Posted by Sherijan Ivan Dela Cruz on Feb 20th 2019

Why You Should Be Cautious of Your Drinking Water

Why You Should Be Cautious of Your Drinking Water

When you take a look at a glass of water, all you can see is an invaluable substance so necessary to survival. The design of the human body proves the vital role of water in our overall well-being. In adults, water constitutes about 60% of male bodies and 55% for female bodies. Regardless of this importance, most of us don’t think about the quality of the water we drink. Usually, we turn on a tap, fill a glass, and drink. But, is the water you’re drinking from the tap safe? Read on to know more the truth about America’s tap water system and the reasons why you must think again before you enjoy your next glass of water.

Water pipe corrosion

                The foremost problem infesting the tap water system in America is corroded water pipes. Thousands of homes and schools utilize steel pipes for drinking. However, these galvanized steel pipes rust overtime on the inside, causing the drinking water to have a yellowish or brownish tint. This is where things get dangerous: naturally tinted water (tint not due to artificial coloring) is generally considered contaminated water. If you happen to notice your tap water not being 100% clear, have your water supply tested immediately and your water pipes checked to ensure that there are no heavy metals infesting your drinking water.

Unreliable water providers

 According to a new study, the demographic sector who are at most risk of water contamination is the rural and low-income population. In some rare cases, urban areas like the city of Flint, Michigan also suffered from the complications of water contamination, with the infamous 2014 outbreak of Legionnaire's disease catapulting the city's dilemma—and literally the underground pipes which allegedly cause the taint—into nationwide attention. But tainted tap water isn’t just a headache in Flint. In any given year from 1982 to 2015, somewhere between 9 million and 45 million Americans got their drinking water from a provider that was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. So if you want to make sure your water provider is compliant to safety laws, immediately contact the authorities for water testing.

Legal conflicts hamper progress

                While it is generally considered that the US tap water is among the safest drinking water system in the world, there are still 50,000 water systems in the country that are not in compliance with legal standards for safe drinking water. This could mean exposure of more than 41 million Americans to water contaminants with anti-coagulant, anti-depressant, or anti-biotic properties coming from pharmaceutical foundries that may be connected to—or worse, sharing with—the same water line you have at home. Studies have linked an array of unregulated chemicals produced by these foundries to cancer, hormonal changes, and other health problems—and even some regulated ones haven't had their standards updated since the ‘70s. Legal standoffs between the government and these companies have become common, but unfortunately not arriving at a settlement of any form.

 Many have resorted to bottled water as their main source of drinking water. And if, after reading this, you think that your local water source isn't up to snuff, home water filters offer a more sustainable option than bottled water. A wide range of products is available, from small-scale faucet filters to whole-home filtration systems. Most importantly, the next time you take a look at a glass of water, there must be a feeling of safety and assurance. Because water helps us survive!

Learn more about the dangers of water contamination on this episode of Inner Vision on KPFK Radio. Play the audio clip below.