It is essential that you drink water to maintain good health, but drinking tap water can be very unhealthy. When drinking tap and even spring water, you are also ingesting Trihalomethanes (THMs), chlorine, assorted hormones, fluorine compounds, and even small amounts of prescription drugs. This can be a dangerous combination, but you can avoid these unhealthy additions to your water!
Here’s what you should know about water, and how to ensure you are drinking the water nature intended for you to:
Tap water might look clean, but is often dirty.
Despite us being told that our tap water is “clean” drinking water, it is not what we would normally consider clean. Water travels through many miles of pipes, and along the way it picks up industrial run-off, pesticides, and contaminants. Tap water has been disinfected with potential carcinogens such as ammonia, chlorine, and or chloramines, and then “fortified” with fluoride. Although it is necessary to disinfect water to prevent water-borne illnesses, showering and drinking this chemical-heavy water daily can be very unsafe.
No joke, your water is not healthy!
The real problem is that many of us do not know about the contaminants and chemicals in our water. We also do not know what type of long-term effects they have on our bodies. We simply trust that our water is clean. The Environmental Working Group spent three years on an investigation of our country’s drinking water and found that about 85% of the country was drinking and using tap water filled with over 300 contaminants, including many contaminants that had unknown long-term effects and are not regulated by the EPA. If you consider that there are new chemical compounds that come to our attention daily, then the water only gets dirtier.
Bottled water is bad for the earth, and is not cleaner or better for you.
There is simply no good reason to drink bottled water. Bottled water is not regulated, it is expensive, and the EPA even says it is not safer than drinking tap water. It is also very bad for the environment. According to The Pacific Institute, about three liters of water are needed to produce one liter of water, and almost 17 million barrels of oil are required to produce water bottles. Also, about 2/3rds of those water bottles end up in landfills and in the oceans, which pollute and poison waters and our wildlife.
Filter your own water using a filtration system.
The best way to remove contaminants from your water is to use a water filtration system. Look for a system that is certified by the NSF, which is a non-profit, independent group that tests and ensures which water filters reduce contaminants. You will need to decide for yourself how far you are willing to go to filter your water based on your budget and your personal needs. A whole-house filtration system is ideal, but not necessarily feasible. If this option is not appropriate for your household, then you should consider investing in shower filter and individual drinking water units.
Types of filters:
You can go in three simple directions when buying filters for drinking water. These options are pitcher systems, countertop filters, and under-the-counter filters.
- Pitcher Systems do not require installation, are readily accessible while shopping, and fit easily into your fridge. They are pretty good at filtering out most major contaminants, but do not rid of as many contaminants as countertop filters and under-the-counter filters. While it is cheap to buy these pitchers at first, they do require regular replacement which can boost the cost per gallon over the other methods.
- Countertop filters use water pressure to move water through the filtration process, which can make water taste better and make it healthier to drink as it removes more contaminants than the average pitcher system. These systems do not require much installation – only a small hose, but nothing permanent. They also take up only a very minimal amount of counter space.
- Under-the-counters are rated highly in terms of how well they filter, and are great because they’re tucked away and therefore not visible. However, they are initially the most expensive option in terms of price cost per gallon, and there is some installation required.
Shower filters are a great investment.
Your morning shower routine should not involve daily exposure to carcinogens, chlorine, and vaporized chemicals being absorbed by your skin and breathed into your lungs. If you do not use a shower filter, your morning routine unfortunately involves all of those things.
Tips to cut exposure:
- Take shorter showers
- Take a slightly cooler shower so your pores are less open to absorb contaminants
- Most importantly, install a shower filter
Clean up your act.
Everyone should use water filters to support their health! It is a simple way to prevent toxic chemicals and carcinogens from harming your body. Before buying a water filter, you should check out The Environmental Working Group’s Water Filter Buying Guide so that you learn what filtration options will be best for you.
A great recommendation.
Some great filters come from a company called Aquasana. They work to remove most of the bad contaminants, but do not remove the healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium from your water. Plus, Aquasana filters are NSF-certified!