How to Avoid Unsafe Drinking Water
When it comes to what you’re putting in your body, it’s never a bad idea to be thinking one step ahead. And since water is the most important substance we consume (besides oxygen, I suppose), it should be the first thing you think about. Luckily, there are many steps you can take and resources that are available to you to avoid unsafe drinking water.
The first thing you can do to ensure that the water coming into your home is safe to drink is access your town’s annual water quality report. This will tell you the quality of the drinking water in your town (of course), as well as any alarming incidents that may have contaminated water lines in your area, such as high levels of lead being found in drinking water, and basic information regarding the signs and effects of contaminated water. This really is the first place you should look to know the quality of your water, as it will tell you, in detail, exactly what is in the water in your area. In addition, for those of you on well water it is recommended to have your water tested annually for bacteria, lead and any other known contaminants in your area. If it is clear then the recommendation is every 5 years. Also, if you live in an area with a lot of rock it is recommended to test for radon.
It’s very useful to know the telltale signs that your water may be unsafe to drink. The obvious ones are if your water looks, smells, or tastes strange, is cloudy, or colored. If you’re experiencing unexplained health issues, you may want to check to see if it isn’t your water that is causing you harm. If your sinks or bathtub are showing stains, this may be due to low pH levels in your water, or some other contaminants. If you’re living in an older home, find out if you’re using lead, as this is a major cause of lead in drinking water. These noticeable signs can be extremely helpful in quickly noticing if your water is unsafe to drink. Know what to look for.
Certain contaminants, namely lead, travel into your water more quickly when it is warm or hot. Because of this, let your water run for a few seconds before drinking from it, until it is as cold as it will get. This also allows you to quickly flush out your pipes and faucets before using them, which may slightly decrease your chances of drinking contaminated water. Do this also when filling up water to cook with, as many contaminants, including lead, cannot be boiled out.
You can also take preventative measures such as replacing old or rusty pipes and/or faucets in your home, or purchasing a water filter or other water treatment system, or requesting a water test. Westfair Water Systems offers a free water analysis, along with other water treatment systems and services, and can also answer any questions you may have. There is no reason you shouldn’t be well informed and prepared regarding the safety of your drinking water.