Have you ever wondered “what’s in my water?” Most people do not think about contaminants in water very often. Depending on whether you have water supplied by a city system or a private well, the contaminants in water, along with the taste, smell, and appearance, can be very different. Water quality can also change a lot based on what part of the country you are in. Let us talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to drinking water contaminants.
The United States has some of the best community water systems in the world, thanks to the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. However, the drinking water contaminants covered under this act are always changing, and not every city is able to meet them all the time. If your home is supplied by well water, then there are no regulations around your water at all! No matter where your water comes from, it is up to you to make sure that your tap water is safe to drink. It is important to have crisp, clean, and tasty water for you and your family.
Test the water quality in your home with the Antunes Water Analysis Kit.
What’s in My Tap Water?
The most common drinking water contaminant in the United States is high levels of hardness. About 85% of people living in the United States have hardness in their water. Hardness is caused by dissolved minerals in the water and can be the source of serious problems in your home. It is more likely that you will have high hardness if your water comes from a well, but anyone can suffer from the effects of hardness in the form of scale.
Scale is the hard, white, or grey deposits that form on water-contacting surfaces from calcium and magnesium minerals in high hardness water. While a high amount of hardness is not harmful to your health, it is not pleasant, and can often cause other issues with your plumbing and washing equipment.
One sure fire way to fix these issues is with a Whole House Water Softener System from Antunes. By softening your water, you can remove the hardness minerals that form scale and prevent the headaches that they cause. This will lead to fewer scale deposits, easier cleaning, and fewer spots on dishes.
Another very common drinking water contaminant is iron. Iron contamination is experienced by fewer people than hardness contamination, but those who have high iron will surely tell you that it is just as troublesome as hardness, if not more so. People who have well water often experience orange or brown staining of their plumbing fixtures, water discoloration, and even a metallic taste in their water due to iron.
The stains left on plumbing fixtures by iron in your water can be difficult to clean, and will make your sink, toilet, and shower look dirty. The best way to make sure your fixtures stay clean of iron is a dedicated Whole House Iron Filtration System. The Whole House Iron Filtration System from Antunes will help to prevent the poor taste, stains, and deposits that can occur due to iron contamination.
Have you ever looked in a glass of your tap water and noticed that it seems a little bit cloudy? If so, you likely have high turbidity in your water. Turbidity is another word for cloudy water, and is caused by an abundance of microscopic, suspended particles in your water.
These particles are usually made up of dirt, clay and silt and turbidity usually occurs in unfiltered well water. While harmless, high turbidity will give your water an unpleasant appearance and can affect the taste. The best way to deal with high turbidity is by using a filtration solution such as the Antunes Whole House Water Ultrafiltration System to remove the particles causing it.
While hardness, iron, and turbidity are not harmful to your health, that is not true of all contaminants. Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and chromium are hidden dangers that may be in your water without you even knowing it. These heavy metals have no taste or odor and cannot be seen in the water. The only way of knowing if they are present is by having your water tested.
What happens if you drink contaminated water? It can be ugly. Heavy metals are known for their negative health effects and can cause chronic illnesses such as liver and kidney disease, nerve system damage, developmental disorders in children, and cancer. If you are worried you may be consuming water contaminated with heavy metals, the best thing to do is to inform yourself by having your water tested in a laboratory.
If you do have heavy metals in your water, the only form of treatment that can consistently and effectively remove them is a reverse osmosis system for your drinking water.
The unfortunate truth about water contaminants is that our regulations around them are not perfect, and new contaminants are being discovered regularly. These new substances often fall under the broad term “emerging contaminants”. These emerging contaminants are considered to be pollution, and include PFAS/PFOS, microplastics, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and many more.
The most concerning thing about emerging contaminants is what we do not know. Similar to heavy metals, they cannot be smelled, tasted, or seen in your water. Unlike heavy metals, they are not commonly tested for, so even if you send your water to a laboratory, it is unlikely that you will know if you are drinking water pollution.
Because of the limited testing the EPA has done on these chemicals, and that they have been introduced or discovered relatively recently, there are currently no government regulations around these chemicals. There is also very little data on short term or long-term effects of consuming water contaminated with emerging contaminants. But the conclusion so far has been that most are damaging to your health. The best way to ensure that your consumption of emerging contaminants is minimized is to drink water filtered through a home Reverse Osmosis System.
Although most contaminants in water are undesirable, some of them are necessary. If you drink water from a community water system, then your water is treated with a disinfecting chemical before it is sent to your home. The two most common disinfecting chemicals in the United States are chlorine and chloramine. These chemicals are necessary to prevent bacteria from growing in the water as it is transported from the water treatment plant to your home.
Most private well water systems also add a disinfectant regularly for the same reason. The addition of a disinfectant to your water protects you and your family from a wide variety of waterborne diseases. However, despite all the good that these disinfectants do, they are unpleasant to drink due to the smell and taste, and they come with some undesirable side effects.
Disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, chlorite, and bromate could cause liver and nervous system damage. These disinfection byproducts are also suspected to cause cancer. A simple solution for preventing these disinfection byproducts from reaching your body is a whole-home filter that includes carbon filtration.
When it comes to drinking water contaminants in your home’s water, preventing them from ever getting to you is the best solution. If you have ever wondered “is my tap water safe to drink?”, then Antunes can help you make sure it is. From hardness and iron to heavy metals and emerging contaminants, Antunes water systems can clean your water of the issues you may or may not know you have.
Antunes offers a full line of water products that can provide treated water to your drinking water, or to your whole home. Contact the water experts at Antunes today for health, ease of mind, and delicious water in your home.
Get ultrafiltered water from any faucet in your home with Antunes Home Water Treatment System.