Whether you prefer to get your water by turning on a faucet or opening a plastic bottle, you probably take your drinking water quality for granted. However, as anyone who lived through the water crisis in Flint, Michigan can attest, we should all be aware of possible drinking water contamination. Cases like Flint’s aren’t as unlikely as people think, and lead is far from the only contaminant that can taint the water flowing from your tap.
With the answers to these top questions about U.S. drinking water quality, you’ll be more informed about how to keep your family healthy and safe.
How does U.S. water quality compare to other countries?
According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are only a few dozen countries, including the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, where tap water is considered safe to drink. The CDC also states that 780 million people worldwide lack access to clean tap water, and 2.5 billion people live in poorly sanitized conditions. As a result, an estimated 2,200 children die every day from diarrheal diseases.
We’re fortunate to have such clean drinking water here in the U.S., but we must continue to be vigilant about water quality.
What contaminants are found in groundwater?
Groundwater is a vital resource for municipal water supplies and private wells. However, it can easily become contaminated with pesticide, fertilizer, agricultural runoff, gasoline, oil, road salt, chemicals, and hazardous waste.
How does lead enter drinking water?
Lead typically leaches from corroded and outdated plumbing. Before the mid-1980s, homes were often built with lead pipes, faucets, and fixtures. Brass and chrome-plated brass with lead solder are also problematic. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), no level of lead is considered safe for consumption.
What goes into treating the municipal water supply?
Water treatment facilities add chemicals to the water—most notably chlorine—to kill bacteria and other dangerous microbes. Sometimes, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, known as chloramine, is also used. While there is a small risk of water treatment chemicals creating harmful byproducts, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the health risks of chlorine are low compared to the dangers of not properly disinfecting the public water supply.
Who regulates drinking water quality?
The EPA oversees the quality of tap water as provided by utility companies, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees bottled water, as it’s considered a food product. Then, individual municipalities make sure they’re following federal and state water quality standards, and states regulate the water that’s bottled and sold within their borders.
Be aware that no one regulates the quality of private well water. Rules for testing vary from state to state, but it’s usually the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure their well water is safe.
How do I know if my water is safe to drink?
The best way to find out is to send a sample to a state-certified lab for testing. This is the only method available for homes with private wells. You can also look up your municipality’s Consumer Confidence Report, which should contain details about contaminants found in your water supply and any associated health risks.
What do I do if my water tastes, smells, or looks funny?
While many contaminants are not a serious concern, they are certainly a nuisance. For instance, sulfur can affect the smell of your water, and iron causes discoloration and staining. Testing your water or contacting your utility company is a good place to start. Until you receive an answer and have a solution to your water quality concerns, you may want to start buying bottled water.
Where does bottled water come from?
Regulations surrounding bottled water quality have improved in the past 15 to 20 years, but some products are nothing more than glorified tap water.
At Water Boy, Inc., we source our spring water from Bear Hollow Springs, located near Lake Placid, Florida. Here, rainwater permeates through quartz sand and various geologic layers resulting in naturally pure water with very low total dissolved solids (TDS). Our drinking water is purified water originating from County Reservoir in eastern Manatee County.
If you’re hoping to prevent the risk of toxins entering your body from drinking contaminated tap water, consider trying water delivery service from Water Boy. We provide several options for home water delivery and workplace water delivery to ensure clean drinking water for all.
To set up water delivery service, please contact us today at (800) 799-5684.