Your Drinking Water, at a Glance
Tap water has featured quite a lot in the news as of late, and not for the right reasons. The controversy over the tap water in Flint, Michigan has led to a lot of paranoia about what exactly is going through pipes. Most of the time, these fears are baseless. The government keeps most taps safe and pure through rigorous inspection. The water is also treated to remove chemicals, bacteria, and other dangerous elements. The addition of chlorine, which is known to disinfect water, and fluoride, which is known for its dental-health benefits, means that tap water should be safe to drink.
However, mistakes do occur. Cases have arisen where pesticides and other harmful contaminants have found their way into public water supplies. Pesticides, Pathogens, and fuel byproducts have all been found in municipal water supplies. For this reason, many people find themselves looking to alternatives, of which two exist: filtered and bottled water. But many bottled water companies simply take their 'spring water' from any water reserve, and the more environmentally conscious among us might not wish to purchase plastic bottles. Instead, they look to filtration solutions to ensure that their drinking water is safe and free of any unwanted and unflavorful additives.
Tap Water: The Upsides and Downsides
The main benefit for tap water is that it is easily accessible. For the most part, it avoids any sort of financial burden you might be placed under when drinking filtered water. Apart from this, it is also good for the environment. This is good for those that are environmentally conscious among us. Filtered methods often need energy to work, which, unless offset with solar panels or other forms of renewable energy leads to a larger carbon footprint and higher energy costs.
But as explained above, tap water can have contaminants in it that could be causing some serious health issues for you or your family. Pesticides such as atrazine, pathogens such as E. coli, and metals such as lead or arsenic can all be present in tap water. In most cases, unless your immune system is severely compromised, the water won't affect your immediate health. In the long run, however, you might be facing some serious consequences.
Filtered Water: The Upsides and Downsides
The main benefit of filtered water is that it removes contaminants. These can include bacteria, pesticides, and metals. Certain types of filtering can almost completely eliminate all contaminants. These systems can include activated carbon, which is the most common type of filter, aeration, which involves filtering forces water entering the home to pass of high-pressure air jets, distillation, which involves boiling and collecting, carbon exchange, which is a water-softening technique, reverse osmosis, which is one of the most effective and costly measures, and UV disinfection, which kills parasites.
While these are all effective at different things, filtering water isn't a simple case of 'plug here and go'. You need to know what you're trying to filter for. If you're trying to remove metals, UV disinfection won't work. On top of that, most filtering methods are delicate to put into effect. They can take multiple stages, all of which needed to be fully completed or the results could be disastrous. You'll need to first check what type of filtering would be most effective, and beneficial, for you. Research is key. As with any problem, it is best to approach it from of a position of knowledge, as opposed to one of ignorance. Many filtration companies, such as Pure One Water in Apopka, will offer free testing and analysis to assist you in determining your filtration needs.