Have you ever wondered just how contaminated your home water supply really is?
Do you sometimes find yourself smelling something strange coming from the water in your faucet?
Are you worried about the safety of the water you are letting your family drink?
If any of these sound like you, then it’s time for you to learn about the twelve safety measures you can take against drinking water contamination. In this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know about how to determine whether or not your water is safe to drink, as well as how to keep it safe and clean at all times and how to clean it up if it’s already contaminated.
By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to take care of the water in your home in the best way possible. You’ll be able to speak to your local government and find out about the water quality in your area, and you’ll understand a lot more about what makes water contaminated in the first place. If you find yourself confused about the difference between pollutants and contaminants in water, don’t worry—this article has you covered there too.
There’s a lot to learn about drinking water contamination, but the more you learn about it, the better off and safer you and your whole family will be. Read on to find out more.
Before you can learn more about how to tell if your water is contaminated, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the difference between contaminants and pollutants. Although they both might sound like they are exactly the same thing, there is a slight difference between the two, and understanding that difference can make it much easier for you to understand the state your water is in when you start doing some further research. Check out these drinking water contamination facts to learn more.
There are quite a few different sources of water contaminants, and figuring out which ones might be affecting your drinking water is a good first step toward determining whether or not your water is really safe to drink without some type of intervention on your part. You might not need to be too worried about the potential for some harmless contaminants in your water, but you will definitely need to be on the lookout for harmful contaminants that may lead to pollution and all of the problems associated with it. Check out this list of both harmless and harmful types of sources of drinking water contamination to help you narrow down the possibilities.
There are twelve excellent safety measures you can take against contamination in your water. They are divided into three different sections: how to tell if your water is safe, how to keep your water safe, and how to clean up your water. Check out the lists below to see which measures you can take to improve the quality of water in your home, your city or county, and even in larger surrounding areas. Be on the lookout for signs of potential trouble in your own water sources as you go through this list.
This may go without saying, but you can actually find out a lot about whether or not your water is contaminated simply by looking at it. Take a sample of water and put it in a clear, clean glass that is free from soap scum. Let it sit for a few minutes and see if you notice anything swirling around inside it. If you think the color of your water is anything other than clear, or if you see a lot of things moving around inside your water, you may have contaminants. This is also a good time to get a good smell of your water and see if you notice anything unusual about it. If your water smells strange, and especially if it smells like gas, contact your water supplier at once.
You can purchase home water testing kits from a number of reputable sources, and you can pick them up locally or order them online. Locally, look for them at hardware stores or get in touch with your local water supplier to see if they are offering any free kits, as some of them do every now and then. Your kit should come with directions on how to safely and properly test your water supply. You should be sure to choose a kit that tests for pH balance as well as for contaminants such as lead, bacteria, ammonia, and more. Do not go with a cheap water testing kit, as these will usually only test the pH levels in your water. You should always be checking the bacterial contamination in drinking water as well as the presence of any toxins.
If you cannot find a water testing kit that is thorough enough for your needs or if you believe you might not be able to complete the tests on your own correctly, don’t hesitate to send your water off to a laboratory for an official sample testing. There are many labs around the United States that will test your water for any type of contamination, and if you’ve never had your water tested before, this can be a great first step toward ensuring safer drinking water for your whole household.
While this should always be one of your first steps if you believe you have contaminated water, sometimes it can be a difficult one. Water suppliers such as cities and counties should provide the public with information about the quality of their water as long as you ask. However, some of these municipalities are less likely to work with members of the public than others, and you may run into some trouble if you try to ask one of these areas for water quality reports. Be persistent, and don’t be afraid to go to other, higher parts of your local government if you find yourself running into trouble. In most instances, however, you should be able to get a recent water quality report with relative ease.
Every time you take a drink of water from the tap, pay close attention to the flavor of the water. If anything seems off, you might need to test the quality of your water again or get in touch with your local water company and find out what the problem might be. Chances are, something might be contaminating your water, and there is always the risk that it could be something harmful. If you don’t notice anything off about the taste of your water, then things are probably okay. This is a very simple way you can keep track of your water on a daily basis.
It’s true that boiling water is a great way to purify it, and in some situations—such as in a drought or when you are out hiking or camping—this may be the only option you have to get clean fresh drinking water. Boiling removes a lot of bacteria and other unwanted contaminants from your water, but boiling it a second time can actually be very dangerous. When you put water back in a kettle or pot to boil again, you run the risk of contaminating it even more with metals and toxins that might be present in the pot or kettle you’re using. If you need to boil water to use it, never boil more than you will use at one time.
Using fuels and chemicals in your yard is a potential for very serious consequences. If you happen to spill oil or gasoline in your yard, or if you use too much pesticide or house cleaner, those substances can seep into the ground surrounding your home and may very easily get through to your water pipes. Although this might sound like it’s almost impossible, it’s actually much more common than you might think. You may end up with very contaminated water full of chemicals if you aren’t careful, so it’s often best to stay away from using these products at home whenever possible.
Do you frequently wipe down the insides of your faucet nozzles? Although you probably wipe off the faucets themselves, the nozzles sometimes go unnoticed for a long period of time. Unfortunately, this can cause chemicals to build up on the nozzle, including salt, calcium, and other potential contaminants. When you run the water out of your faucet, it becomes contaminated with these substances as it passes through the nozzle. These are not usually very harmful substances, but in some instances, they can cause mild digestive and skin irritation in humans and pets both.
An under the counter filter attaches to your kitchen or bathroom sink and can be used to filter water that goes directly to that faucet. This is a good option if your water isn’t very badly contaminated, and if you don’t mind using it as-is in other places in your home, such as the laundry room or in the shower. However, most of the time, contaminated water in a home is too much of a problem to rely on a simple under the counter filter alone, and this can be an expensive way to solve the problem.
Once again, if you aren’t too worried about the state of your water throughout your home and you’re only concerned with purifying your drinking water, you can purchase a faucet or refrigerator filter to help be sure you always provide your family with clean water to drink. These filters can either be attached to your faucet using a few simple tools or just placed in your refrigerator pitcher-style. Just run the water through the filter and let it sit for a while, and you will have instantly clean water to drink at any time. It is important to keep up with the maintenance of these filters and change the filter media as often as necessary. This option can be good if you are concerned with bottled water contamination from plastics as well.
If you have city or county water, you have the option of putting in a whole house filtration system that can help keep the water in your home clean and free of contaminants no matter what you use it for. If you have a well on your property, you absolutely should put in a filtration system like this. Be sure to purchase one that is strong enough to handle the amount of water your family uses in a given day, and be sure to have it professionally installed if you feel uncomfortable putting it in on your own.
Last but not least, if you find that the water in your city or county is simply too contaminated for you to deal with, you can always campaign for safer water. This may take a while, and you might feel as though you aren’t making a lot of headway when you first start out, but if you’re very determined you’ll surely find that you and any other interested parties in your community can make a difference if you put forth a lot of effort.
As you can see, understanding the difference between pollutants and contaminants is the first and most important step toward determining whether not there is a problem with your drinking water. It is also crucial to be able to tell the difference between harmful and harmless contaminants, so you know what you need to be worried about and what you don’t have to focus so much on when choosing the right way to handle water contamination in your home. The more you understand about the causes of your water contamination, the better you will be able to handle the situation and provide clean water to your whole household.
Remember the twelve tips outlined above to help you combat the potential for water contamination in your home. Follow these tips in order to determine whether or not you have contaminated water in the first place, and keep them in mind when planning how to clean up your water as well. Of course, you should always be concerned with keeping your water as safe as possible, so practice clean water habits at home whenever you can. And always try to stay away from plastic water bottles, even the reusable kind. Even if your bottle won’t end up in a landfill, it can be a surprising source of contamination you’ve never thought of before.