Water Quality is directly linked to your Health and the Health of your Home
While good water is key to good health and wellbeing, bad water is simply bad for you. Water is essential for life, and it is so vital for human health that the CDC recommends that we drink eight 8 ounce glasses each day. Water and health are so strongly linked that whether we are drinking good or bad quality water, it can have a direct impact on our physical condition and longevity.
The Dangers of Bad Water to your Health
For many of us, unpalatable taste makes water bad, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, many potentially harmful contaminants have no effect on the aesthetics or taste of the water at all.
According to CDC data, the leading causes of drinking water-related disease outbreaks are hepatitis A, Giardia intestinalis, Shigella, and norovirus. This is by no means a complete list and many health risks are related to the contamination of water with inorganic and organic matter.
A prime example of this is lead, as in the Flint Michigan situation. While lead is a naturally occurring metal, it can have devastating detrimental effects on health when consumed. Research has linked lead contaminated drinking water with delays in the physical and mental development in children, leading to learning difficulties, short attention spans, and cognitive impairment. Arsenic is another naturally occurring substance that can result in heart, nerve, blood vessel and skin damage when consumed in tainted drinking water.
The Health of Your Home
Water can also have a direct impact on the “health” of your home. Corrosive water can leach lead and other metals out of fittings from your old fittings and plumbing, which in turn you can end up ingesting. Water using appliances and fixtures can suffer damage as well. For example, if you have hard water or water with a high level of calcium and magnesium, you are likely to find that the lifespan of your water heater, dishwasher, washing machine and other water using appliances are severely compromised. Additionally, your fixtures and pipes may be degraded by an accumulation of scale. You may also notice that clothes, dishes, and glassware are not cleaned adequately, and detergents fail to properly foam up.
Switching to softened water may not only improve the overall performance of your appliances, but could save you money. Research conducted in 2009 by the Battelle Memorial Institute on behalf of the Water Quality Research Foundation found that by using softened water, you could reduce the water temperature and amount of detergent used, achieving the same or better cleaning results. At the end of a 30-day study, the machines that used softened water also showed very little scale accumulation, while the units that had used hard water, over the same period, needed scale removal to continue working effectively.
The Battelle research also showed that water heaters could retain their original factory efficiency rating for up to 15 years when using softened water, while using hard water cut the efficiency rates by as much as 48%. Some of the test water heaters suffered from failed heating elements after only 1.6 years, due to the scale buildup caused by hard water.
Quality water is essential for human health, life and the proper maintenance of your home. While we can survive without food for weeks, a lack of water can lead to serious health consequences within a matter of days and a lack of quality water in your home can lead to costly damage and expensive repairs due to the premature deterioration of your plumbing and water using appliances. To learn more about the condition the water in your home, contact a local WQA certified water treatment professional and find out what you can do to improve the quality of the water coming out of your tap.
About The Author, Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska:
With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state and Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices.