Chlorine is deliberately added to municipal water supplies to kill bacteria and disinfect the water you drink on a daily basis. While the addition of chlorine is a convenient way to ensure cleaner water, there may be a downside. When chlorine reacts with other elements within tap water, it can form trihalomethanes (TMHs), toxins that may negatively impact health. Carbon-based filters can help remove TMHs and excess chlorine from drinking water.
Did you know that nearly 15 percent of lead exposure in the U.S. comes from drinking water? Lead typically gets into the water supply via aging pipes within the house or in the neighborhood. Because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless, the only way to detect lead in drinking water is to test for it. If lead is leeching into your water from pipes inside your house, the Centers for Disease Control recommends running your tap on cold for several minutes before using the water for drinking or cooking, or using a water filtration or purification system that is certified to remove lead.
Giardia and Cryptosporidium
These microscopic parasites come from animal feces and can make their way into the water supply through runoff or sewage contamination. Although the intensive water treatment process removes most of these microorganisms, there is a small possibility that they may occasionally be present in tap water. Certain filters are certified to remove protozoan cysts such as giardia and cryptosporidium.
This potentially poisonous element makes its way into the water supply from natural deposits or through agricultural or industrial waste and pollution. According to the NRDC, as many as 56 million Americans may be drinking water with higher than acceptable levels of arsenic. Water filtration and distillation systems can reduce or eliminate the amount of arsenic in your tap water.
Thought bottled water was a better alternative? Think again. Although some may come from natural springs, the majority of bottled water is simply re-packaged tap water. Regardless of the source, however, bottled water is not subjected to the same stringent testing as tap water.
Clean water is critically important for many activities in everyday life, including drinking, cooking and bathing. To find out exactly what's in your tap, request a copy of your city or county's water quality report. Consider using a water purification or filtration system to ensure you and your family are getting clean, safe and fresh water that's free of chlorine, lead, parasites and other questionable contaminants.