If you’ve thought about drinking tap water or are considering it sometime soon, you must ensure that it is safe to drink first. Without a proper filtration system, there’s no way to ensure that the tap water you may sometimes drink from is clean and free of impurities or pollutants.
When you start noticing a different color in the water supply from your kitchen or bathroom fixtures, you’ll know something is wrong. If you start noticing some particles coming out from your fixtures, you must refrain from drinking. By now, you’re probably asking, “why is tap water bad.” This depends on where you’re situated, like whether you get your water supply from a public water system from the United States, like the one that is run and maintained by a municipality.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for monitoring every public water system and reinforcing health standards for contaminants in the drinking water supply.
Here are some of the side effects of drinking tap water:
Heavy metal is the kind of music you want to bob your head back and forth to, not something, but you want to cause your stomach problems. According to a study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, heavy metal is known as a metallic element with a relatively high density and is poisonous or toxic even at lower concentrations.”
Even though heavy metals occur naturally in our beautiful planet Earth, they can lead to several severe health issues if we consume large amounts. Some of the most alarming heavy metals that you should be aware of include:
Although small traces of heavy metals in water is normal, Caleb Backe, a certified health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics, warns that anyone who consumes large portions of their tap water with these metals may eventually experience metal poisoning. Symptoms typically vary depending on the type of metal that our bodies are exposed to but might include diarrhea, muscle cramps, nerve damage, or memory loss. If you wish to learn whether or not tap water is safe to drink in your Phoenix, Arizona home, read more about it here.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring metalloid chemical that’s usually found in groundwater. Unfortunately, like heavy metals, it can pose serious health issues if taken in large amounts.
Arsenic can be found in residential tap water through industrial or agricultural pollution or even a private well. Anyone with arsenic poisoning may have the following symptoms:
- Numbness in limbs
- Partial paralysis
- Skin discoloration
- Stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Chlorine is a chemical that we put in our drinking water supply to eradicate harmful organisms that lead to catastrophic illnesses. Unfortunately, it acts as a double-edged sword as well. Although chlorine itself might not pose that much of a risk, it is the by-products from when it cleanses or chlorinate water, like trihalomethanes, that are a much bigger concern.
The presence of these by-products in our body will result in quick accumulation, to the point where even our detoxification system is unable to keep up with them. Because of that, the by-products won’t break down so easily.
These by-products are associated with cancer and are especially known to ruin our lungs, kidney, the nervous system as well as our heart. They can also be very lethal to our intestines’ beneficial bacteria, essential for digestion and immunity.
The EPA says that chromium-6 is normally present in the soil, rocks, plants, animals, and volcanic dust. When this chemical finds its way into our water supply, it can lead to severe problems such as cancer. Chromium-6 is a carcinogen.
Chromium-6 is both tasteless and odorless, making it very difficult to detect on our own. However, any sign of yellowness in the water supply could signal the presence of chromium 6. If you see this color, report it immediately to your water company.
Fluoride, like other minerals and metals that we’ve talked about on this list, is a naturally-occurring mineral not just in plants, soil, tock, air, and water, but also in our bones and teeth. We consume too much of this mineral from tap water; it becomes another one of the worst effects of drinking tap water that we can come across.
Some of the health issues that fluoride can cause to our body include severe skeletal issues and fluorosis.
Nitrates are inorganic compounds normally found in processed meat like bacon, hot dogs, and ham, which functions as preservatives. They’re also found in tap water since they occur naturally in soil, water, and air.
Drinking excess amounts of tap water where nitrates are present can lead to methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder that refers to an overproduction of methemoglobin. If our body produces excessive amounts of methemoglobin, it will replace the regular hemoglobin count, leading to reduced oxygen supply in our cells.
These are just some of the many other types of contaminants and pollutants that can find their way into our water supply. But there is a way to avoid all of this.
Arguably, the simplest way to determine whether your tap water is free of contaminants and safe to drink is a water test. This can be done by a professional water purification company in your locality. Besides, such water tests can also be performed on well and city water that’s used for commercial, retail, and residential purposes. Once you know whether your water is safe to drink or not, the test will provide you with steps on what you need to do to improve it.