What’s in my water?
I come over with a shovel and dig a hole in your yard until I hit the water. I put a screen on the end to keep the big chunks of dirt out (most people don’t like to chew their water), then I put a lid on it with a small hole in the middle and hand you a long straw. Take a sip? I doubt it.
Now, I have some guys with a big drill on a truck dig a really deep hole, put a lining in the whole (the straw) with a screen on it (again, at least to keep the big chunks out), put a lid on it and run a hose to your house. Take a sip? Sure! That’s your well water now.
You have municipal water. I drop a strand of spaghetti in the water at the treatment plant. You turn on your tap. The spaghetti winds its way through pipes big and small, old and new, past tree roots, leaks, and bio-film (really interesting stuff that builds up in water lines), then out it drips from your tap right into your hand. Go ahead, pop it in your mouth! No? Why not? You don’t hesitate to drink the water it was in!
We are very cavalier about our water quality. We just assume (hope really) that something as basic as our water — vital and necessary — will actually be healthy.
Unless we are buying a new home almost none of us ever has our well tested (frequently required by lenders to protect their investment — not you). If no lender is involved there may be no testing. The EPA recommends annual well testing (pediatric groups recommend twice-annual well water tests in homes with small children).
Similarly, there are contaminants in municipal water supplies that you may be sensitive to and may not want to drink. Yet, annual water quality reports, which the US EPA requires water utilities to issue, frequently line the insides of trash cans and recycling bins without ever having been read. But there are things like lead, chromium-6, radium, Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), chlorine, chloramines, and fluoride, to name a few, that can produce adverse health effects under certain circumstances. There are things that are not even tested for, such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides, and other contaminants that could adversely affect your health, that are simply too expensive to test for or remove.
More often than not, if the water is cold, doesn’t smell, or has junk floating in it, we gulp it down in blissful ignorance.
The Water Quality Association (WQA) recommends implementing “Final Barrier Technology” to protect yourself and your family (for more information www.wqa.org or call us at 888-741-1711 or 303-728-4899).
WQA defines Final Barrier Technology as devices and systems installed at the point of water use — your drinking water. Typically, it’s the least expensive part of any water treatment system. On municipal water, a point-of-use Final Barrier system can often be used alone, without other treatment if you desire.