You Will Be Surprised to Learn This About Your Drinking Water
Water is the most consumed element and the most crucial foundation of human health, and yet, the water delivered to us on a daily basis is filled with contaminants. Seems backward, right? Despite hefty regulation, our public water systems are flawed, leaving Americans with a decision: take a chance on the quality of their tap water, buy expensive and environmentally harmful bottled water, or choose a method of personal water filtration.
To make this decision, let’s first start with what’s in your water and how it gets there.
Where Does Your Sink Water Come From?
Our drinking water comes from one of two sources: ground water or surface water. Ground water, as its name suggests, is collected below the surface of the earth in underground aquifers. Surface water collects in streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.
From these two locations, water is transferred to public water systems where it is treated for contaminants and tested to ensure the quality meets set levels. The levels are set and monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Once the water is treated, it is pumped into utility systems and travels through city service pipes into your home.
Two Paths to Contamination
During this process there are two ways your water can be contaminated. Water districts may be ineffective in decontaminating the water. Or, water that is treated and tested is susceptible to contamination as it travels through old pipes and into your home. Below is a more detailed explanation of both.
- Poor Municipal Testing
The EPA has established strict guidelines for water treatment and testing to protect public safety. However, not all water districts abide by the rules. Often, there is a difference between “Goal” and “Action” levels. A Goal is the established level where districts are supposed to target to benefit the public. However, if they don’t reach their goal target, they sometimes do not have to report their elevated levels or do anything until levels rise even higher to the “Action” level. The lack of information shared with the public puts them at risk without even realizing it.
A recent study found these surprising facts that reveal the failings of our public water systems.
- More than 5,300 water districts are not in compliance with EPA test standards.
- 27 million American residents—nearly 9 percent of the country’s population—are served by utilities that violate at least one federal drinking water standard.
- Almost 2,000 water systems representing 6 million people--including schools--are receiving water with excessive lead levels. (insert blog about what it means for water to have excessive lead levels). Even worse, many of these systems fail to notify consumers or tailor test results to their benefit.
- Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and California are leading culprit states.
Are you surprised by these stats? Most people are. For reasons like these, individuals must safeguard themselves by adding another step of filtering at home through the use of water filter pitchers.
Beyond poor adherence to government regulations by many water districts, there are also environmental variables that can contaminate water. Notably, pipe erosion or decay and root infestation create a pathway for bacteria and viruses to enter within the pipes.
Pipe corrosion is also a leading cause of lead-infested water (think Flint, Michigan). Water is usually lead-free when it leaves the water district. But if the pipes between the district and a home or business are made of lead (usually homes built before the 80s), the pipes are susceptible to corrosion and lead will seep into the water. Lead in water can deter brain development, cause attention disorders, and has been linked to kidney failure, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular health issues. Lead is especially harmful to pregnant women and children.
There is no further testing or treatment when water leaves local systems. Whatever happens to the water as it travels from the district to your home is totally unmonitored.
The Band-Aid Fix - Disinfect the Water
Water districts address the problem of pipe failure by adding chlorine and chloramine to the water as a disinfectant. Unfortunately, chlorine isn’t healthy to drink and while deemed “safe” in very low doses, many have concerns about its long-term safety. Also, chlorine and other natural organic matter can yield a byproduct called Trihalomethane which at elevated levels has been linked to cancer and adverse reproductive outcomes. And as you may start to realize, blindly trusting our utilities is not always a safe bet. So it’s also blind faith on an often unreliable source when we trust that the disinfectants work.
If you can’t monitor the quality of the pipes your water travels through, then your only surefire protection is to filter your water prior to drinking or cooking.
How to Improve Your Water
We’ve established that drinking tap water makes you susceptible to potential health risks. So to answer your question, yes, you should filter your water. That leads us to the how. Which method should you choose? There are three primary methods: bottled water, whole-home filtration and water filter pitchers.
Bottled water is incredibly detrimental to our planet from a pollution perspective. Drinking bottled water takes a toll on our environment and its resources. For example, 30 billion water bottles are manufactured each year. This production level requires 20 million barrels of crude oil. And unfortunately, only 1 in 6 bottles are recycled meaning 24 billion hit our oceans and dumps every year.
Better, but still with flaws, are whole-home filtration systems. They provide extremely high-powered water filters to the point of access where the water enters your property from the street. However, they rob the water of its valuable minerals that are imperative to our health. Even more, they still leave water unprotected from the filter to your faucet, and with whole-home filtration the disinfectants are also removed, leaving water even more susceptible.
The Most Effective and Cost Efficient Water Filter Option
Water pitchers are truly the best solution. They allow water to travel the length of the utility with the disinfectants necessary to keep it as clean as possible and then provide point-of-use filtration right before consumption. A water pitcher filter is the most economical and practical solution for your home. But what many people don’t know is that water pitchers are not created equal.
If you'd like more information on how to select the best home water filter for your house, read more here.
Selecting the Best Water Filter Pitcher for You
Many water filter pitchers have succeeded in selling a product that is incomplete in its filtering. They usually only make claims on removing Chlorine, taste and odor, or they last a stingy 30 gallons per filter use.
But as you’ve learned, taste and odor are the least of your worries when it comes to water safety, and there are more than a few contaminants to protect against. Educating yourself on the quality of your drinking water is important for the health of you and your family. And that includes educating yourself on the quality of your water filter pitcher.
The proprietary blend within REVIVAL filters is simply the most effective way to drink clean, mineral-rich water everyday. Our mini filters last 50 gallons and regular filters last 150 gallons and filter over 100 contaminants!
Interested in how our REVIVAL filters work? Read more here.