Water is something some Americans can take for granted. We tend to believe that there is an endless supply, more so an endless supply of clean water, when that is not usually the case. Clean water is important when it comes down to our day-to-day lives. Without clean water we become victims of poor sanitation and contaminated water that can transmit diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid. These diseases can have physical and mental effects on our bodies. There are many brain eating amoebas that you can find in contaminated, non-filtered water, which in many cases ends in death. That is on the extreme side of the spectrum, but is capable of happening.
Without clean water what are we suppose to drink? Water helps to nourish our bodies, and with contaminated water we cannot receive the nourishment that our bodies need. We saw this first hand in 2014 during the Flint water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Due to insufficient water treatment, over 100,000 residents were exposed to high levels of lead in the drinking water.
Although we are not able to protect all avenues of water, we are able to ensure that the water we indulge in is clean and safe. Here are a few things you can do to keep your drinking water safe.
1. Test Your Water
You should have your water tested regularly (every year or every other year) by a certified environmental testing lab if you get your water from a well.
2. Read Your Utility’s Water Quality Report
This way you stay up to date on any changing federal regulations such as contaminant levels in the drinking water.
3. Filter Your Water
This is just another line of defense against contaminants that may have gotten past the local utility. Some say it is not necessary, but it only adds a second layer of protection for you.
4. Keep Your Home’s Plumbing Updated
Corroded copper pipes, paint flecks, and lead pipes are all carriers of toxins, so keep all plumbing in tip top shape to ensure your drinking water is protected.
5. Don’t Poison the Well — or Reservoir
Try to be light handed when fertilizing your grass and flowers and putting out pesticides. Recycle your used oil or antifreeze appropriately.
6. Drink Boiled or Bottled Water
Drinking boiled water is usually asked of you by the local government when there is a potential drinking water contamination. You can also switch over to bottle water like the residents in Charleston, West Virginia, did after a toxic chemical spill in January.
Keeping our drinking water protected should be one of our main priorities because the supply is not endless and our well-being depends on it.
Written by: Hilllary Griffin