies and drinking water has been in focus. PFAS/ PFOS from plastic containers, non-stick pans, etc., all put you at increased risk. These harmful chemicals can lead to cancer, issues with oxygen absorption, infertility and more, but you can find ways to decrease your exposure and find ways to filter it out of your drinking water.
How to Address these Problems
Risks to your drinking water are everywhere, but it is possible to detect issues before it is too late. You can start by checking your contamination levels through testing and treatment to remove the bad stuff and add the good. In some cases, like the risks that come from corrosion, you may choose to replace all the pipes in your home. In other cases, you may opt for a water filtration and conditioning system to ensure correct water pH and to take out any elements or chemicals that could have seeped into your water.
In the United States, we take quality drinking water for granted, but it is important to do our part to ensure the water we are drinking is safe.