Over the past few years, access to safe tap water has become a major concern for many citizens. It is vital to keep the body hydrated and stay protected from an array of diseases, including but not limited to the following:
- Hepatic steatosis
- Adverse birth outcomes
- Neurological conditions
Due to this, people in the country often debate whether or not they should consume tap water. If you are also worried about the same, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll discuss your concern in detail to help you make an informed decision. So, let’s cut to the chase!
Who manages the tap water supply in the country?
EPA (The Environmental Protection Agency) administers the drinking water standards in the US. They make certain that all the safety requirements stated in the Safe Drinking Water Act are met.
EPA does this by identifying and setting limits on potential contaminants. So far, they have set a legal limit on 90 contaminants, including microbes and heavy metals.
They also ensure transparency in the system. This is done by providing consumers with information about the water source, contamination level, and potential health risks in their respective geographical areas.
Furthermore, according to the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the water systems in the United States are the safest in the world.
However, it is noteworthy that EPA does not oversee the private well. So, if your tap water supply is connected to the private well, it would be best to conduct water quality tests. It will aid in learning whether or not your water is safe and free from contaminants.
How can you ensure that the tap water in your house is safe?
According to WHO (World Health Organization), it’s often challenging for homeowners to spot poor water quality. Though, there can be scenarios where the taste, appearance, and odor can be used to determine whether water quality is good or not.
Even so, your local water supplier will send a Consumer Confidence Report every year by July 1. This report will include information about the water quality and sources. If you didn’t receive the report, you could search the EPA website or local CCR for the same.
However, the scenario is different if you or your family members were in the Camp Lejeune base in North Carolina from November 1957 to February 1987. It is because CDC, along with other government sources, revealed that water treatment plants in Camp Lejeune contained volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
These compounds contaminated the water for over three decades. Numerous people in the housing areas who suffered from severe health conditions discussed above have pursued legal action through both individual claims and mass tort lawsuits.
If you or any of your loved ones were a victim of this incident, you must work with a top water contamination lawyer and file a lawsuit. The professionals will ensure that you avail rightful financial compensation for economic and noneconomic damages.
What are the common contaminants found in tap water?
The type and level of contamination depend on the area in which your house is located. Nevertheless, it is classified as follows:
- Physical contaminants such as soil from nearby lakes or rivers.
- Chemical pollutants such as toxins, metals, pesticides, and drugs.
- Radiological contaminants, such as harmful chemicals and materials, are often found at military and marine bases.
- Biological pollutants such as viruses, parasites, bacteria, and other organisms.
How to test water quality?
If your water supply is from a private well or you dwell in an area with less than 100,000 houses, it would be best to conduct water quality tests. For this, you can invest in a water testing kit or ask your supplier for one. The EPA recommends using certified laboratories for precise results.
In addition, if your house was constructed before 1986, you should conduct separate tap water tests. Houses built before the said year contain lead pipes that might contaminate the water. In such a scenario, it would be best to change the house pipes to preserve the water quality.
What alternatives to tap water are available?
If your tap water supply is contaminated, there are different drinking water options available to you and your family. It includes:
The first alternative is quite obvious – bottled water. In the US, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates the safety of bottled water, regardless of its source. The manufacturers have to follow the guidelines given below before they can sell the water for public consumption.
- Preventing water contamination from chemicals and bacteria.
- Using sanitary conditions for processing, storing, and transporting the water.
- Sampling the batch from source and final product before selling.
- Implementing strict quality control.
You can also install water filters to purify the drinking water. However, there are different types of filters available in the market. Some are designed to add taste to the water, while others improve its quality. So, make sure to learn about the filter before you make a purchase.
Not to forget, regular repair and maintenance of water filters are also crucial. For this, you can try DIY tips and tricks, such as using bleach and water to clean the filter. Or you can hire professionals to do the job for you.
If you reside in a place where water gets polluted easily, it would be best to consult professionals. They can provide you with a purified water filter.
Last but not least, you can always boil the water before drinking or preparing food. According to the CDC, it kills germs, bacteria, parasites, and other disease-causing germs.
Boil the tap water for one minute or until it rolls to a boil. Then let it cool down before you use it further. Use insulated bottles or containers to store the boiled water. This will help save time. Just make sure to clean the bottles thoroughly before adding water.
To sum it all up!
Tap water in the US household is often safe to drink. Despite that, it is critical to be vigilant and take precautions to ensure your family’s utmost health and well-being.