No one wants to drink dirty water, right? That’s obvious enough. And fortunately for most of us in the United States, we don’t really have to worry too much about that. For the most part, we have easy access to clean water just about anywhere we go. Or at least that’s what we like to tell ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. We are very lucky. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t need to take a closer look at what’s coming out of the tap. Actually, looking at your water is the first step. Turbidity, or cloudiness, is a good indicator of contamination levels. But there’s plenty that can’t be seen in our tap water as well, which makes water filtration very important.
While cases of extremely high levels of water contamination like the one in Flint, Michigan can seem isolated and far away, it is not outside the realm of possibility that you’re drinking things you can’t even begin to imagine day in and day out right where you live.
The Environmental Working Group tested water in 45 states a few years ago and compiled a National Drinking Water Database. The results were actually kind of shocking. We know that there are certain standards that our drinking water must meet with regard to levels of contamination, but what about the things no one is testing for? The EWG found 202 such chemical contaminants.
Depending on where you live, your water may contain herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, waste particles, bacterial contaminants, and even heavy metals like lead and mercury. And yes, your water is being tested for lead before it leaves the treatment plant. However, after it leaves the plant, it flows through a series of pipes before it reaches you. Some of the pipes that water will travel through may be made of cement that contains asbestos. Some of the pipes may be older and made of lead. Even if the pipes that bring it to your house are new and lead free, older homes may have lead pipes. And as those pipes age, they break down and cause contamination. Did you know that lead poisoning from contaminated water is one of the larges preventable causes of poisoning in children to this day?
Okay, so what do you do about all this? Well, you know that water dispenser on the front of your fridge? Use it. Of course there are also, tap filters and filtered pitchers and even whole home filtration systems and all are good options. But the fact of the matter is a lot of us have a water filtration system right on the front of our fridge. All you have to do is regularly change your refrigerator filter and use it. Look for activated carbon in the filters you’re considering. It’s a natural substance this has a large surface area and is extremely porous, making it perfect for the task of absorbing all of the contaminants I mentioned above. So get yourself a filter and drink up!