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Is Your Water Safe?

Updated on April 30, 2012

Do you know that the water you are using and drinking everyday is tainted with arsenic, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, household solvents and/or many other yet-to-be-identified substances? These contaminants accumulate in our body in increasingly significant quantities and could potentially trigger chronic inflammation and other diseases over time.

Unbelievable? So was I. But reports after reports have revealed harmful chemicals in the water sources of major US cities, and worse results were also uncovered in many other countries.

How did these chemicals end up in our water? Check out the video below and read on.

How Tap Water Reaches You

To find out why our water becomes so polluted, it's also important to trace the way tap water reaches our homes:

  1. Untreated raw water from sources such as rivers, streams, canals and reservoirs is collected and pumped to a water plant where it is filtered and treated with chemicals.

    At this stage, the water is unfit for consumption because it is often polluted by industrial waste and runoff fertilizers and chemicals from agricultural activities. Natural water also contains natural occurring impurities like arsenic and waterborne parasites, and may also be polluted by acid rain as well as decomposed bodies of dead animals.
  2. At the water treatment plant, larger sediments like leaves and twigs are filtered off. Then, chlorine is added to disinfect the water to remove bacteria and viruses. Some water plants also add fluoride and ozone to kill more gems.

    However, the added chlorine can react with remaining organic substances in the water to create byproducts such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, which may cause cancer and reproductive problems.
  3. Treated water is pumped from the water treatment plant in large concrete pipes to your home. As water travels through the pipes, it gets contaminated by small amounts of asbestos, which can cause lung cancer and diseases, in aged, corroded pipes.
  4. Finally, water arrives at your home and is delivered through PVC pipes to your tap. PVC is made of toxic chemicals like phthalate and lead. These chemicals leach from the pipe over time, increasing your risks of cancers, lead poisoning and other diseases.


Though utilities do collect and analyze their water periodically to check for contaminants, water test alone is not enough to detect the thousands of synthetic chemicals that have polluted our water sources. These chemicals include pesticides, herbicides, industrial byproducts and many others which are still unknown to us.

As our quality of water continues to worsen, it is now a necessity to filter our water. And there's no lack of ways to filter our water. From whole house filtration system and faucet water filters to portable water filters like filter pitchers (such as the Zero Water filters) and reusable water bottles with filters.


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    • mdlawyer profile image

      mdlawyer 8 years ago

      Highly informative hub on water impurities. Thank you.