Health Benefits of Clean Water
Your water may be contaminated. While the water systems in the U.S. are pretty reliable, they're not perfect - incidents of contamination do occur. According to the EPA, about 3,200 water systems in the U.S. reported at least one health-based violation in 2001.
Contaminated water poses a serious health risk to you and your family. The most widespread problems with water cause devastating health problems:
High levels of lead in water have been linked to lower IQs in children.
The poison arsenic may be in water drawn from wells. It harms nerves, the heart, blood vessels, and skin. It has also been linked to several cancers.
Trihalomethanes (THMs) - including chloroform - are byproducts of chlorination that are suspected of causing several cancers, including bladder cancer.
Presence of total coliform may indicate that potentially harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) is present.
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes a sometimes severe and life-threatening diarrheal disease. It is one of the most common causes of waterborne disease (drinking and recreational) in the U.S.
Contaminated water poses serious health risks not just to your family, but also to your pets. Remember, they drink, are bathed in, and/or swim in your water as well. Your plants will also suffer from the effects of contaminated water.
Think you'd know if your water was unsafe? Consider these facts:
According to the EPA, the 42 million consumers who get drinking water from a well should test it at least annually.
A Consumer Confidence Report may state on its first page that your drinking water is safe even if there are violations. (These will listed much further on.)
While within 'safe' limits, levels of some contaminants may be harmful for vulnerable populations - pregnant women, fetuses, infants, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems (e.g. those with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy).
While your water may be considered safe on average, it actually can experience potentially harmful spikes in the levels of contaminants, e.g. from seasonal elevations.
Even if water in your area really is safe, this doesn't guarantee that there are no problems in your particular home. For example, lead or galvanized water piping in old homes and lead-based solder used on copper pipes or in faucets in new homes may contaminate water coming into your home.
There is a solution to contaminated water!
Boiling the water unfortunatley won't remove contaminants. In fact, it may make your water more concentrated with contaminants: it's the water that gets boiled off, while the contaminants remain.
Bottled water isn't necessarily safer than tap water. The water that goes into the bottles isn't regulated as well as tap water is - the source of the water and what's been filtered out of it is often not reported. Also, the plastic bottles the water is stored in may leave unhealthy residues in the water. (Bottled water is also more expensive and less convenient than treating your water. Please see our bottled water page for more information.)
Treating your water is the only solution!
There are also health benefits to softening your water. Conditioned water can make your hair and skin healthier. Hard water keeps soaps and shampoos from lathering as they should. They'll be more effective - and you'll get cleaner - with conditioned water.
Hard water also keeps soaps and shampoos from rinsing off as they should. Your skin and hair may be left with a sticky film which blocks pores and attracts and holds bacteria. This causes chapping, itchiness, and dryness. Conditioned water reduces this wear-and-tear on the skin and hair, so they'll be softer and shinier. And remember baby: soft water has even been shown to reduce diaper rash!
Have your water tested! With all of these health benefits to removing contaminants from - and softening - your water, can you afford not to take advantage of our free water test?