Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. At no cost to you, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Access to clean, safe drinking water is one of the hallmarks of an industrialized nation. Without it, a population is subject to illness and diseases. But if water isn’t clean when you get it from the source, how can you know it? And what processes are safe and effective for making it clean enough to drink?
Below, we’ll take a look at several common contaminants found in drinking water and how you can recognize if you have been exposed to them. Next, we’ll look at the most common methods of filtration and some of the pros and cons of each. This will help you to decide what, if any, action necessary to take in order to maintain your quality of life.
If you’ve ever been on a hiking trip before, you know that water is the single most important thing to bring along. That’s because even when you’re out in nature, any source you find may not be suitable for you to drink. That’s right. A clean, flowing mountain stream may be rife with parasites or other chemicals that would make you sick before you would be able to return to your home.
If you drink water that is contaminated, there can be a wide range of side effects. The most common is immediate gastrointestinal distress. Click here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4275100/ for more about gastrointestinal distress.
It may sound intimidating, but it’s just a medical way of saying your stomach is going to be very unhappy with you. Symptoms may include vomiting and diarrhea. Others may experience stomach cramps that can be extremely painful. They can also suffer from bloating.
What should you look out for when looking for chemical contaminants? There are hundreds of different elements that, present in improper amounts, could make a person very sick. Let’s look at a list of some of the most common.
Pesticides are very commonly found in drinking water. If you’re shopping for organic food at the grocery store and drinking untested water, then I have bad news for you: you could very easily be avoiding pesticides in your food and getting them somewhere closer to home.
In 2019, Monsanto was ordered to pay millions of dollars when a court found that its popular product, Roundup, was responsible for the cancer of a California groundskeeper. The groundskeeper was exposed to high amounts of the chemical every day at work. What does this mean for the average person? Click here for more information about lawsuits filed against Monsanto to find out more.
Roundup is one of the most popular pesticides used in America today. Billions of gallons have been sold since its invention more than ten years ago. Both hobby farmers and industrial farms alike make use of this toxic chemical. Because it is so widely used, it has contaminated millions of acres of soil and percolated into the H20 supply.
You wouldn’t open a bottle of pesticides and drink straight from it. Neither should you drink water that has been exposed to those same chemicals and expect to remain healthy.
Mercury is another chemical found in abundance in unfiltered water. You may remember the character of The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. He wore an oversized hat and was completely unpredictable, sometimes flying into a rage at the drop of a hat. That’s because when Lewis Carroll wrote his famous work in the early twentieth century, milliners used mercury in their trade.
Carroll’s observations were astute. Mercury was found to have disastrous effects on the mind and body. Not only do milliners no longer use the chemical, but it has also been replaced in many thermometers due to fears of any accidental exposure.
Iron is a chemical that many people might not see as a threat. After all, many Americans suffer from iron deficiency, otherwise known as anemia. But the chemical composition of our bodies is very fragile. Just like too little iron can make a person sick, too much iron can also cause illness.
Nitrate is another hidden danger. Like iron, we know that we’re supposed to have some present in our diets in order to be healthy. Crops need some nitrates in the soil in order to grow. But just like iron, too much can be a bad thing.
There are many methods to filter water available today. You might be wondering, whats reverse osmosis, and is it right for me? It is one of the most commonly used forms of filtration. It uses pressure to force water through a membrane. The holes in the membrane are small enough that it can keep out unwanted metals and other impurities, but big enough to let the purified water through. The result is very clean, safe drinking water.
Are there any downsides to using reverse osmosis? Not in terms of quality. But it does require maintenance. Filters have to be changed a few times a year in order to keep everything running smoothly.
Another common way to filter H20 is through Activated Carbon Block, or ACB Filtration. In this method, carbon is used to remove chemicals from drinking water. While it is effective, there is a downside. There are some chemicals, like nitrate and iron, which are not drawn to the carbon.
Another popular way to filter water is through Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. You might recognize Ultraviolet light as being the rays that can be harmful to our skin when overexposed. UV disinfection uses these same light rays as a way to kill germs. It is highly effective. The only downside is in the cost. It can be very expensive to install and maintain a UV system in the home.
There are many different ways to ensure clean drinking water. Whether you decide to use reverse osmosis or another system, make sure to test your water regularly that all of the components are working properly, and your water is safe to drink.
A sulfuric taste in your water doesn’t mean that it is unsafe, by the way. But it does mean that you could benefit from further filtration.