Water from the tap is not always as safe as you think.
Our bodies are over 50% water, and getting enough of it is critical for maintaining proper biological function. Humans can only survive 5 days without water; air is the only thing we need more frequently in order to survive. In short, water is a big deal.
We likely forget how important water is because many of us get our hydration from other places––sports drinks, soda, energy drinks. While it is possible to stay hydrated with these and other beverages, nothing beats plain, clean, fresh water, in terms of health benefits.
We generally assume that the water coming into our homes is safe to drink, but in recent years, stories like Flint, Michigan have shown us that our infrastructure is not always perfect, particularly when it comes to our water. Certainly, most municipalities water supplies are not as tainted as Flint’s. However, since water is one of the most important necessities to human health, and what is in the water that we use every day deserves some scrutiny.
The EPA monitors for over 90 contaminants in water, from biological contaminants such as bacteria to pesticides to minerals such as lead and mercury. Water maintained by municipalities must meet certain criteria; levels of all the contaminants that are monitored must be below the levels set by the EPA. The levels are ostensibly those that would have no detrimental effect on human health. In other words, the water you drink, cook with and bathe may still ostensibly have detectable levels of certain contaminants, but in amounts that are assumed to cause no harm.
To some, any amount of contaminants, particularly of things like lead, mercury, pesticides or other contaminants, is not something that should be ingested.
Often, people resort to bottled water; unfortunately, the source of much of the bottled water is simply municipal water suppliers, which does not really alleviate the problem. Also, with bottled water, there is a chance you are exposing yourself to leached plastic chemicals like BPA, which have been linked to some health problems.
What You Can Do
If you want to get serious about drinking clean water, in-home filtration systems are a good bet. There are a wide variety of systems, from systems that attach to sinks, to gravity-fed filtration devices, to in-home reverse osmosis systems.
In the same way that carrying food is a good option for those serious about eating healthy, carrying your own filtered water in a safe container is a good option for those serious about drinking clean water.
To some, this may seem like splitting hairs, but given the importance of water to the body, it is one more step that many would choose to take to ensure optimal health in the long run.