Is it safe to drink tap water? This is a question a lot of people are asking themselves these days as more become aware of the problems with plastic waste and the increasing costs of bottled water. This has led to discussions on what kinds of chemicals are in tap water, and whether or not they’re good or bad for you. This being the case, let’s go over what chemicals may be in your tap water. Keep in mind that where you live can have a big influence on what chemicals are in your water, so think of this as mostly a general guide.
In order to make tap water safer, most if not all water purification plants add disinfectants to kill off bacteria and other microorganisms that can be harmful to the human body. Probably the most common example in this case would be chlorine. When added to water in small doses, chlorine can kill off many microorganisms that can lead to a variety of diseases. Consuming trace amounts of chlorine can be bad for your health. Installing tankless water coolers at your business in Austin, Tx can save your employees from having to drink from the tap and be exposed to possible chlorine in the water.
Fluorine is a chemical added to tap water in order to prevent tooth decay. Though there has been some controversy surrounding its use, there has been no reliable evidence that it’s dangerous. In the US, the Department of Health and Human Services says that 0.7ppm is the best ratio for preventing tooth decay.
Something of interest is that Anchorage, the capital of Alaska, decided to remove fluorine from its water supply in 2007. This led to a significant increase in dental care cases for children ages 0 to 18 in the next 5 years.
Due to a variety of factors, some naturally occurring, others caused by humans, there are a number of contaminants in tap water. The good news is that these contaminants are either in such small quantities that they can’t hurt you, or the disinfectants neutralize them. Here is a quick list of some of the contaminants found in tap water:
- Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether
- Volatile Organic Compounds
Once again, these contaminants don’t occur in high enough quantities to be harmful, or they are neutralized by the disinfectants. You have nothing to worry about from them.
Speaking of contaminates, lead can also be in tap water and is something that scares a lot of people. However, the thing to remember is that lead contamination is almost always a result of lead pipes in a building. This means that lead isn’t a problem for modern buildings, and old ones that have had their pipes replaced will be fine as well. Lead is only an issue in old buildings with lead pipes that have corroded.
Don’t be alarmed, most radioactive materials that occur in tap water are completely natural and are in such small quantities that they can’t hurt you. That said, there are some areas where radioactive waste has contaminated the ground water, and as a result, the tap water as well. These areas are pretty well known, and easily avoidable.
Staying Safe with Tap Water
Overall, tap water is incredibly safe to drink these days, and it is much better for the environment than bottled water. It’s not the ideal choice but if your in a situation in Austin, Tx where there are no bottleless water dispensers, it’s a better choice than contributing to waste with bottled water. Next time you need a drink of water, consider water from a tankless water cooler. You won’t regret it, and neither will the planet.