In the United States, tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has set standards for what is considered safe levels of contaminants in drinking water. These standards are based on an individual’s age and sex plus consideration of other factors such as pregnancy or illness.
Although these guidelines may seem to be strict enough, they aren’t always followed. For example, some areas have higher than normal levels of lead in their drinking water because lead pipes were used when those regions were first built. This can cause serious health problems for adults and children who drink this type of water for several years.
Lead exposure can lead to neurological problems, learning disabilities, and behavioral issues in children. The good news is that there are many ways you can protect your family from harmful substances. Here are a few suggestions to help you protect your family from harmful substances in tap water:
Know Your Water Source
It is important to find out whether or not there are harmful substances in your tap water. Some contaminants, such as arsenic and fluoride can be found in small amounts. Others, including lead and radioactive elements, are only harmful in higher concentrations.
The best way to know whether there might be a problem is to have your tap water tested. There are several ways you can get this done. You can contact the local water company for a list of testing labs that provide free or low-cost tests of drinking water.
You can buy home kits that test for lead and other common contaminants in tap water. These types of kits are available at your local hardware store, drugstore, or online. So if your home is close to a factory that emits these substances or if there are mines in the area that use them it can cause issues for you.
Filter Your Water
If you find out that harmful substances are present in your water then purchase an effective water filter. There are carbon-based filters that remove chlorine and sediment from your water. Moreover, RO systems (Reverse osmosis filters) can remove many contaminants including fluoride, arsenic, and lead. Distillation units cleanse water by boiling it then condensing the steam into a clean container.
Be sure to change your water filter on a regular basis. Some filters need to be changed every few months while others can last for years. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you replace your filter cartridges.
When it comes time to buy a new filter, make sure you get one that is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). The NSF will only certify water filters that meet or exceed their established standards. They check to make sure the filter is effective in removing harmful substances from your tap water.
Flush Your Pipes With Cold Water
When you’re not using hot water, turn on the cold faucet and let the water run for about five minutes. This will flush out any lead or other harmful substances that might be in your pipes. You can also use this method to minimize exposure to lead in your home’s plumbing.
The next time you use hot water in your home, flush the cold faucet for 30 seconds before turning on the hot water. This will keep lead in your pipes from mixing with the hot water that comes out of your faucets. Use the hot water faucet for your morning showers and other tasks when you need a steady flow of water.
Test Your Water for Lead
This is especially important if you have children or pregnant women in your household. You can purchase a lead test kit at your local hardware store, drugstore, or online. Some tests can detect lead levels as low as 3 parts per billion while others only work with higher concentrations of the element.
If you test positive for lead in your water, call a licensed plumber to come and test for lead in your home’s plumbing. The plumber might recommend that you install lead-removal filters on all of your faucets. This is especially important if you have children or pregnant women in the home.
Bottled Water is Not The Solution
If you’re concerned about the presence of harmful substances in your tap water, bottled water might seem like a good solution. But before you stock up on bottled water for your family, think twice. Bottled water is not necessarily better than tap water and it costs much more than filtered tap water.
Bottled water is processed water that often comes from the same source as public drinking water. It is treated with filtration and purification chemicals before it’s bottled in plastic containers. Some of these chemicals include chlorine, which has been linked to cancer.
If you do choose to buy bottled water, be sure to check for expiration dates on the bottles before you buy them. If the bottles are outdated, they may still contain contaminants in even high concentrations. If you can’t use all of the bottled water before the expiration date, pour it out so no one drinks it by accident.
In this blog post, we’ve given you a range of methods to help protect your family from the harmful substances lurking in tap water. Use our handy guide for what to look out for and how to filter your home’s water supply effectively. You may also want to consider investing in a reverse osmosis system or using distilled water as an alternative if you can’t afford bottled drinking water on a regular basis. We hope that these tips were able to educate and inform readers about the dangers of tap water so they know what steps they should take accordingly!