Most people would think that drinking water is healthy and safe. Unfortunately, your drinking water may not be as healthful as you would think. If you have read the NY Times recently, there have been several articles regarding the E.P.A. and how it is under investigation for not properly enforcing the Clean Water Act. Water in various regions contain toxic levels of chemicals and substances, including: arsenic, barium, lead, manganese and nickel, amongst others. These substances are at high enough levels that they may increase your risk for developing cancer, skin disorders, kidney and nervous system problems, and other health issues.
This, however, doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water. After all, drinking water is very important to our health. So, what can you do to ensure your water is safe?
- Check Online: Use this interactive map to find out how your local area is doing in regards to its water supply.
- Municipal Report Card: You can get a municipal water report or consumer confidence report from your local city. Your town or city is required by law to provide consumers with this information. In these reports, you will see what harmful toxins and chemical exist in your water and how much.
- Filter, Filter, Filter: Use a filter for your drinking water, at a minimum. If your water is contaminated, bathing in the water can be harmful as well. So, you should also consider filtering your bath water. All of the filters discussed below can be bought on Amazon.com.
- Pitchers: Because they require refilling, pitchers are good for a single person or a couple. I’m a fan of Brita. But Pur is also a good product.
- Faucet Filters: If you have a family, tap filters are better because you don’t have to constantly refill your water pitchers. You can often just attach them to the faucet.
- Shower Filters: Shower filters act similarly to your faucet filters.
- At Home Water Test: Test your own water with an at home water test. WaterSafe Test is a good product and can be purchased on Amazon.
- Flush Your System: Debris and elements like lead can dissolve into your water, the longer the water sits in pipes. If water hasn’t been run for more than six hours, run your faucet/shower for at least a minute or so to help flush the water out until it gets cold. To help conserve the unused water, reuse the water for washing dishes, clothes or watering plants.
- Always Use Cold Water for Drinking/Cooking: Hot water tends to dissolve unwanted toxins more quickly than cold water. As a result, only use cold water for drinking, making coffee, cooking or even making juice from concentrate or baby formula. If you want hot water to drink, heat cold water on the stove or microwave.
- Take Yours With You: If you are exercising outdoors, make sure that you take your own water in a safe water bottle to ensure that you are drinking filtered water. Many park or public water fountains are not filtered.