How is the city water in your town? Do you have hard water (like residents of Plainville, CT)?
Daily, we rely on city water for our routine activities daily activities. From cooking and cleaning to drinking, we rely on city water (or municipal water or tap water) that flows through our pipes. However, less than 1% of city water is used for consumption. The rest of our tap water remains for other activities, such as:
- watering gardens.
Is Your City Water Safe?
Yes, generally, city water remains safe because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates municipal water. Although most of the city water processed is not consumed, all of it is treated. As a result, all of our city water meets EPA drinking standards. Most cities and towns process water at treatment plants before EPA compliance testing. Upon testing, the water enters our community. However, as we all know, the quality of our city water varies from town to town and home to home.
To learn more about the city water in your community, then the Environmental Working Group constructed a tap water database, which identifies local water quality based on zip code.
Why is it important to take an active role in understanding your tap water? Balancing the risks of microbial pathogens and disinfection byproducts remains a challenge. As the EWG outlines, contaminants may remain after tap water passes EPA standards and enters your home.
Although tap water meets EPA standards, water processing involves chemical compounds. For example, processing removes contaminants, which changes the pH balance. As a result, municipalities add chlorine or fluoride to improve water quality and safety. If you have questions or concerns about your municipal water, the water company produces an annual report. Plus, the EPA provides additional information about drinking water.
City Water Benefits
Although the municipal water system is not perfect, city water provides plenty of benefits. For example, fluoride improves dental health. In general, tap water provides some health benefits. As Dr. Carly Steward explains:
“In general, there are no major health advantages to drinking bottled water instead of tap. It’s also interesting to note that bottled water may contain less fluoride than tap water, a chemical known to assist in good oral health. Under most circumstances, tap water works just fine. Regardless of its origin, make sure you drink enough and you will have fewer health concerns.”
Dangers of Bottled Water
For concerned homes, bottled water provides an alternative to city water. However, interestingly, some bottled water comes from springs or other similar sources. In fact, more than 25% of bottled water comes from a municipal or city water supply.
Yes, 25% of bottled water is the same as the local tap water!
Plus, the safety concerns that occur with tap water also exist with bottled water. Eric Goldstein, co-director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), explains that bottled water and tap water must adhere to the same EPA standards. In fact, in the last major study (which tested over a 1,000 bottles from over 100 brands) of bottled water safety, the NRDC found that:
“at least one sample of a third of the brands contained bacterial or chemical contaminants, including carcinogens, in levels exceeding state or industry standards…Samples of two brands were contaminated with phthalates, in one case exceeding EPA standards for tap water. These chemicals, used to make plastic softer, are found in cosmetics and fragrances, shower curtains, even baby toys, and are under increasing scrutiny.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottling companies, but considers bottled water low risk. This means the FDA does not inspect plants annually and consider it the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that the product complies with laws and regulations. Also, bottled water manufacturers are not obligated to inform the public if they find contaminates in their water.
Although, bottled water sounds scary, it does come in hand from time to time. As a consumer, arm yourself with knowledge. For example, if you need bottled water, then look for bottles with the NSF International or the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) logo or certification. These non-profit organizations perform annual unannounced tests that ensure the plants meet FDA standards.
How to Identify Safe Water
In the US, the federal and local regulations and water treatment facilities provide effective monitoring and safety standards. Although it appears their are dangers lurking in the pipes, these are warning signs! Remember, there is no perfect water. Fortunately, you can take steps to identify safe water. You can provide quality water in your home and ensure family remains healthy. To do so, take some of these actions.
1. Test the Tap Water. Simply test your tap water (or test your well water if you do not have tap water). At SolvIt, we offer a free service to our neighbors and provide a no cost and no obligation water analysis. The water analysis provides you with details about your home water. As a result, you can make the appropriate water treatment solutions.
2. Find a Canteen. If you enjoy water on the go, then use a canteen. A reusable stainless steel or lined drinking container contains less dangers than a plastic water bottle. Be sure to clean the canteen daily.
3. Drink Cool Water. Bottled water that is not stored properly does increase your risk. Try not to drink water from a bottle that has been sitting in high temperatures (like a car on a summer day). Store bottled water away from heat or chemical and do not reuse plastic bottles.
4. Add a Water Filter. Depending on the tap water test, consider adding a water filtration system. Water filtration removes particles and/or pollutants from water.
At SolvIt, we offer water filtration solutions for every need and budget. Our individual solutions provide you with a steady supply of clean home water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing.
Give us a call now at (870) 747-2000 to schedule your free water evaluation.