What’s the Real Story About Water?
Have you ever thought about how much we pay for sexy sounding water? Fancy or boutique water as it is called, costs 30 times that of basic bottled water and 1500 times more than tap water!
Every bottled spring or mineral water has its very own mineral composition due to the soils it has run through, which means water can taste anywhere from smooth to salty or fruity to complex and even a bit bitter or sweeter. It’s fascinating that a beverage with no color and no smell has so much variation.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was established in 1974 to protect the quality of drinking water in the U.S.
This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources. However, in any given year from 1982 to 2018, as many as 63 million Americans – nearly a fifth of the United States – from rural central California to the boroughs of New York City got their drinking water from a source that was in violation of the SDWA.
The findings highlight how six decades of industrial dumping, farming pollution and water plant and distribution pipe deterioration have taken a toll on local water systems. Raw and untreated water is obtained from an underground aquifer (usually through wells) or from a surface water source, such as a lake or river. It is pumped, or flows, to a treatment facility. Once there, the water is pre-treated to remove debris such as leaves and silt. Then, a sequence of treatment processes — including filtration and disinfection with chemicals or physical processes — eliminates disease causing microorganisms. When the treatment is complete, water flows out into the community through a network of pipes and pumps that are commonly referred to as the distribution system. Approximately 85% of the U.S. population receives its water from community water systems.
Community water systems are required to meet the standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act. However, in spite of the treatment systems some part of water does not fit to the standards. It could look, smell, and taste just fine but still have the problems. . Microbial and organic contaminants cannot always be detected by human senses. You might go years before realizing a problem exists. Many folks never become suspicious until people in the community start to get sick. Water near agricultural areas may contain harmful organic material from pesticide or fertilizer application.
Chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers in water may increase cancer risk and reproductive problems, and can impair eye, liver, kidney, and other body functions. Similar problems can result from exposure to water near industrial plants.
Which group of people is most at risk of getting sick?
Of course, it is pregnant women. The last research released that millions of pregnant women were at a higher risk of miscarriage and birth defects in their babies as a result of exposure to the chlorine byproducts in their tap water. Another group of most common problematic contaminants include lead, nitrates, pesticides and microorganisms (E. coli, Giardia).
So, it is very important to know the quality of your tap water and check it periodically especially when you live in old house and close to agricultural or industrial areas.