Peace of Mind about Your Drinking Water

drinking waterThe human body is comprised of 50% to 65% water.  Everyone uses water.  We clean, bathe, eat, drink, farm, garden, and manufacture with water.  That’s why water is considered a critical resource and one of the most familiar types of matter known to man.  In any given day, you are likely to encounter water in one to three of its primary states:  it is a universal solvent, a refreshment, a life force.  Without it, we die.  The average U.S. citizen uses 75 gallons to 100 gallons per day.  Therefore, it is increasingly important to determine the quality and safety of your water.

 

The brain needs water to process the body’s functions.  It carries messages at the speed of light, and it needs water to conduct those signals.  If the water in your brain is laden with unhealthy chemicals or toxins, the signals may get crossed, delayed, or distorted.    Proper hydration also affects energy levels, and dehydration produces fatigue.

 

Good water quality is no longer taken for granted.  The quality of available water varies significantly, depending on the source of the water, as well as the age and type of water delivery system.  Hard water, acidic water, chlorinated or chloraminated water, the presence of iron or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or objectionable tastes and odors can all cause a decrease in the quality, usability, and—occasionally, but lately more frequently—the safety of water.  It is something we no longer take for granted.

 

People have discovered arsenic and perchlorate in their water, nitrates in farming communities, chloramines (see Erin Brochovich), viruses, fluoride, and pharmaceuticals that neuter fish.  Regardless of these findings, the United States still has the safest drinking water in the world!

 

Lead is not for drinking.  With the recent stories coming out of Flint, Michigan, it is a topic that is top of mind for many people.  The pipes that caused the problem in Michigan were installed before the city was even born.  With over 350 water systems across the country showing lead to be present in school water fountains, parents are frightened, children are endangered, and government leaders are scrambling to deliver solutions. 

 

Lead is a metallic element, tastes sweet, and can enter the human body in various ways.  Often, lead poisoning shows no symptoms.  Irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or stomach pain can be early signs of lead contamination in the body.  Damage to the brain, kidneys, and bone marrow can occur at lower exposures, and at higher levels, lead poisoning lead trigger convulsions and coma.  High exposures can lead to death.  Children and pregnant women are more vulnerable than adults. 

 

Safety regulations seek to reduce lead contamination.  The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) has set the maximum contaminant level goal for lead at ZERO.  Due to economic considerations, however, the US EPA has set an action level for lead in drinking water at 15 parts per billion (ppb).  This compares with Canada, where the regulated concentration of lead is set much lower— at .010 ppb.  Therefore, utilities must ensure that water from a customer’s tap does not exceed the 15 ppb level in at least 90 percent of the homes sampled.  That means at least 10 percent could be contaminated, and no action would be required by law.  If the water exceeds regulations, the utility must take certain steps to correct the problem AND notify citizens. 

 

Most lead in drinking water is the result of corrosion in the water distribution and home plumbing system, where solder and flux materials, as well as so-called lead-free pipe can cause contamination.  According to the Water Quality Association (WQA), a report shows that lead in drinking water can increase by more than 100-fold after 24 hours of contact with lead-soldering coppering piping.  As of January 2014, current regulation in the US requires all plumbing systems to be “lead free”—that is, it must contain less than .025% lead.

 

For peace of mind, consider reverse osmosis.  All these levels and regulations might be confusing, and you might be seeking simple peace of mind, if not a higher level of quality water in your home.  The recommended and preferred method for lead removal is a reverse-osmosis (RO) system at the point of use.  The most reliable brands are distinguished in their manuals for being approved by WQA to treat for contaminants such as lead, nitrates, herbicides, pesticides, and other heavy metals.

 

Many people love ROs because no chemicals are involved, and they are more effective than the simple carbon filters used in refrigerators. An RO uses a combination of sediment filters, membranes, and as well as carbon filters.  Most filters that attach to the kitchen faucet or plug into the refrigerator or hang beneath the sink are simple carbon filters, which will remove bad tastes and odors as well as chlorine and larger cysts.  The RO system, however, is more extensive in its ability to remove contaminants.  It features a semipermeable membrane that traps contaminants that would otherwise flow right through porous carbon filters.  Additionally, most ROs will deliver better-than-bottled water quality drinking water without contributing to the plastic waste.  RO systems are also more convenient and more environmentally friendly than buying bottled water.  Having an RO system in the house invites people to drink more water and less sodas.  It makes orange juice, tea, and coffee taste better.  Ice cubes are clear.  Best of all, your water will taste delicious, and you will have peace of mind. 

 

The average human body is comprised of more than 60 percent water.  For peace of mind—or simply to take your drinking water to the next level of purification—consider a Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station, and call De Anza Water Conditioning at 408.371.5521.