The Hidden Dangers Lurking in Drinking Water

Think of any drink, no matter what. You might say that coffee is the best rejuvenating morning drink ever, or that red wine is the perfect way to get an evening started. You might have a favorite fresh drink or can’t get your food served without your soda. You can swear by the energy drinks and tell everyone they can’t go to the gym without having some. But when it comes down to it, good old pure water is the only drink you can drink to quench your thirst.

Water is the one thing you can never worry about. If you’re thirsty, if you’re on a diet and counting the calories, if you’re on meds and worried what might interact with them, if you want to boil something to cook, if you want to shower or clean anything; water beats all competition with no second thoughts. And all you need to do is open the tap water and start enjoying it, it’s the easiest thing in the world.

But is it really?

Raw, Untreated and Treated Water: What’s The Catch?

Water is critical for survival. It forms almost 60% of the human body, and is used in almost all of the daily life activities. And we usually take it for granted, not giving a two-second thought before opening the tap and using it. But unless your water is well-treated and safe to use, there are serious hazards that could arise from drinking or just using it.

Where Raw water Comes From

Fresh water, in other words that which is suitable for drinking and usage, can be found in rivers, lakes, streams, springs and wells. Naturally, it should be available for use without much concern. Unfortunately, it’s not in reality.

●      Before collecting, rivers and lakes could get mixed with toxins and contaminants as a result of acidic rain, runoff from stormwater, pesticides leaking from surrounding soil, or industrial waste.

●      Even underground water isn’t safe from contamination, as pathogens, microbes, household waste, industrial chemicals or septic system leakage could find their way into the water if it’s not properly maintained.

Untreated Water

Let’s say you’re not using from its source directly, rather you’re using your tap water. Untreated tap water. On its journey from its source to your tap water, there are many steps in which water could get contaminated.

●      Water collection & treatment plants add chemicals to the water for various reason, which may cause some concerns

●      Contamination can still find its way into the treated water during its storage due to pipes contamination, cross contamination with sewer pipes, main water breaks or pressure issues.

Dangers Lurking in Drinking Water

Due to the many ways your tap water could contaminated before and during reaching your household, there are a lot of dangers associated with drinking it directly:

1.    Waterborne Diseases

This is specially of more concern with drinking raw water. Raw water can be home to many inborn diseases from its contamination with microbes and pathogens, the likes of Salmonella, E.Coli, and Giardia.. Drinking contaminated raw water can result in many diseases, the least of which are typhoid, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Not to mention the other chemical and biochemical contaminants that might have found their way into it.

2.    Chemical Contamination

Even after passing by the treatments plants, the chemicals added could pose more health risks in drinking the untreated water:

●      The fluoride added could damage the tooth enamel, weaken the bones, and have neurotoxic effects.

●      Chlorine is added as a disinfectant to the water. But long-term ingestion of chlorinated water was found to be associated with birth defects, cancers of the breast and bladder of women and men respectively, and rectal cancer.

●      Arsenic may find its way to underground water, from underground rocks or as a result of mining and industrial pollution. Arsenic poisoning has dangerous hazards that manifest as multiorgan failure, physical deformities or skin problems.

●      Improperly maintained and old lines could result in their rusting, making it more probable for lead to be present in you tap water. Lead is extremely toxic to the neuromuscular system, resulting in abdominal cramps, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and irreversible brain damage.

●      Obviously, industrial and pharmaceutical waste, along with many other chemicals, find their way into the water one way or another. Each of which imposing their own health hazards.

3.    Contamination due to Improper Human Waste Disposal

Improper disposal of human wastes and sewer leakage will get water contaminated, but it’s even worse than just that. As many of the ingested drugs get metabolized by the kidneys, they get excreted in urine, Many drugs are even excreted in their active form in huge amounts from the body. Drinking contaminated water isn’t just disgusting, it may contain traces of meds, antibiotics, sex hormones, and additives from shampoos and lotions. 

Treated Water

So even if raw water is treated at some point by treatment plants, you shouldn’t trust that it’s safe to drink. At this point, treatment at household level is essential to avoid all of the hidden dangers. 

There are many ways to treat household water. You can implement a holistic system for the whole house using reverse osmosis water techniques and water softening methods, or set up point-of-use filters to the tap you use from drinking water. In case of water contamination with microbes and pathogens, you might also need to apply disinfection methods.

Living your Healthy Life

As we’ve established, there’s no living without water. Water is one of the most essential elements needed by your body to live out your healthiest and most energized life. You should take extra care in treating your household water, however, to avoid all of the hazards. If you’re wondering about the purity and quality of your water, it’s a good idea to conduct a test and know for sure what lurks in your tap water. Once you know, you can implement the best treatment plans on solid ground.

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