Do You Know What\’s in Your Drinking Water? The Truth Might Surprise You


Do you worry about the hidden dangers that could be floating along in your drinking water? Frighting news stories aside, many homeowners are dissatisfied with their funny-tasting water. When water has an odd smell or taste, it is always due to an accumulation of minerals or water-bourn bacteria. The government attempted to curtail the spread of diseases through our drinking water back in the early 1900s by adding chlorine to the water supply. By doing so we have another problem, abet with less-serious consequences: chlorine removal.

Is Chlorine Removal Even Safe? And How Can I Best Remove It From My Drinking Water?

Chlorine may have been added to the nation\’s drinking water well over a hundred years ago, but that doesn\’t necessarily mean you\’ll drop dead if you decide to filter it out. Chlorine acts as a disinfectant in water. It is not a carcinogen, and is not deemed a dangerous substance by the government.

However, high levels of chlorine are found to leave an unpleasant taste and smell in people\’s drinking water, as well as having a drying effect on skin and hair. Because the quality, meaning the cleanliness, of drinking water has improved, many people feel comfortable using methods that partially or completely remove the chlorine from their water.

Is It Just the Chlorine We Need to Worry About?

It is estimated that about 85% of homes have hard water. The official test for hardness is the amount of calcium carbonate in the water, which is measured in grains per gallon with one grain equalling 17.1 milligram per liter of water. But experts caution that it may only take seven grains per gallon for residents to notice the effects of hard water. The upper limit qualifies as having very hard water of course.

Some easy to spot effects of hard water include an odd smell or taste to the drinking water. This can be blamed on the above-average levels of minerals present. Stains on sinks or toilets that mimic rust are another sign. Water spots and soap scum result from the high levels of calcium, because as the water molecules evaporate away the excess calcium remains. These might be details in your house that you had not connected to the presence of (or the fault of) hard water.

Purifying Your Water at Home: When to Step It Up.

There are a few popular ways to filter water, with perhaps the most common choices for at-home use being charcoal filters, carbon filters, and reverse osmosis. Charcoal filters are a common choice for point-of-use filtration, meaning personal water bottles, pitchers, and pieces that can be attached to the sink faucet. The water treatment is applied at only one source or location. Whole home water filtration systems obviously cover all of your basis. In the case of hard water, you\’ll understand why this is preferable.

The stuff these water systems are keeping out of your drinking water include:

    1. Organic chemicals

    2. Chlorine

    3. Herbicides

    4. Pesticides

Reverse osmosis works by using force to push water through a carbon filter or two, then through a special thin membrane to become pure, softened water. The taste is generally regarded as much better, and the process does assist in chlorine removal. However, chlorine removal or not, there are a few issues some homeowners take with the system. Because of the nature of the filtration process, some naysayers complain that the process takes up too much time, mainly because the tank seems small. Of course, when compared to the speed with which water can be taken from a regular tap the process will seem inconveniently long. It generally takes just a few minutes more.

Before you go and install a brand new whole house filtration system with the purpose of chlorine removal and softening your water, first request a Water Quality Report from your local water company. In that report you will find a list of all the known substances in your drinking water, with their amounts listed as well. From there you\’ll be able to decide on the type of water filtration system that is right for your home.