DO YOU HAVE SAFE DRINKING WATER?
Many families and households around the state of Connecticut (and country) simply assume their home provides safe drinking water. And for the most part, our local water remains generally pretty safe.
Although the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the quality and safety of water, issues continually occur around the country. Most cities and towns process water at treatment plants before EPA compliance testing. Upon testing, the water enters our community. However, as we all know, the quality of our city water varies from town to town and home to home.
To learn more about the city water in your community, then the Environmental Working Group constructed a tap water database, which identifies local water quality based on zip code.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN UNDERSTANDING YOUR TAP WATER?
Balancing the risks of microbial pathogens and disinfection byproducts remains a challenge. As the EWG outlines, contaminants may remain after tap water passes EPA standards and enters your home.
For example, as Healthline reports, many potentially harmful chemicals remains within EPA limits or outside of EPA testing.
“THE CHEMICAL, 1,4-DIOXANE, IS AN INDUSTRIAL SOLVENT USED IN THE PRODUCTION AND MANUFACTURING OF A WHOLE RANGE OF COMMON PRODUCTS, INCLUDING COSMETICS, VARNISHES, DYES, AND DETERGENTS. THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) CLASSIFIES THE CHEMICAL AS “LIKELY TO BE CARCINOGENIC IN HUMANS.” AND IT’S FOUND ITS WAY INTO WATER SUPPLIES IN THE UNITED STATES. ACCORDING TO A REPORT RELEASED LAST MONTH BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP, A NONPARTISAN ADVOCACY GROUP, DIOXANE WAS FOUND IN TAP WATER SAMPLES THAT AFFECT 90 MILLION AMERICANS IN 45 STATES.”
Fortunately for Connecticut residents, our state established dioxane tolerance standards. However, no federal standard exists for residents of others states.
However, the risk of other unknown or unregulated contaminants remains within the current system. Wendy Heiger-Bernays, PhD, a professor of environmental health at Boston University, explains the potential risks going forward.
“THE REASON WHY THESE THINGS START TO GET LOOKED FOR IS BECAUSE PEOPLE START TO MEASURE THEM…IF WE DON’T LOOK FOR THINGS, WE DON’T FIND THEM. THERE IS A WHOLE SUITE OF CHEMICALS THAT WE ARE FINDING IN WATER SUPPLIES BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ADEQUATELY REGULATED, AND THE ONES WE ARE FINDING ARE THOSE THAT ARE EITHER USED IN MANUFACTURING OF SOMETHING OR ARE A BYPRODUCT OF A MANUFACTURING PROCESS…WE REALLY NEED A COMPREHENSIVE WAY OF LOOKING AT WATER AND DOING A BETTER JOB OF SCREENING WHAT’S IN THE WATER AND THEN FIGURING OUT WHAT ARE THE PRIORITIES FOR REGULATION.”
IS BOTTLED WATER SAFER THAN TAP WATER?
Interestingly, more than 25% of bottled water comes from a municipal or city water supply.
Plus, the safety concerns that occur with tap water also exist with bottled water. Eric Goldstein, co-director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), explains the EPA standards for bottled water and tap water.
In a recent study (which tested over a 1,000 bottles) of bottled water safety, the NRDC found that:
“AT LEAST ONE SAMPLE OF A THIRD OF THE BRANDS CONTAINED BACTERIAL OR CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS, INCLUDING CARCINOGENS, IN LEVELS EXCEEDING STATE OR INDUSTRY STANDARDS…SAMPLES OF TWO BRANDS WERE CONTAMINATED WITH PHTHALATES, IN ONE CASE EXCEEDING EPA STANDARDS FOR TAP WATER. THESE CHEMICALS, USED TO MAKE PLASTIC SOFTER, ARE FOUND IN COSMETICS AND FRAGRANCES, SHOWER CURTAINS, EVEN BABY TOYS, AND ARE UNDER INCREASING SCRUTINY.”
Ultimately safe drinking water starts with the primary source. For example, most contaminants originate in nature, which possible causes hard water or hits the water supply as waste products. David Andrews, PdD and the Environmental Working Group senior scientist notes the importance of understanding the source of your home water.
Although not perfect, the EPA standards work and ensures safe drinking water. For example, Thrillist looked into the safety of both types of water and confirmed tap water must adhere to better regulations.
“BOTTLED WATER IS REGULATED BY THE FDA, WHICH DOESN’T REQUIRE WATER BOTTLE MANUFACTURERS TO DISCLOSE LAB TESTING — THE EWG FOUND 38 CONTAMINANTS IN 10 POPULAR BRANDS. DRINKING WATER, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS MONITORED BY THE EPA, WHICH HAS REGULATIONS FOR MORE THAN 90 CONTAMINANTS IN DRINKING WATER, AND MUST ADHERE TO CLEAN WATER STANDARDS UNDER THE SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT.”
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR HOME HAS SAFE DRINKING WATER?
First and foremost, we must learn more about the basics of water treatment because proper water treatment enables us to have safe, clean water in our homes. Although there is no perfect water, fortunately, you can take steps to identify safe water. To determine the quality and safety of your home drinking water, take some of these actions.
- Test the Tap Water.
Simply test your tap water (or test your well water if you do not have tap water). At SolvIt, we offer a free service to our neighbors and provide a no cost and no obligation water analysis. The water analysis provides you with details about your home water. As a result, you can make the appropriate water treatment solutions.
- Watch Out For Warning Signs.
Water that smells, tastes metallic or looks discolored means something is wrong. Additionally, look out for rusted or tarnished silverware cleaned with your home water. If any of these signs appear, then contact a local water treatment specialist.
- Add a Water Filter.
Depending on the tap water test, consider adding a water filtration system. Water filtration removes particles and/or pollutants from water. At SolvIt, we offer water filtration solutions for every need and budget. Our individual solutions provide you with a steady supply of clean home water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing.
Give us a call now at 860-544-2466 to schedule your free water evaluation.