We’ve all been there, standing in front of our kitchen sink wondering what is actually in the water we’re drinking. Well, believe it or not, our good friend Uncle Sam actually adds quite a bit to the water that we drink every day.
If you’ve ever wondered what was in your drinking water, don’t worry, you’re about to find out.
Drinking water is a precious commodity, so don’t you think you should know what is coming out of your tap?
In this post, we’ll be covering the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you ever want to know exactly what’s in your tap, you can always have a local specialized agency do a simple test for the most accurate results.
So let’s dive right in, and take a look at exactly what’s coming out of your tap when you turn on your kitchen faucet.
Yes, believe it or not, our drinking water is chlorinated.
You know, that powerful stuff you use in your swimming pool?
Chlorine is designed, by nature, to keep levels of harmful bacteria very low. This is why it is important to have your drinking water slightly chlorinated in order to ensure that it is safe to drink.
Before you start boiling your water before you drink it, understand that this is actually a practice designed to keep you safe.
Bacteria are helpful and harmful. When it comes to water, you want to keep disease-causing bacteria to a minimum for rather obvious reasons. This ensures that you can drink water out of the sink without getting a stomach bug the next day.
So on this one, the water companies have your best interest in mind.
While drinking pool water is not necessarily a good idea, your tap water definitely has a safe and healthy level of chlorine in it.
Levels of chlorine are generally mandated by your local government, so you won’t have to worry too much. You should still be aware of the fact that if you do happen to consume too much chlorine, you could end up with cancerous health problems in the future.
So it might be a good idea to monitor the levels of chlorine in your water before you go to drink it.
This one might surprise you, but believe it or not, water tends to have quite a bit of mineral that flows within its current.
You can find trace amounts of Calcium in your drinking water, and this is definitely a positive thing. Why? Because calcium has quite a few important health benefits.
Calcium is great because it has a strong presence of Vitamin C, which is known to provide health benefits to your skin, bones, and digestive system.
Who knew you could be getting your vitamins in through your water?
So while you might think the water system is out to get you, there are definitely some positive things that you’ll find in your tap water.
A lot of our precious water pipes are made out of lead, shocker right? While most of our water is regulated, that does not mean trace amounts of lead can’t slip through the cracks sometimes. Lead is the big bad guy you always hear about with water, and there is a good reason for that.
If you find lead in your water, do not drink it. You definitely don’t want to end up with lead poisoning, and unfortunately, the human body absorbs lead with ease.
Lead is dangerous because it is a known carcinogen. So if you find lead in your drinking water, try and avoid it at all costs.
So while your water might be safe from bacteria, make sure that you’re not having a lead problem. This could cause major issues for you down the line.
Nitrate is something you can also find coming out of your tap, and while it might not be very dangerous for adults, it can lead to major health problems for infants or children under the age of six months.
Nitrate is known to cause dips in the level of oxygen in your blood.
This is due to the fact that nitrate reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, which makes it hard for your body to get the oxygen it needs to your cells and organs. This can lead to some major health problems and is especially dangerous in infants.
Atrazine is a deadly pesticide that can sometimes be found in your drinking water. If it can kill massive amounts of insects, it can probably do some damage to your cells as well.
This mostly pertains to those of you from the midwest, but it is important to know nonetheless.
Luckily, the government is attempting to ban this chemical altogether, so you might not have to worry about this being in your water for much longer.
Pathogens and bacteria
Remember how we went over the reason you’ll find trace amounts of chlorine in your water?
Well, this is exactly why.
Certain types of viruses and pathogens could be hiding out in your tap water, and they can cause all types of illnesses from the common cold to vomiting and diarrhea.
This is more common in countries with unclean drinking water, so if you travel frequently, make sure you know the area well. It can save you multiple trips to the bathroom.
Luckily, in the United States, these pathogens are rarely a problem. Trace levels of chlorine are generally enough to keep pathogens in your water at bay.
If you find yourself coming down with a stomach bug often, you might want to have your water tested.
This one only makes the list because it can be extremely dangerous if it finds its way into your drinking water.
As the name suggests, radium contains radioactive material, which means cancerous problems for those who drink it.
Luckily this shouldn’t apply to most people, but if you do end up finding this in your water, make sure you avoid it like the plague.
When it comes to your drinking water, you definitely need to know what’s in it or the consequences could be dire. You might be shocked by what you find, but at the end of the day, there is no need to get worked up. Most of the drinking water you’ll find is definitely safe to drink.
If you’re still nervous about what might be in your drinking water, you can always try using water filters. These can be extremely helpful for filtering out contaminants like lead.
Now that you know what’s in your drinking water, be sure to have it tested if you have any concerns about what could be in it.
Read Part 1 where we talk about tap water here.