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Five Things You Need To Know About Drinking Tap Water

Of course, water is good for you and good for your health. But you might not know what is in the tap water coming from your home.

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tap water, illustration of a hot and cold water faucetillustration credit: shutterstock

The shape of water

You know that water is good for your skin and that eight glasses will keep you not only healthy but also keep your metabolism firing. And while we have all started filling up our Swell bottles with tap water instead of filling our oceans and landfills with plastic bottles, there is still so much more we can learn. Which is why we connected with Mike Mitchell, the director for advanced technologies at the Helen of Troy Health and Home, the manufacturer of PUR Water Filtrations Systems. “Water is one of the most critical building blocks for health. Make sure you know what your drinking,” he says.

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a glass healthy tap water, illustration of a glass of waterIllustration credit: Shutterstock

Know what could be in your tap water

In some parts of Canada there is still concern for metals in water, such as lead and mercury.

The water expert says: “Main source of Lead pollution is actually our aged water distribution systems,” says Mitchell. “Lead, in the past, was used extensively for water distribution systems.” Arsenic can be found in water from exposure untreated ground, like in wells, and from exposure to industrial pollutants and pesticides and biological organisms, like algae, bacteria and microbial cysts, he adds. “These are naturally occurring in many source water and the main reason municipalities use disinfection like chlorination.” There is a new way our water is getting exposed to contaminants, mainly from pharmaceuticals or personal care products that end up in our water systems. “These have been found in many source waters and we are still studying possible health impacts.”

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tap water metals, illustration of hot and cold water faucetIllustration credit: Shutterstock

Your city is responsible for healthy tap water – but so are you

The city does test water that comes to your house, but it doesn’t test what comes from the tap.

The water expert says: “The distribution system that starts at the consumer’s property line and delivers water through the home is the responsibility of the home owner,” says Mitchell. “For example, if lead pipes or even lead containing solder was used during construction it is the home owner’s responsibility to check and change in most circumstances.” So, what should you do? Mitchell says to check with your local municipalities for information, like in Toronto where some homes are covered by the city to be tested for lead, on how to test for lead in their drinking water at home.

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quality of drinking tap water, illustration of a water dropletIllustration credit: Shutterstock

Read up on your local water source

This information is available to you.

The water expert says: “Get to know your water,” says Mitchell. “Understand where it comes from and how it is treated. Each municipality creates reports describing the test they do and water quality in your area. After that, think of filtration systems like insurance. They have the ability to make water taste better but also can protect you from potential contaminates in your drinking water.”

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drinking tap water with water filters, water filter illustrationIllustration credit: shutterstock

Some water filters can help

Drinking bottled water isn’t exactly the answer. But a filter may help. Just read the packaging.

The water expert says: Mitchell says home and travel water filtration systems can vary (from reverse osmosis to carbon block), so look for a seal of approval from associations, such as NSF, WQA, CWQA or UL. “These organizations run specific tests and certify the capabilities of these systems to deliver clean water,” says Mitchell.

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