Every day, we get up, walk to the sink, place our glass under the faucet and fill it up. This is such a common part of life that none of us ever really questions it. But it might be worth asking: Is tap water safe to drink?
For the most part, the answer is yes. In fact, the United States has some of the safest tap water on the planet. This is in large part because of the effectiveness of our water treatment plants. However, there are still some things to consider when it comes to the safety of your tap water.
What is Tap Water?
Tap water (also known as faucet water or running water) is water that is supplied through a water tap. This is the water we use every day to drink, cook, and clean. Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974, an act that has regulated the cleanliness of our tap water ever since.
What is in Tap Water?
If you are wondering if tap water is safe to drink, then you would probably like to know what is in the tap water you’re consuming. As good as our water treatment facilities are, you never know what could get into your water in the time it goes from the treatment facility to your water tap.
Even the safest drinking water is going to have some minerals and contaminants in it. Here are some of the things you would expect to find in your tap water:
- Fluoride is added to water in the United States to help strengthen teeth. Studies have shown that the risk of tooth decay has decreased by 25% ever since the introduction of fluoride into public drinking water.
- None of the minerals found in tap water are harmful to human health. In fact, a bunch of them are good for you! However, minerals can affect the taste of your water, often in a negative way. The most common minerals you will find in your water are iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Chlorine is added to water to kill any harmful germs or bacteria. Such a small amount is added that it cannot affect human health. But, if your water smells a little bit too much like bleach, you should probably have it tested.
- Every drop of water from your water tap has them, but not enough to harm your health. This is because of strict regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?
Though there is a debate, tap water is every bit as safe to drink as bottled water. You should receive a Consumer Confidence report every year from your local supplier that will tell you where your water is from and what you can find in it. However, there may be times when your tap water is not safe to drink. Sometimes it is detectable, but oftentimes it is not. According to the World Health Organization, most people can’t determine whether water is safe to drink just using their own senses. If you drink contaminated tap water, you might experience diarrhea, vomiting, headache, or fever.
Some indicators that your water isn’t safe to drink would include cloudiness, an unusual smell, or discoloration. If your local water source becomes contaminated, your local health officials will issue a boil water advisory. During those times, you will need to boil your water before consuming it.
How to Make Your Tap Water Even Safer
While tap water is almost always safe to drink, many people opt to add a filtration device to their tap. These tap water filters will filter out extra contaminants and bacteria and could also go a long way in helping your tap water taste better. There are different levels of sophistication and price when it comes to these filtration systems. An affordable option is a whole filtration system attached to your plumbing.
If you are interested in learning more about your tap water, please contact us today!