The human body is made up of about 60% water; the brain is 70% water and the human lungs are about 90%. We regularly lose water from our bodies in the form of urine and sweat. Health authorities have prescribed consuming eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily in order to stay properly hydrated. However there’s a difference between drinking tap water at home and drinking mineral water. If you want to drink water from tap at home, the question arises: is sink water safe to drink? What must we know about this?
Most of the time, the water we consume at home actually comes from the tap, regardless of the actions that have been taken on the water (filtration, bottling). Studies and reports from different organizations have shown that approximately 25% of bottled water sold in stores are simply tap water placed in bottles, and that this water simply comes from a tap source similar to that in any home.
Is sink water safe to drink?
Perhaps the biggest concern when it comes to consuming water from the sink, is the fact that the certainty of the storage tank (or reservoir source) having not been contaminated cannot be fully guaranteed. Storage tanks can be accessed by crawling creatures and flying insects and these may end up dying in the water. If your water starts to develop smells or tastes then you definitely need to have the storage tank checked out.
Lead used in making pipes and lead solder (used in joining copper pipes) are of course water contaminants. Water can also be contaminated by harmful microorganisms like bacteria and algae from various sources as well as chemical wastes (domestic or industrial). Improper disposal of wastes close to water sources can lead to substances like mercury, oils and acids entering into water sources. The Safe Water Drinking Act in the U.S recognizes just 91 potential water contaminants, but according to estimates, there are now more than 2,100 known chemical toxins present in U.S tap water.
Let’s return to our question: Is sink water safe to drink? In general, if you have already been addicted to sink water, you may probably be healthier than your neighbors who drink filtered or bottled water. In 2008, the non-profit Environmental Working Group discovered that some bottled water where contaminated with untested chemical and industrial material. The best way is to ensure good quality of sink water at home.
5 methods to improve quality of sink water at home
» Run checks on the water source
Inspect properly every water source and always invite professionals to do routine checks. Your home water may be sourced from a groundwater or surface water source. Surface water refers to water sourced from reservoirs, streams or rivers and these get easily contaminated by pollutants from the earth surface. Groundwater is water found deep underground and is formed in huge reservoirs where pollutants and impurities are naturally filtered off as the water rises.
» Use Chlorination method
Chlorination is the process of using chlorine in drinking water. It eliminates pathogenic bacteria and when applied along with filtration can represent the safest way to purify drinking water. Chlorine readily combines with chemicals present in the water and also with micro organisms, tastes, colors and smells. These uses up the chlorine and get acted upon by its properties. Residual chlorine is the chlorine that does not combine with other components in the water, liquid chlorine and dry chlorine are the two common types of chlorine solutions used in disinfecting water. Chlorine concentration of 0.3-0.5 mg/l is the expected supply from an ideal system.
» Filter your water
The process of filtration is a very popular method that’s applied when making water safe to drink. However, no matter the type of filter used, the need to purify water at its source cannot be over emphasized. There are different types of filters used around the home, such as:
- Faucet filter – also known as point-of-use carbon filters, the contaminated water is passed through a carbon bed that absorbs the pollutants and impurities. Faucet filters removes chlorine, lead, other industrial chemicals, and some bacteria. The filter should be replaced once or twice a year.
- Carafe filter – is fixed on water pitchers and filter the water as it’s poured through. This filter removes lead, chlorine and small sediments; it doesn’t remove bacteria and micro organisms so may not be preferred to the faucet filter.
- Reverse osmosis purification system – this is a large tank system which can be placed under the sink and connected to the cold water pipe. It pushes the water through carbon filters and a membrane that catches up most of the contaminants in the water. This filter removes almost every impurity from the water including bacteria, but also removes fluoride which isn’t a harmful substance. The filter parts should be changed and replace at least once a year.
» Boil your water
Boiling water allows the chlorine from heavily chlorinated water to escape and that improves the taste. However, this may not be the most effective process for eliminating micro organisms in water.
» Distill your water
A proper distillation system boils the water and collects the vapour, leaving behind a lot of bacteria and other water pollutants, although some gases are not removed. But regardless of that, distillation can give probably the purest drinking water depending on the nature of the water before distillation. At least 95% of contaminants can be eliminated from distilled water.
So, is sink water safe to drink? It probably is the safest water to consume as long as you pay close attention to what’s happening at your water source and possibly seek advice from water regulatory bodies.