Do you drink the recommended amount of water daily to maintain good health? Of course, on an active day you need to drink more, especially because our bodies are made up of 55 percent to 78 percent water. So, all in all, water is a good thing, right? Well, sure. But it could also be hiding unwanted contaminants.
- Disinfectants and disinfection byproducts
- Organic and inorganic chemicals
Chances are you don’t know what some of these are or how to get rid of them. The good news is that this article will help you understand some of these contaminants and how to eliminate them. Then your water can be refreshing and keep you healthy. Disinfectants are water additives that are used to control microbes. Byproducts are created by the water disinfection process. Microorganisms are something we prefer to ignore. Why? Many times microorganisms are associated with fecal matter. However, when they are in your drinking water, they bring themselves to the forefront by making you ill. Giardia and Cryptosporidium are found in fecal matter and these little creatures cause gastrointestinal problems.
Arsenic is an inorganic chemical that could be in your water. Have you ever seen the movie “Arsenic & Old Lace” starring Carey Grant? If not, you may want to consider having a movie night. It is really funny. However, arsenic in your drinking water is no joke. It can cause an increased risk of cancer, circulatory system problems and skin damage. Nitrates enter the water due to leaking sewage and/or septic tanks, fertilizer runoff and erosion of natural deposits. This is extremely dangerous to infants and can make them seriously ill and if treatment is not sought it may be fatal. It causes shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. Radionuclides refer to radioactive contaminants, including uranium. These increase the risk of cancer.
Eliminating Contaminants from Your Drinking Water
It is reasonable to expect that your drinking water contains some kind of contaminant. Water that contains an acceptable level of contaminants is safe to drink as long as the levels meet EPA standards. However, individuals who are not in optimal health may still wish to treat their water or purchase bottled water.
If you decide to purchase a particular type of treatment unit, you need to take several things into consideration including:
- Your water’s quality
- That product’s performance
- The cost and maintenance of the product
- What certifications the unit has to ensure it will meet your needs
Types of Water Filtration Units
Buying water filters is an easy process. There are many from which to choose, but here are a few types to investigate.
A reverse osmosis unit forces water into a semi-permeable membrane using pressure. The contaminants are left behind. These units are effective in eliminating all disease-causing organisms, as well as the majority of chemical contaminants. Filters attached to your sink, faucet or refrigerator use the same technology as the pour-through pitchers. They use ceramic screening, fiber or fabrics to remove contaminants. These filters effectively improve the water’s taste and reduce contaminants. Distillers kill the disease-causing microbes by heating the water to its boiling point. The vapor from the water is collected as it condenses.
Aerators force water over jets and remove contaminants that can easily become gases, such as radon. An aerator only removes gases–other contaminants need to be removed via another filtering device. When using adsorptive media products, the matter adheres to the filter’s surface or stays in its pores. Even just boiling water for one minute will kill microbes; at higher-elevations it takes three minutes. If you are unhappy with the taste of your water or have concerns about its quality, consider having it tested. Then you can find the perfect filtration process to make that tall, refreshing glass of water taste good and keep you healthy.