Your water, your health

Water pollution

Yesterday marked the first day of spring and even though the temperature outside is still somewhere between cool and cold in most parts of the country, I find myself looking forward to the warmer weather. You know, the days when you go out and enjoy the warm rays from the sun and a refreshing swim in the neighborhood pool. Or better yet, a day out at the lake, or the beach?

Of course, you probably would not want to go swimming in water that looks like this…but you might be drinking it.

Water is a basic necessity, but it is also a resource we often take for granted. Do you know what is in your drinking water? Do you want to find out?

Here are 3 ways to take control of your tap and be sure your drinking water is safe.

  • Ask for a water-quality report. Your local water utility is required to test the water they provide and create a report with information about the source of the water, any contaminants detected and also any potential health risks from consuming those contaminants.
  • Find out what your plumbing pipes are made of. The EPA regulates the amount of lead that can be detected in the water coming from your supplier, but if your home still has lead piping you may be picking up additional levels of lead from your own plumbing. If you cannot get access to the pipes to find out (in some cases the older lead piping may be buried underground) you can have your water tested to find out how much lead is present in your water. Water test kits are available to purchase online and can be used to test for possible lead contamination.
  • Consider using an in-home water filter. Water filters come in all sizes and serve a wide variety of purposes. Choosing the correct filter may seem daunting at first, but once you know what contaminants are in your water you can make sure the filters you buy can reduce or remove those contaminants.

Remember, do not be afraid to ask questions and get the information that you need. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have safe drinking water. When it comes to the water you use to cook, shower and especially drink, the more you know the better.

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