Is it ok to drink tap water?
Well, most of the American population survives on tap water, and there is necessarily nothing wrong with it. Water taps in the United States are some of the best things in the whole world. Therefore, there should be strict rules that would make sure that it is safe enough to drink tap water.
While tap water is pretty safe, the concerns are genuine. Tap water is not sterile by nature. Therefore, there are a couple of instances where consuming it straight from the tap is not such a feasible option for anyone.
Hence, you need to make sure that you are being extra cautious every time you are drinking tap water directly from the faucet.
In this article, we shall discuss all of the safety measures that one needs to take to make sure that they are being extra cautious while drinking from the tap.
What Do You Need To Know Before Drinking Tap Water?
When we talk about the safety concerns of water, bottled and tap water share major differences. The Food and Drug Administration is in charge of managing all the standards for drinking water to make sure that it is meeting all the safety standards. For tap water, on the other hand, the Environmental Protection Agency does the same job.
The EPA provides the consumers with all the information about water in a certain geographic area, which includes:
- Contaminant levels
- Water source
- Potential health risks
You need to keep in mind that if you are relying on well water, the EPA will not be overseeing the water quality. In that case, you would have to conduct a water quality test on your own every year to make sure that there are no contaminants in the water you use everyday.
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Contaminants In Tap Water
The fact the water in the faucets comes pretty clean does confirm that there are no contaminants in there. Contaminants are not always germs. There are different types of contaminants in the water that you consume everyday. These contaminants classily as follows:
These are the particles that you get to see in the water. They can be the micro soil particles that are there from the lake or river from where the water comes.
They may be metals, pesticides, drugs, or even toxins.
The water that you are drinking everyday may contain biological contaminants like parasites, bacteria, viruses, or other living organisms.
Pretty identical to chemicals, these are the kinds of elements that are unbalanced depending on the total number of neutrons or protons that they have.
When you get your hands on the report, go to the summary section, which lists down all the contaminant levels which are higher than the estimates. This way, you may be able to realize it is OK for you to drink tap water.
When Is It Not Okay To Use Tap Water?
Well, now that you know when you may be able to judge and drink clean water from the tap, you also need to be aware of those instances where it is absolutely not ok to drink water straight from the faucet.
Cleaning And Rinsing Any Open Wounds
It is one of the riskiest things that you may do with tap water. Under no circumstances should you be cleaning an open wound with tap water. Open wounds are anyway susceptible. If you are getting it in contact with contaminated tap water, there is a good chance that you may develop a bacterial infection from it.
This way, you can end up making even the smallest of the open wounds into something serious. You would want to avoid this under all circumstances.
Water For Babies
Babies should never drink water directly from the faucet. This is a big no. Kids have sensitive stomachs. Therefore, their tolerance to contaminated water is pretty low. There is a high chance for them to develop stomach disease, diarrhea, or severe vomiting if they keep drinking tap water for a long time.
Tap water contains a good number of unfiltered minerals and toxins in it. Therefore, it is best preferred for pregnant women not to drink it. These toxins may badly affect the health of the baby or even miscarriage in some of the rare cases.
Tips To Make Sure That The Drinking Water For Your Family Is Safe
Apart from getting all the information about the quality of the water that comes to your house, there are other steps that you can take to make sure that the water you and your family is drinking is absolutely safe.
Here are some of the alternatives to ensure this:
- Test the water properly for nitrates. You need to do it even more if you are giving the same water to babies or kids under the age of one.
- Check if there is any contamination in your private source of water. Many families prefer getting their water from sources that only belong to them. In that case, you need to make sure that there is no contamination of the source from where the water is coming. If there is at all any contamination, go for a “shock chlorination” or any other way to fix the issue.
- Have a talk with your local department to see if the standpipe from the watermain of the town to your house is made of lead. If so, replace it as soon as possible.
- Make sure to use cold water for drinking and cooking. Contaminants build up more in the heaters.
- If the plumbing of the house concerns you, keep the tap open for a good three to five minutes before you finally start to use it. This will help flush all of the pipes and if there are any such impurities in it.
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The Bottom Line
Is it ok to drink tap water? Well, you can. Most of the people in the US do it. However, you need to be sure that the water is safe for consumption.
There are tests that you can do to make sure that there is nothing harmful present in the water. Babies, pregnant women, and people suffering from any serious disease should strictly refrain from drinking straight from the faucet.
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