Have you ever filled a glass full of water from the kitchen sink and wondered whether or not your tap water is safe enough to drink?
I have. I grew up believing water from the garden hose was safe to drink. So, of course, tap water straight from the faucet had to be safe if your parents let you do it. There are plenty of parents who recall doing the same and thinking there wasn’t anything wrong than good old tap water no matter what hose you got it from.
But, then, when I became a parent, I found myself boiling tap water before allowing my children to drink it. I knew that others had the habit of boiling water that came out of the sink as a habit. But I started to wonder how could clear and clean water straight from the tap be unsafe?
And how do you know when tap water isn’t safe enough to drink? Not only is it safe to drink, but it might even be safer than drinking bottled water because it’s regulated by the CDC. Bottled water may use chemicals in the plastic that can disrupt your hormones. But there are stories of local filtration plant fails and drinking water containing lead, too.
Not to mention water safety reports (like the sad water crisis in Flint, Michigan), that revealed local water provided by water filtration plants as full of contaminants, microscopic feces, and traces of drugs like birth control that had been flushed down the toilet?
This happens when there’s damage done in the treatment plant, and so it’s important to understand where your water comes from and the process that is involved in purifying tap water and getting it from plant to faucet. The idea that all drinking water provided for human consumption comes directly from natural sources is a myth.
Although the idea of water coming straight from a natural water source sounds healthy, it’s actually not. In fact, it’s dangerous. Natural water has hidden bacteria, disease, earth sediments and waste deposited by living and dead animals that live or use the water for bathing themselves.
Not to mention humans who take liberties to use those same water sources while out in nature.
Tap water is collected by water treatment facilities and turned into drinking water, and yes, it uses natural water, but there are other sources where they get H2O.
Local water plants depend on the water cycle to get H2O from private wells, ground and surface water. Then, these plants take collected water to prepare it for human consumption through a combined process of coagulation and flocculation. Part of this process is physically and chemically purifying water with chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and ozone, followed by ultraviolet light, electronic radiation, and heat in order to make tap water safe to drink.
For families on a tight budget wondering if bottled water is a luxury item you might not need to afford—you may be surprised just how safe tap water is for your child (and you) to drink.
The good news is that water treatment facilities are held accountable by government officials daily, and water quality testing is done daily.