Other than breathing, what’s more, important than water to human survival? Actually, nothing else.
At this moment millions in America are turning on their taps with the assumption that all is well, and yet—obviously in Flint, Michigan, but almost everywhere—the health and purity of tap AND bottled water has come under increasing scrutiny.
Concerns include clarity, off-smells, unusual tastes. Anyone can spot these. Hidden hazards include toxins such as chromium-six (the cancer-causing contaminant made famous in a lawsuit filed by lawyer Erin Brockovich on behalf of the residents of Hinkley, California) which is found in measurable levels in many major metropolitan water services.
Chromium six is nasty enough that the equivalent of one drop in an Olympic-size swimming pool is enough to make an expert…jump out of the pool. And yet it’s allowable at minute levels.
Many Americans have become so fraught with worry that they never drink tap water. The same is true for others who can’t imagine drinking water that has been bottled in plastic.
What to do? Here at Wellness Warrior, we thought it time that we do a quick roundup of some of the top stories covering issues surrounding water, water everywhere…when there’s hardly a drop you may want to drink.
Tap or Bottled?
The first step is to find out how your tap-water quality holds up compared to acceptable standards (assuming you’re hooked up to a city main). For example, in cities in San Diego County, California, it’s easy to use Google to look up your city’s Drinking Water Quality Report.
Your bill may also periodically include a water quality report from your utility. It’s reassuring when you see that levels of bacteria and other contaminants fall within acceptable limits.
In a report “Is My Tap Water Safe To Drink” by San Diego Coastkeeper, a non-profit watchdog group, you’ll find a good example of how to understand your water’s test results, and what sort of information you should be looking for. (Their conclusion on drinking San Diego tap water? Yes!)
Bottled water standards may surprise you. It costs about 2,000 times more than tap water, so it must be much, much better.
Of course not: you’re paying for the convenience and masterful marketing campaigns that remind us of bubbling springs and cold mountain streams when in reality your bottled water probably comes from a tap just like yours at home. According to Scientific American.
To Filter or Not To Filter?
If you can afford a filter system (they’re all a bit pricey), use one. From the Brita countertop-pitcher approach to gym-bottle filters to backpacking and travel pumps to undersink and whole-house systems, the choices are overwhelming. “Should You Filter Your Water” from The New York Times is a good start.
Environmental Working Group’s National Drinking Water Database will curl your toes with its unflinching listing of contaminants detected in tap water. Search for your water report via your zip code and hold on—you might be in for a shock. Yet another reason to filter. And don’t forget to try and match your filter choice’s capabilities to the types of contaminants your tap water has in detectable levels, as best you can.