Water is perhaps the most essential necessity in our lives. We need water to survive, for cooking and washing. From the time we wake up till we go to sleep, we use water for a variety of purposes.
But during all your activities, how many times do you wonder: How safe is my drinking water? Is it free from contaminants? Can it make me sick?
If you are not sure how healthy your drinking water is, please take a few minutes and go through this life-saving guide below.
The Water Crisis
In the United States and many other developed countries worldwide, people consume their water directly from the tap. Unlike most other parts of the world, the water systems in the United States are pretty safe. However, unfortunate events are inevitable and don’t even spare the most stable economies.
The Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan is a glaring example of that. In 2014, Flint residents woke up with brown colored water flowing through their taps. It tasted like metal and smelled pretty unpleasant.
Simply put, it was a nightmare!
The discolored solution resulted from a failure in the supply system and indicated high levels of lead in the water. This crisis is an example of one of the worst water disasters in the United States’ history with almost 10,000 residents of Flint poisoned.
While such incidents don’t happen often, it is always a great idea to be proactive. If your life depends on your drinking water, you should put effort into making sure it is safe in every way.
Continue reading to enlighten yourself with seven different ways to check whether your water is worthy of your consumption or not.
Seven Indications of Poor Drinking Water
In most parts of America, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looks after the purity levels of water and ensures all companies follow their standards. However, it’s believed that each year millions of people are supplied with water from companies that often violate the rules.
So, to make sure your water utility isn’t doing that, here are a few ways you can test your water on your own:
Clear Is the Way to Go
If your tap water is clear and odorless, it is most probably safe to drink. However, in case of visible cloudiness and unpleasant smell, be alerted. While it may be nothing but some chemicals, a cloudy texture is a sign of contamination.
Colored Water Isn’t a Good Sign
While brown color indicates dangerous levels of lead, orange water may contain excess manganese or iron. Moreover, yellow water sometimes contains chromium-6, a cancer-causing chemical. Blue or green water is a sign for high levels of copper, which may lead to liver damage.
If you are experiencing colored water through your taps and faucets, avoid using it and file a complaint immediately.
Don’t Go for Hard Water
Hard water is a result of excess build-up of calcium and magnesium, which often leaves deposits in your piping. If your hands feel slimy or your clothes take longer to clean, you may be getting hard water in your taps.
In most cases, hard water isn’t a contamination issue. However, if it contains metals, it may be a threat to your health.
Water Or Rotten Eggs?
If your tap water smells like rotten eggs, it is most probably due to hydrogen sulfide. It is a form of colorless gas that often leads to extreme diarrhea and dehydration.
Taste Like Metal
Rusty pipes often release metals that mix with the water. If your local drinking water tastes like metal, it may contain high amounts of lead. In that case, avoid using it before the problem sorts out.
Water that smells like dead fish often indicates an excess level of cadmium or barium. These are both harmful chemicals and may seep into your local water supply through drilling or industrial waste.
An exposure to increased levels of both these compounds can result in heart and liver damage.
Too Much Bleach?
In the United States, chlorine is consciously added to the water supplies to kill all kinds of pathogens and bacteria. However, a high level of this substance may produce harmful byproducts.
If your local water smells like bleach, it may be a sign of elevated levels of chlorine. Abnormal chlorine levels may cause kidney problems and increase cancer risk, as evidenced by studies.
Get Your Water Professionally Tested
While the above indicators may help you confirm your water’s safety, they aren’t an alternative to a professional testing procedure. If you want to be a hundred percent sure, meet your local water facility and communicate your concerns with the professionals there.
Also, try to get your hands on the reports of any recently conducted tests. Moreover, ask for a consumer confidence report if you don’t have one already. This report covers information on the water source, a list of any contaminants, and their implications on your health.
If your water comes out contaminated after all the aforementioned tests, you should take quick actions. Here are a few things you can do:
- Consult your elected representative and demand help.
- Report your problem to the EPA.
- Contact a state legislator for funding required on improved water infrastructure.
- Install a certified whole house or faucet filter as soon as you can. You can check watermasterz.com for recommendations and reviews on the most impressive filters.
- In the case of regular hard water, get a water softener from a well-reputed brand.
- You can try boiling drinking water but keep in mind that boiling kills germs but doesn’t have any effect on metals or pesticides found in water.
- Most importantly, shift to another safer water source as soon as possible.
To ensure a long and healthy life, you need to consume healthy water every day. Irrespective of where you live, contaminations can happen, so make sure you are aware of your water’s quality.
The best way is to get the water professionally tested every few months and ask for a consumer report from the concerned authority. However, you can also follow the above indications to check the quality of water on your own.
In case of contamination, make sure to take relevant and timely actions for your safety. Remember, safe water is your ultimate source of good health. So, please don’t take it for granted.