Staying hydrated is a crucial aspect of living a healthier lifestyle. Your body is roughly made of 70% water, and replenishing lost fluids is necessary to keep your cells in good condition.
If you are not drinking the recommended daily amount, (about half an ounce to an ounce per pound of body weight each day as cited by Mayoclinic), you could be depriving the cells of needed hydration. Plus, a lack of water will allow toxins to build up within the body since drinking water helps flush them out of your system.
But is the water that you are drinking actually safe? For many people who live on well systems, there could be elements in the water that are harmful to your health. The same is true if you live in an old house that may have outdated or rusting pipes. If you drink water straight from the faucet without filtering it, you could expose yourself to certain chemicals.
How to know if Your Tap Water is Safe to Drink?
Typically, water that is safe to drink should ideally be clear with no odor or funny taste. If your tap water tastes metallic, smells fishy, or comes out cloudy, it could signal the presence of unsafe contaminants. Still not sure if your tap water is safe to drink? Here are a few things that could be wrong with it that you should test for.
1. Check if Lead is in the Water
We all know that lead-based paints have been eliminated from use after discovering the harm that they caused many people decades ago. But did you know that lead could also be getting into your drinking water?
Lead has been used for piping since the days of Rome, but now that we know how bad this metal is for health, it is no longer used to make pipes. However, if your house is on the older side, it is possible that your plumbing includes lead piping.
The older the material is, the more likely it is to corrode or rust and deposit lead into the water supply. You can conduct a home lead test with a kit if you are concerned about the age of your house to see if you or your family are at risk of exposure.
2. Consider Fertilizers and Pesticides
A private well system can be severely affected by the condition of the land around it. If you live near a farm or other land that is regularly treated with fertilizer or pesticides, then there may be a risk of those contaminants leaching into your water supply.
Since wells are not regulated in the way that public water systems are, you will want to test the quality of your water to ensure that any contaminants that are entering the supply from the surrounding land are at a low enough level that they cause no harm. If you discover harmful elements in the water, it may be time to upgrade the well to be better insulated.
3. Toxic Waste
If you live near a facility that produces a lot of toxic waste, then you should be very vigilant about the quality of your water. These contaminations could occur because of a landfill, poorly regulated government facility, or other industrial property.
For example, residents of Camp Lejeune were exposed to contaminated water from 1953 to 1987, and this led to many experiencing health issues like various cancers. Unfortunately, incidents like this have happened in several locations, and you could even be the victim of a similar scenario.
Toxic waste can create long-lasting and devastating health issues, and even though public water systems are regulated better today, it’s never a bad idea to test your water quality.
4. Consider Flooding
For private well systems, flooding presents a unique problem. When the water table in the ground rises, your well might fall victim to overflow, allowing foreign substances to leak into the supply. Plus, if the flood carried heavy debris, it could have dislodged the hardware of your well system, affecting its ability to pump clean water into your home.
Water could become filled with sediment and appear muddy or cloudy when you turn on the faucet. Though it may be possible to flush out the sediment by running a hose for a while, larger measures may be necessary depending on the damage to the well.
You can always get in touch with the health department to get your water sampled and tested. This is a recommended practice for all well owners since their water supplies are not regulated by the city or town that they live in.
Water is Literally the Stuff of Life
If you want to drink tap water in your home, then you must do what is necessary to ensure that it is good for you and your family. Water will keep you and your cells hydrated, helping with nutrient delivery in the body and removing toxins that build up.
But if you are drinking water that has high levels of contaminants, then you will be doing more harm than good. Even on a public water system, it is a smart practice to regularly test the quality of the water coming out of the faucet.
To be extra careful, use a filtered container to store tap water in the refrigerator specifically for drinking. When you make sure that your tap water is safe to drink, you are investing in your health.