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Tuesday, April 30th by Melanie Jayjack
Water is a vital part of everyday life. Between showering, cleaning, cooking, and drinking, we have come to expect water to be readily available for use. While many Americans today are fortunate enough to have reliable access to safe drinking water, it has become difficult to overlook the headlines that have surfaced within the past few years.. This can raise the question: who exactly is responsible for the quality of my water? That answer will depend on where your water comes from.
Urban life is definitely convenient. You’re close to your neighbors, stores, and restaurants and your favorite pizza place delivers right to your house. Just like your food order, your water is delivered to your home too. Municipalities gather water from a nearby body of water and run it through a treatment process to make sure it passes health and safety standards set by the EPA. The water is then distributed to all of its customers. At your home, a water meter monitors how much water you have used and you receive a utility bill for the service.
The city is responsible for removing anything that could be potentially harmful to consume. Every year as a customer, they are also required to send you a water quality report which details exactly what is in the water they are providing you. On that report, you will also see contaminants that they are monitoring but not removing, like calcium and magnesium. These are the minerals that lead to hard water.
Cities do not remove hardness minerals because there are no health concerns tied to drinking hard water. While it’s not harmful for consumption, these minerals can damage your water-using appliances, causing scale build up in your plumbing, and drying out your skin and hair.
In addition to removing harmful elements from water, a municipality’s treatment facility will also add chlorine to protect the water from bacteria as it travels to your home. This disinfectant is a necessity that helps keep your water safe for consumption. Once the water reaches your tap, though, those disinfectants are no longer necessary and may become a nuisance. Many people do not enjoy the chlorine taste of treated tap water or the smell while taking a shower. Our line of WaterCare products have the ability to take the good qualities of city water up a notch to give you GREAT water in your home. Our EVRC softener includes a split-tank design that has a carbon filtration media in the top chamber and high-performance resin media in the bottom. The carbon reduces the chlorine while the resin removes the hardness minerals, providing soft, chemical-free water throughout your home.
Another downside of city water is the possibility of lead contamination, a problem that has been made public in some municipalities across the country in the last few years. While your municipality removes any lead that might be present in the water supply at their facility, it can be reintroduced to the water from old infrastructure. Whether it’s the distribution pipes in your town or the ones in your historic building, water passing through will slowly erode metal and take the lead with it to your tap. As a homeowner, there are several ways to combat this problem.
You can either purchase drinking water on your regular grocery run, or you can install an in-home water treatment system to filter out the lead. Our Reverse Osmosis drinking water systems can be installed under your sink to provide a separate tap of lead-free water. If you would prefer to have lead reduction throughout your whole home, ask about our certified ONE cartridge filter.
Maybe you prefer the big open spaces of country life. Maybe you see the longer distance between neighbors as a benefit instead of an inconvenience. While the privacy, quiet, and space to do the things you love can be nice, how do you feel about your water?
If you live in a rural area, your water is being supplied by a private well instead of a public water utility. Though the lack of a water bill is a huge benefit to a private well supply, the lack of a municipality monitoring and treating your water means that the water quality of your home is your full responsibility Groundwater has the potential to become contaminated in many ways from a number of sources.
Wells can fall victim to contamination from microorganisms and bacteria such as E.Coli. While this bacteria isn’t necessarily harmful if consumed, digestive issues may result from drinking it. Other sources of contamination are leaking septic tanks, industrial operations that leach heavy metals into the water supply, nearby landfills or chemical spills, and agricultural runoff from fertilizer which leads to high nitrate content that the EPA states is not safe for babies less than 6 months old.
You might also experience rust stains from iron, rotten egg odors from sulfur gas, or even acidic water corroding your plumbing. Hard water is a common complaint when it comes to well water across the country that can cause scale buildup throughout your plumbing, fixtures, and appliances. Most of these are just aesthetic issues that affect your home, but having high amounts of iron and hardness in your water can damage and decrease the life of your appliances and plumbing. In short, being a private well owner requires a more hands-on and vigilant approach to understanding and maintaining the quality of your home’s water. It is best to have your water tested at least once a year to make sure you are maintaining a safe water source. Once you know what is in your water, water treatment experts like us can diagnose and recommend the best solution to get the high-grade water you expect in your home.