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How Safe is Your Drinking Water

Updated on February 8, 2015

How Safe is Your Drinking Water

Many of us assume that our drinking water is safe to drink. But how do you really know?

Depending on where you live, you could be drinking city water or water that comes from a private well or a spring.

There are obvious signs if your drinking water is contaminated. The water may be cloudy, discolored when it suppose to be clear. There may be an odor. When you taste the water it has a funny taste. These are all obvious signs.

Then there are the more dangerous types of contamination that are not obvious at all. These are the ones that your senses do not pick up. The water looks clear, no smell and no strange taste. This makes it easy to assume that drinking this clear liquid is safe.

The EPA has a set of standards for safe drinking water. To answer questions or to find any reports that have been filed, you can contact the EPA at their Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 1-800-426-4791

Photo Credit: Water Tower on public-domain-image.com

Playing it Safe with Water Filters

Pitchers, for the faucet and larger types of filtering systems

There are many types of water filtering systems. They all have the same purpose. This is to filter the impurities that come from the original source of this important liquid that we drink on a daily basis.

There is also bottled water that you can buy. But beware; much of this bottled water actually comes for the tap. Read if it is distilled or comes from a spring.

Water Filtering Systems for Any Where and Any Place - Picnics, Camping, Survival, Under the Sink, Personal Water Bottle and Water Filter for the Pet

This is to show the variety of water filtering systems: Ideal for the outdoors, for picnics, camping and emergency use. Under the sink filter that does not need to have the attached filter on top of the faucet. You can have the knowledge and wonderful comfort to know that your pet will be free of all the contaminants of the tap water with the water filter for the pet.

Clean and Healthy Drinking Water

All households should have either faucet or pitcher filtering system.

Water Bottles for on the Go - Handy water when traveling

Traveldestinations Water Bottles
Traveldestinations Water Bottles

The Traveldestinations Water Bottles on Zazzle has souvenir bottles to drink from on the go from all of the 50 states of America, plus USA flag text designs. Just click on this link above to visit there.

Note: There are three different sizes and eleven colors to choose from.

Survival in the Wild - How to make it safe

When I was younger, camping with the girl scouts was a fun trip. It was primitive camping. I was happy that we did have a building with flush-able toilets and water coming out of the faucets.

Going on a hiking trip we were told to bring an empty canteen along. One of the scout leaders brought us to a stream. We could see small fish swimming around, rocks, mud and moss on the bottom of the stream. She explained to us about survivor skills on if we were lost in the wilderness without fresh drinking water, what we would do. Coming to a stream like this, how could we make this safe?

Our scout leader took out the drinking water tablets to drop into our canteen after filling it up with the stream water. After the process, we had to drink the water. It may have been safe, but all I could picture were the small fish and other impurities as I brought it up to my mouth. It still had a funny taste, safe or not.

Photo credit: publicdomainpictures.net

How Safe is Your City Water? - Can you trust the city's report?

The chemicals and contaminants all depend on if you live in the rural areas or city. Personally, I wouldn't say that private wells from the rural areas are less safe then city water. I live in the city and they claim that their water is safe and tested constantly.

After moving into another home we relied on the city's report of the safe water. Occasionally these reports will be available in the newspaper and sometimes they will mail the report showing the safe amount of chemicals in the city water.

I have drunk water early in the morning one time when they must have been flushing out the system. About fifteen minutes later and throughout the entire day after drinking this water, I had a bad case of diarrhea.

A few years ago, after letting our tap water run a couple of minutes, I had filled up a glass of this supposedly refreshing liquid. I was cloudy and had a strong fish odor. We called the city in to test our water. The person in my home said that it didn't look or smell good. He took some samples and then checked around the house. He said that they would let us know within a few days. A week later a report came back stating that the water was safe.

Right before the report came back, the water seemed to have cleared up. The fish smell was replaced with a high chlorine taste. Taking a taste of the water reminded me of drinking a bottle of bleach.

This is when we decided to add a filtering system to our faucet. I am glad we did.

Photo Credit: Glass Of Water on publicdomainpictures.net

Making Water Safe - Boiling Water and Bring in Water

When you are out in the wilderness and water is not handy coming out of a faucet, how to you make safe water from snow?

We often take for granted the things that we do have. Safe water is a luxury in some poor countries. It is a good feeling to bring clean drinking water.

Faucet Water Filtering System

Filters cool refreshing water

Many quality Faucet Water Filters that are available online.

We started out with the PUR Advanced Faucet Water Filter. It is a very good filter. But not all faucets can handle this water filter. There is a good amount of weight and it did not want to work well with our faucet. This does not mean that it won't be a match for you.

We now have the Brita On Tap Faucet Water Filter System and love it. It is lightweight and ideal for us.

The brands that are shown here are clickable images to the Amazon site for these faucet water filters. The brands that are covered here are well known brands and sure to be to your satisfaction. Shown are both for the faucet and under the sink types.

Pur, Brita, Culligan, InstaPure and Filtrete.

How Safe is Private Well Water? - How often do you have this checked?

A private well has to be treated by you and checked for contaminated water before sharing it with your family.

Your private well is not regulated by the EPA. You are responsible to make sure that it is up to the standards to make it safe. As a homeowner you must maintain and set up special precautions. Purchase the right type of water supplies and check the water before drinking it. A water filtering pitcher would come in handy for rural families.

Some risk factors to look for when living in a rural environment and owning a private well are:

1. Do you live on a farm? The feces from cattle can contaminate the well water if not properly constructed.

2. A poorly installed well can allow insects and rodents in. Wells can easily become infected with bacteria carried from these pests.

Testing the water through a lab service is a good idea on a scheduled basis.

Photo Credit: Well Caxias at publicdomainpictures.net by Juan Carlos Gonzalez

Water Filtering Pitchers

Delivers safe and cool drinking water

Some of these systems are as easy as purchasing a water filtering pitcher. These are pitchers that have a filter within. The water from your faucet filters through the filter. This collects the contaminates that are present. The water that is filtered through is kept in the pitcher which you can place in your refrigerator for a nice cold refreshing drink.

When we lived in our haunted house we had a pitcher that had this system to help give us the nice refreshing and contaminate free drink of water. I would place it in our refrigerator to keep it cold. At the top of the filter was an area where it showed green when first using the filter and when it turned red then it was time to change the filter. Usually it states t change the filter every few months or earlier, depending on how contaminated your water happens to be.

The pitcher was very handy and I did end up buying a couple of these. However when we moved to another house, these pitchers seemed to have disappeared.

Below are the different water pitchers that are available on Amazon, These are clickable to get to the actual product. To see all that there is to offer Find all the Water Pitcher Filters Here along with the filter replacements.

The Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher is the first photo here. It is also the pitcher that seems to be missing. It could be somewhere in the basement. Or maybe our ghost wanted fresh pure water.

Water Bottles for Everyone - Designs about everything

Sandyspider Water Bottles on Zazzle
Sandyspider Water Bottles on Zazzle

Sandyspider Water Bottles on Zazzle has designs on these gift products ready for the holidays, birthdays and all special occasions. Many, many different photos and designs are available here. You can even create your own.

These are ideal for on the go when you need to bring some good filtered water along.

Writer for Hire

I have been writing articles since 2008. If you enjoyed this article my services are available to write for you. Please contact me for more information. sandy@sandyspider.com

Do you have concerns about your drinking water?

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    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Sandy- Grat article. I have lived in Florida for 4 years now and I have developed a skin rash along with dry skin and dry hair. After several dermatologists, and their tests, the prognosis was; "We don't know".

      The reason I mention this is that when we go back to Virginia to visit family and friends a few times a year, we stay for 3 weeks or so. And, guess what? My skin clears up, the rash goes away, my hair becomes more healthy and I swear it's the Florida water.

      For some reason, when you talk about the water down here, everyone shrugs their shoulders and says; "Thats just the way it is down here. The Water Sucks!"

      I have dual water filters, and a reverse osmosis system on our drinking water, all to no avail.

      So, I agree with you that everyone needs to know the state of their water supply and especially when there is a change to the supply system.

    • SandyMertens profile image
      Author

      Sandy Mertens 3 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Hooks and Needles I know there is a certain amount of chlorine that they state is okay in the water. But after that, I am sure it is not good for you,

    • Hooks and Needles profile image

      Hooks and Needles 3 years ago

      I wonder how safe chlorine in the water is. It can't be good for you.

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Excellent lens on a topic that can help everyone. Thank you for publishing this lens. It was an enjoyable read.

    • SandyMertens profile image
      Author

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      @ZenandChic: That is a good choice. Though bottled water may end up more expensive then a water filter.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 4 years ago

      I buy bottled water so I don't worry about local water for drinking, but I do use it for cooking

    • SandyMertens profile image
      Author

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      @GregoryMoore: We are suppose to have good drinking water too with a yearly report. But when it taste like I am drinking bleach, I wouldn't say it was all that safe.

    • SandyMertens profile image
      Author

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      @oztoo lm: You never know the impurities that come from rainwater. If there is any pollution in the air.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 4 years ago

      We do take water for granted don't we. We rely on rainwater collected in tanks. It's probably a good idea to use filters for this too. I'm so used to drinking it that I can't stand the chemical taste of town water.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

      We luckily have good drinking water in our town. The water company sends out test results annually in one of the bills. We still filter though.

    • SandyMertens profile image
      Author

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      @RinchenChodron: Glad you liked it.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 4 years ago

      Nice water filters to choose from. Great lens! Sundae ;-)

    • SandyMertens profile image
      Author

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      @TapIn2U: Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Very interesting and cleaver lens.

    • SandyMertens profile image
      Author

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      @OhMe: Spring water is good. Thanks for commenting.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      These are sure some nice water filters. We have good water but mainly drink spring water. We get 4 big jugs a month and they connect to a cooler which is nice and handy.