Understanding Water Quality
Water is the universal solvent—it picks up a part of everything it touches and that ‘s why we use it to clean everything.
So let us just say all water starts in the clouds, it’s soft, clean, and clear. Water falling from the sky as rain picks up dust, pollen and industrial impurities that are spewed into the air. Rain when it hits the ground picks up dirt, decayed vegetation, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and any other chemicals that are dumped on the ground. Hard minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron just to name a few are picked up as well.
While your water pools and collects into rivers, lakes, and streams the water picks up detergents, phenols, organic industrial waste and human waste including pharmaceuticals and hormones.
Finally, the water reaches your provider. Picking up everything it can along the way. To clean the water at the plant, they put in more chemicals in a process called flocculation to help clear the water of solid matter. The water is then settled through sand and in some instances carbon. One of the processes is called Dis-infection where Chlorine or Chloramine (both Classified by the EPA as a pesticide) is added to kill or inactivate pathogens, microorganisms and algae in the water. Keep in mind pesticides, herbicides, and industrial chemical waste, are not solids or bacteria.
After going through this process, the EPA says your water is safe to drink by the current standards. However, it may contain any number of these toxins—the result is sometimes your water has a bad taste or odor.
(Now you might have a better understanding to why consumers are spending over $100 billion a year to buy bottled water.)
The journey to your tap now begins by entering the transfer system that carries your water to your home. These lines under the road get 1000’s of cracks in them called “fissures”. The water moves through at tremendous speed causing a vacuum effect. The water and sewer lines run in close proximity to each other so the water pulls in raw sewage, dirt, micro-organisms, in some cases even gas from old tanks buried under old gas stations.
So the truth is the water you get at home is not the same water that even left the plant.
The biggest problem about water is that it can be different on any given day. What’s in it one day might be different the next and just because it’s clear does not make it clean. In our opinion, clear water could be more dangerous because it gives consumers the false sense of security in thinking that’s its clean and healthy when in fact it could be hiding chemicals and other contaminants that could harm your family.
“Drinking water plants are old and out of date, and water supplies are increasingly threatened by and contaminated by chemicals and microorganisms.”
—Natural Resources Defense Council