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What is in tap water?

Updated on October 13, 2012

Is Tap Water Safe?

Unfortunately our drinking water today, or the water from the tap, is not so clean as one might imagine, and it may becoming less safe. In this article I will just discuss a handful of the potential hazards found in water.

There are some naturally occurring elements in water that are bad for our health. One of these is lead. Lead can be found in the environment naturally, but because of the industrial revolution, and the fact that lead is very useful in industry, lead has found itself more abundantly in our environment. Everyone today is exposed to lead through drinking water (from the tap), food, and from the air.

Heavy Metals and Chemicals in Water

Arsenic is very common in the environment and can get into lakes and other water sources naturally. But the use of fossil fuels, such as coal, metal production, and even pesticides used in agriculture have further polluted our environment and drinking water with arsenic.

Chlorine isn't friendly with any living organism, and that's exactly why it is put into water so that it will kill off any viruses and bacteria that come into contact with it. It is hugely beneficial for us since many waterborne bacteria can be deadly. Still, a constant exposure to chlorine is in no away healthy to our bodies; the question is how bad is it for us?

In countries, such as Canada, fluoride is added into the water. The reason for this is to help fight cavities. Still, many people question how effective it can be for our teeth since it has very brief contact with our teeth as we drink water. Brushing teeth and gargling mouthwash is a much more effective use of fluoride. Fluoride is added to toothpaste and mouthwash because it strengthens bones (our teeth). The problem is that if consumed, fluoride accumulates in the body and can eventually lead to skeletal fluorosis. The fluoride causes your bones to become denser, but more brittle.

So nowadays we are exposed to heavy metals, chemicals, and potential waterborne diseases in our water, but unfortunately that is not all. Almost everyone today seems to be on one medication or another, some people are on many drugs. These medications make it into the sewer. Water treatment facilities are not able to remove drugs from water, so this cocktail of drugs makes it into our lakes and into our tap water. We get exposed to all sorts of medications this way, and although in very small amounts it is becoming more and more concentrated in our water supplies.

How Can We Clean Water

Clean water has always been a problem for civilization. Technology has made water possibly safer than it has ever been, in regards to waterborne diseases, as they are far less common than in previous history. But with all the cancers that we see today, the drastic rise in allergies, asthma, and many other diseases, it is important to try and reduce the increasing amount of toxicities we are being exposed to.

A regular container water filter, or faucet filter is great for getting rid of heavy metals and chlorine. The under counter water purifiers work really great. And an even better way is to distill your water. If distilling water you need to buy mineral drops to remineralize the water. Water wants to have minerals, so distilled water will act as a magnet to all the trace minerals in your body and will flush it out of your system, but those trace minerals are essential for good health. Adding the mineral drops solves this problem.

Bottled Water vs Tap Water

If you thought that the problems mentioned here about tap water make bottled water a better solution, it's not necessarily the case. While it is cleaner in some ways it is polluted in others. In my next article I will discuss the major problems and even dangers of bottled water.


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    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      ...I'm almost afraid to ask, my fellow Canadian, I live on the north shore of Lake erie here in Ontario and must store my own drinking water as I do not have the advantages of living in the city (Hamilton) where I work - and that ironically is where I get my tap water from - my locker room at work - lol - hope their water is alright - lol

      ....remember the tragedy in the small town of Walkerton a few years back?

      Thank you for your this informative hub - anytime a writer can make you think and provoke your mind then she/he is doing their job - so nice to meet you and I fear that winter is our doorstep - I know all about the wind chill - I live but a 100 feet or so from the lake.

      lake erie time ontario canada 4:09pm

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      With everything we are exposed-to and threatened-by today, it's a wonder we survive at all. I often wonder how much better we would all feel with a life without all this mental and physical contaminant. Much better than we feel now for sure.

      Good article about water which we are running out of...Bob

    • Durant profile image

      Joel Durant 5 years ago from Canada

      For decades we have been so exposed to toxins and various chemicals that it is hard to know what are health is suppose to be like.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Good info, but distilling water is not really necessary or desirable. It's better just to filter it, and if you have concerns about micro-organisms, boil it for 15 minutes, cool it, and then pour it from a height of 3 feet into a clean glass or stainless steel container to help aerate it so it doesn't taste so flat.

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 5 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      You said it well.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      Ugh! I always filter my water.

    • profile image

      kiwistrawberry2355 5 years ago

      They should really use a different water than tap water in schools, because kids are being exposed to water that has hazardous chemicals and METAL...what are people thinking??

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