Water quality is often neglected by many people, even those who aspire to live healthily. It’s a well-known fact that people need to stay hydrated (a topic which this blog post covers in great detail), but the quality of the water being consumed is also incredibly important.
There are many parameters that affect your water quality, such as levels of bacteria, sodium, dissolved oxygen, minerals, and surprisingly even trace amounts of nutrients. There are many factors that scientists measure in specific ways to determine the quality of water.
Unfortunately, most of our lakes, rivers, and water reservoirs are filled with waste, chemicals, and many other harmful contaminations. Since water pollution can be the root of countless health complications, it’s best to be acquainted with essential water quality tips. Here are 7 things you must know about the quality of the water you are drinking.
1. What Is Hard Water?
You might have heard this term thrown here and there without understanding the true meaning behind it; hard water, which forms 85% of the water in America, has acquired its name due to the high content of dissolved minerals, and this is usually above the recommended amount. There are very specific guidelines to the percentages of minerals in drinking water; it is not a matter of lower or higher. In fact, even soft water in the U.S might be contaminated.
2. Bottled Water Is Not the Solution
Many people who realize the importance of steering clear from contaminated tap water decide to resort to bottled water, presuming it is the best alternative out there. Bottled water companies are required to meet the standards of clean and healthy water, but they are not the best alternative to tap water by any means. Just like contaminated, poor-quality water hurts our ecosystem, the use of plastic is disastrous and extremely harmful to our planet. Water quality specialists at waterfiltersadvisor.com explain that filtering tap water to reduce the use of plastic, while ensuring that the water you and your family are drinking is of good quality, is the much better and safer option. Filtering, desalinating, and distilling water has been realized by the majority of scientists as the healthiest and greenest option. While bottled water may be a healthier option, the drastic increase in the plastic waste can wreak havoc on the environment.
3. You Can Identify Hard Water
While it is hard to determine contamination levels in soft water, they can be seen and felt in hard water with side effects that are crystal clear. If you feel that your hand feels dry or itchy after washing, then it might not be the type of soap you are using, but the quality of your tap water. If your soap does not lather, it might also be due to using hard water. You can even notice the effect of dry water on your hair as it makes it less shiny and dull.
4. Hard Water Is Also Damaging to Appliances
Have you ever wondered why your pipes have a short lifespan? It is due to the scaly residue that results from hard water. These scales can shorten the lifespan of many home appliances, such as water heaters; and fixtures, such as toilets, tubs, and sinks. A study conducted by Ohio State University found that the average household wastes around 6 hours every month on cleaning the residue of hard water, including scale, scum, and hardness.
5. The danger of Water Pollutants
Usually, pesticides that are used on residential lawns, golf courses, and farms seep into the soil in the occurrence of rains. This is how groundwater becomes contaminated. Unfortunately, sometimes they end up in surface water sources. Suppose water that is contaminated with pesticides is consumed or used topically. In that case, it can cause rashes, allergies, digestive problems, and sometimes it can reach the extent of leading to a cardiac arrest. High nutrient levels in water might sound healthy, but they are far from that. Contaminated water is usually filled with a high amount of harmful nutrients; these traces are caused by the use of fertilizers. This overabundance of nutrients can cause digestive issues, which is especially high-risk to the health of young children.
6. Bacteria Cannot Be Avoided
Regardless of the country you reside in, water supplies are always exposed to bacteria. Whether or not they pose a risk to our health all boils down to the type of bacteria present in the water; while some might not affect water quality to a big extent, there are types that can cause serious health issues. Sometimes, water can be a favorable environment for bacterial growth when it reaches a certain temperature while being stagnant. If you add debris to the equation, the chances of the water being contaminated with harmful bacteria almost doubles. The effect of this level of contamination on our bodies ranges from weakening the immune system to a highly increased chance of premature death.
7. You Have the Power to Do Something
There are so many people out there who would love to make a change but aren’t sure what to do. With water contamination, you actually have an essential role to play in order to protect yourself, your family, and our ecosystem. For starters, reducing your plastic consumption helps greatly. This is because the reason behind poor water quality is almost always rooted in land contamination.
Another thing that you need to pay attention to is the way you dispose of chemical cleaners, oils, and other non-biodegradable materials. Ensure you get rid of these hazardous materials properly to prevent them from making their ways to our drinking water supplies. If you have a car, make sure that it is in tiptop shape to prevent it from leaking oil, coolant, or antifreeze. Lastly, you should make sure that your water in your home is filtered to protect yourself from any possible health risks caused by poor water quality.
Paying attention to the quality of water you drink is just as important as making sure the food you consume is healthy. Poor water quality is not only hazardous to our health but it also negatively affects aquatic life and the surrounding ecosystem. Long-term use of poor-quality water is detrimental to health, so make sure only to drink clean water. If you drink tap water, always opt for the filtered.