When you look into drinking water related issues, you may come across the term “healthy water.” Many people find this term confusing; after all, water is naturally healthy, so what does this mean. The possible unhealthy characteristics in water are related to the impurities and contaminants that it may contain. When you use your drinking water, it’s important to understand the potential health risks that you’re prepared to tolerate. There is some good news; water can be cleaned and made healthy again by removing impurities. Let’s take a closer look at this issue and examine how you can get access to healthy drinking water.
The Sources of Drinking Water
Our drinking water is typically sourced from two places, surface water, and well water. As the name would suggest, surface water includes: streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Well water is supplied by groundwater, and it could be sourced from private wells or a municipal well. In the U.S. around 80% of all water used for domestic, industrial and agricultural purposes comes from surface water and the remaining 20% from groundwater wells.
Is This Raw Water Safe?
In its raw form, it would not be advisable to drink untreated water from any of these water sources. Pollution has become a real problem over the years, and this water could be unpalatable to drink and harmful to our health. This is why water treatment is so essential; our municipal water suppliers will use a variety of filtration systems and disinfection chemicals to make our water safer to drink. The EPA has strict water regulations in place to ensure that the water meets their standards.
The Safe Water Drinking Act
The Safe Water Drinking Act covers minimum safety standards for drinking water. They also cover some secondary guidelines that should be considered as recommendations for the water consumer. Here are the critical aspects of the EPAs standards and guidelines for water companies.
- Mandatory EPA regulated testing for bacteria.
- Primary guidelines for the removal of pathogens and other dangerous contaminants.
- A one size fits all nationwide EPA water quality policy.
- Secondary treatment for areas with more than 500 part per million of contamination.
- Secondary guidelines to cover the 1% of water in circulation that is actually consumed.
Well water users are responsible for their own test and treatment procedures.
Is the Resulting Water Healthy?
Broadly speaking yes, but it’s important to understand that the system can fail and contaminants could enter your drinking water after leaving the water treatment plant. Also, some water treatment facilities cannot remove certain types of secondary contaminants that could affect your health. Finally, it worth mentioning that most water treatment plant still use chlorine or chloramine to disinfect the water and the byproducts of these chemicals can give your water an odd taste and a “swimming pool” type odor that many people dislike.
If you’re concerned about the quality of your drinking water contact a local water treatment professional and they will be able to offer you great advice on how to proceed.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.