What's in your city water supply? This is a critical question, as you may focus on eating healthy, wholesome foods but fail to examine the quality of the water you're drinking. Why does this matter? Since you drink significant amounts of water on a daily basis, you should consider it to be a large part of a healthy diet, as if it has impurities, chemicals or other toxins within it, you could be harming your health over the long-term.
While some people have chosen to go with bottled water in order to ensure that they're drinking pure H2O which is good for their body, the cost for this option can be quite high. This is especially true if you want to provide good, drinkable water for your entire family. Therefore, using a high quality water filter or water filtration system is an excellent alternative, as you can use faucet water and transform it into sparkling clean drinking water.
Already posed above, this question can be answered in a couple of different ways. The best course of action is to contact your local water services, water board or water department responsible for the water in your area. Why? They should be able to provide you with a detailed water report, which will outline the results of quite a few water quality tests. This water report may enumerate how many impurities in parts per million (PPM) or even parts per trillion (PPT) there are in your faucet water, and it often breaks these down into further sub-categories of impurity types.
Information like this will give you a good idea of the water quality in your city, town or county and it can help you decide the type of water filter that will best fit your unique needs. However, it is important to note that your water provider is only required to test for and monitor certain contaminants, so even a clean water report doesn't mean that some contaminants aren't present in your tap water. Another option is to purchase a water testing kit, which will allow you to test your faucet water for yourself.
Finally, keep in mind that many communities purposely add fluoride (or one of its forms) to the water supply, in an effort to reduce cavities (1). While not considered a contaminant by regulators (in fact, they view it as a beneficial addition to water) many people believe it is harmful to health when ingested on a long-term basis (2). This alone can make a water filter an excellent choice, if you want to remove the fluoride from your drinking water.
When wondering what's in your city water supply, keep in mind that you can't just assume the drinking water is clean if you live further out towards the country. Runoff from farms can contain many types of harmful chemicals, such as pesticides, which can eventually find their way into your water supply. Whether you live in the heart of a city or out towards the outskirts, it is important that you take steps to protect you and your family. While the city does try to filter out toxins to a certain acceptable limit, your idea of what is acceptable for your health may not coincide with the regulations that govern city water supply.
As already mentioned, pesticides can make their way into your drinking water, but the list of possible contaminants doesn't stop there. For example, according to recent unpublished research conducted by U.S. Geological Survey and EPA researchers, out of the twenty-five different utilities (water providers) whose water was tested, at least nine had contaminants found in their treated drinking water. How many contaminants were discovered?
Twenty-one different types, with eighteen of these being chemicals that aren't required to be tested for or monitored in the drinking water supply. While most of these were found to be low in concentration, not much is known about the health impact of constant low-level exposure to these substances. Yet, some of the contaminants found are known all too well; one perfluorinated compound labeled PFOA, has been associated with cancer in West Virginia where a known leak of this chemical occurred (3).
According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a non-profit that is working to safeguard the earth from ravages like pollution, quite a few contaminants are found on a regular basis in faucet water. The NRDC found after an extensive review of tap water in cities across America, that things like lead, total coliform bacteria and cholination by-products are commonly present in city water supplies. In addition, while found less often, industrial chemicals can be in your drinking water as well (though these may be in low concentrations) (4).
These facts throw the need for proper water filtration within your home into sharp relief - as you don't want to risk ingesting possibly dangerous substances. After all, you don't want to be wondering what's in your city water supply, every time you reach for a drink. Even if the concentrations of any contaminants are low or extremely low, the risk may not be worth saving a bit of money, by choosing not to use a high quality water filter. In addition, you can use an alkaline ionizer water filter, in order to reap the added benefits which this type of unit can offer (ADD LINK TO THAT ARTICLE HERE). This will allow you and your family to drink the best water possible – giving you peace of mind each time you turn on the tap.
This section: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2013/unregulated-water-contaminants
This section: http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/uscities/pdf/chap05.pdf