Is Your Drinking Water Safe?

Children drink more water than adults do for their size. Majority of this is tap water, and its quality is controlled by standards set by Congress incorporated in the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. Succeeding laws have regulated the standards of drinking water for chemicals present in some supplies.

Nowadays, the drinking water in the US is one of the safest worldwide, though problems may emerge from one time to another. Small systems serving below a thousand people are those that are most likely to violate safety standards. It is important to remember that private wells are not regulated by federal government, so they should undergo testing for nitrates, as well as other environmental toxins if proper.

Illness causing contaminants in drinking water include the following: germs, heavy metals, man-made chemicals, nitrates, radioactive particles, plus disinfecting process by-products.

Though bottled water is available in markets, most brands contain tap water, which has been bottled to be sold. In general, this type is a lot more expensive than tap water, and if there are no contamination issues in the supply of the community, there is no need for it. Moreover, bottled type may have harmful chemicals released by the plastic into the water, plus using it increases lots of plastic waste.


To see to it that children are consuming safe drinking water, parents can check the quality of water with the help of the state environment agency, the county health department or by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline. It is mandatory for local water companies to report about the contents of water annually. Well water should be tested every year.

The other guidelines are:

It is best to use cold water when drinking and cooking. Contaminants can easily build up in water heaters.

When questioning the quality of plumbing, it would help to let water run for two minutes in the morning before using it for drinking or cooking. This way, the pipes will be flushed, reducing the chances of contaminants ending up in the water being used.

Well water should undergo testing for nitrates before letting infants below one year old use it.

Drinking water that could possibly have germs should be boiled less for one minute, then cooled prior to drinking. It is important to keep in mind, though, that boiling water is capable of killing bacteria and other germs only. It does not get rid of toxic chemicals. If tap water does not smell or taste good, this could be addressed by filters with activated carbon that could remove the undesirable taste or smell. Also, these filters will take away harmful chemicals without taking away fluoride that fights tooth decay.