There once was a time when the water out of your tap was as pure as you were going to get when it came to the quality of water. But times have changed and our understanding of water purification has developed. Studies have shown the benefits of drinking filtered water over tap water, due to the chemical contaminants hidden in tap water.
These chemical contaminants have been linked to a number of health complaints, everything from acne to lung cancer. So if you’re currently drinking the water from your tap with little knowledge of the dangers, keep reading – we have a solution for you.
It is recommended that the average person drinks between nine and 13 cups of water every day – and significantly more if you are exercising. Our water supply is clean, highly accessible and rarely (if at all) restricted. We take this for granted in the Western world. But just because the water looks clean, doesn’t mean it is necessarily safe or ideal to drink.
Public water systems collect surface water and groundwater to get from source to glass, picking up a number of chemical contaminants en route. This exposure to contamination can occur during drinking water treatment or even during the distribution to our homes.
So what chemicals is the water exposed to?
The answer is – a wide variety of chemicals. For example, the water found in rivers is susceptible to contamination from acid rain, stormwater or pesticide runoffs and most commonly, from industrial waste. The water known as ‘groundwater’ is found in public water supplies like wells. This type of water is highly susceptible to pathogen contamination due to contact with septic systems and the interaction with hazardous household products that have been disposed of in the water system.
After this contaminated water has been collected, it then goes to a drinking water treatment plant. The aim of this process is to purify the water using chlorine to remove the pathogens and toxins to make it safe for consumption. But the chlorine based disinfectants are dangerous for consumption in themselves, particularly when they interact with some of the pollutants in the water to create hazardous disinfection byproducts (DBPs).
This all sounds very scary. You shouldn’t live in fear of ever taking a sip of tap water – it’s okay to drink occasionally by and large. But if you’re sipping on 3-4 litres a day of tap water and noticing that your skin is prone to breakouts or you have other low grade health complaints, you should look into getting a water filter.
A water filter removes a number of contaminants including arsenic (a carcinogenic) that has been linked to cancer, aluminium , disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and fluoride which has been linked to a weakened immune system and cellular damage.
But before you start reaching for those plastic water bottles, please reconsider. Plastic water bottles are terrible for not only the environment but also your health. Firstly, 40% of bottled water is the same as tap water. Also, the plastic bottles contain a chemical known as BPA which is a synthetic hormone disruptor. Definitely avoid.
Ideally, go for a reusable, BPA free portable water filtration system that has a two part filtration process to ensure all the chemicals are removed, to allow you to drink clean, safe and readily accessible water.