Don’t take the purity of your drinking water for granted. According to the National Resource Defense Council, many cities around the U.S. rely on ancient water delivery systems and treatment technology that may not be very effective at removing toxins. In addition, many water treatment facilities have aging pipes that can break and leach contaminants into the water they carry. Here’s how to make sure that the water your family is drinking is clean and safe.
Many water contaminants are colorless and odorless, so testing is the only way to know for sure if your water is clean and safe. More than 90% of the water in the U.S. meets the tap water quality standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. Your local water authority is required by law to send you an annual report detailing the quality of your drinking water and alerting you to any contaminants that have been detected. You may even be able to access you water quality report online at www.epa.gov/safewater/ccr/whereyoulive.html.
Unfortunately, according to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit agency that specializes in identifying toxins, more than half of the contaminants found in local water systems are unregulated and therefore do not appear on the water tests or reports produced by water facilities. The group reported that the EPA tests and regulates less than 20% of the chemicals found in drinking water, 41 of which have been linked to reproductive health risks.
If you concered about the cleanliness of your water, make sure it is clean and free of contaminants by investing in a high-quality water filter. Most decent filters will remove lead, chlorine, mercury, and other chemicals. A water filter may even improve the taste of your drinking water, giving you an incentive to drink more of it each day!