Whenever you hear about the importance of filtered water for your home, the focus is purely placed on drinking clean, fresh water. Of course, this is an important reason why most homeowners decide to install their own water treatment system at home. But, high quality water is also vital for other tasks in your home, and we will examine that in more detail in the article.
Public Water Treatment
The local water plant that treats your public water supply typically uses chlorine or chloramines to disinfect your water. These chemicals are effective at killing viruses, germs, pathogens, and cysts, but they cause other problems. The efficacy of chlorine and chloramine deteriorates as they travel further away from the water treatment plant. To counteract this phenomenon, the water treatment plants add more chemicals to maintain the efficacy for a longer journey to the faucets of their customers.
This is fine if your home is located further away from the water treatment plant because the majority of the chemicals added will have lost their potency. But, if you live closer to the water treatment plant, you may notice that your water contains more chemicals, and it may have a “swimming pool” taste and odor that makes it unpalatable.
It’s also important to realize that many contaminants enter the public water supply after treatment has occurred. Any cracks or breaks in the vast network of pipes that supply water to your neighborhood can allow contaminants to enter. The cross contamination could contain contaminants such as industrial waste, agricultural runoff that contains pesticides and human waste from sewer systems. These contaminants and others will have a dramatic effect on the health of your water.
The Problem with Chlorine Based Disinfectants
The water is treated with a chlorine based disinfectant. This is usually the last stage of the public water treatment, and it’s intended to kill waterborne bacteria. Unfortunately, recent research seems to suggest that these chlorine based disinfectants can interact with organic matter to create byproducts that are dangerous. The byproducts are known as DBPs, and they include trihalomethanes (THMs) and holoacetic acids (HAAs), which both cause negative health problems.
Going Beyond Drinking Water Concerns
Drinking unfiltered water exposes you to DBPs and cross contamination, as discussed earlier. But, these contaminants can affect other aspects of your life, and this isn’t discussed very often. A key consideration is bathing, showering, and washing your hair in unfiltered water. The presence of traces of chlorine can cause your skin to feel dry and sore, and it can make hair brittle and fragile. It’s important to understand that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies, and it can absorb chemical contaminants. In fact, it’s actually more dangerous to absorb more contaminants during a shower than by drinking unfiltered water. So, if you have a water filter pitcher and you’re still showering in unfiltered water, you may be exposing yourself to harmful contaminants.
What is the Solution?
The best way to secure a source of clean water for drinking, bathing, and other tasks around the home is to install your own water treatment system. This will allow you to remove contaminants and enjoy higher quality water. Consult a local water treatment specialist, and they can help you to find the ideal system to suit your water conditions.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.