If you’re on city water, you probably assume that every time you turn on the tap, you’ll get safe, quality drinking water. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. As we’ve learned from the Flint, Michigan water crisis, even municipal water can contain high (and sometimes dangerous) contaminant levels. In this month’s blog article, Jesse Gagnon, certified water specialist at Secondwind Water Systems, explains why you should think twice about the quality of your city drinking water.
Water Safety Violations
All public water systems must comply with federal water safety standards. However, according to a National Resources Defense Council report, nearly 77 million Americans lived in locations where systems violated federal water safety regulations in 2015. These violations included:
- exceeding health-based standards;
- failing to properly test water for contaminants; and
- failing to report contamination to state authorities or the public.
“Many municipal water treatment systems are both underfunded and outdated,” Gagnon explains. He points out that smaller, rural communities often lack the proper equipment to filter out naturally-occurring contaminants like arsenic; chemical runoff from factories; and nitrates and fecal matter from local farms. “And the prevalence of aging and leaking water pipes brings additional risks, including elevated lead and bacteria levels,” he adds.
Problems with Disinfectants
All town and city water systems use disinfectants like chlorine and ammonia to remove bacteria, parasites, and other harmful elements. But these chemicals can have a negative effect on the taste and smell of your water, making it unpleasant to drink. And who doesn’t want water that’s fresh and clean tasting? Worst yet, the by-products of these disinfectants–including trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids—may put you at an increased risk of developing cancer.
For decades, fluoride has been added to public water systems to help prevent tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 74% of the U.S. population receives fluoridated water from community systems. There are varying opinions regarding the fluoridation of drinking water supplies. If you do some research on your own, you’ll feel more comfortable about the choices you make about your drinking water.
Even if your municipal water system complies with state and federal standards, the safety and quality of your tap water isn’t guaranteed. Why? Because not all water contaminants are monitored or regulated, including the following:
- Perchlorate: (toxic chemical used in rocket fuel, explosives, and road flares)
- PFOA/PFOS (chemical compounds used in many consumer products)
- Pharmaceuticals (trace amounts from urine or flushed medicines)
Learning More About the Quality of Your City Drinking Water
If you want to learn more about the quality of your drinking water, request a Consumer Confidence Report from your local water department. Should you identify any contaminants that are affecting the aesthetics or safety of your water, contact the certified water specialists at Secondwind. “We have a number of drinking water systems available to give you safe and great tasting water,” Gagnon notes.
Residential Drinking Water Testing and Treatment in NH
When it comes to the safety and quality of your drinking water, you can trust the certified water experts at Secondwind Water Systems. We’ve been providing water treatment systems throughout New Hampshire for over 30 years, so chances are, we already know which contaminants you should be looking for in your region. Give us a call at 603.641.5767 or contact us online to schedule a water analysis. We’re here to help.