The Complete Guide to Safe Drinking Water
What is Drinking Water and Why is it Important?
Water purification is a valuable move for any homeowner. Despite the many health benefits, people don’t drink enough water. Over 70 percent of the human body is composed of water. Water is needed to help flush waste from our bodies, regulate our temperature through sweating, and provide a medium transporting nutrients around the body to provide energy. Water also has some particular health benefits. For example, drinking plenty of water encourages your liver to release stored toxins into the bowel for elimination from the body.
Water is so important to our health that we have been blessed with a built-in warning system, thirst. When your cells become slightly dehydrated, they release chemicals called “osmotic,” which stimulate the hypothalamus gland in the forebrain. This then sends a signal to your brain that you need water – it’s as simple as that!
It’s hard to say precisely how much water you should drink each day as this will vary depending on several factors such as your age, sex, physical activity levels, and temperature. As a general guide, eight glasses (around 2 liters) of fluid are recommended to consume per day. Some people like to drink still water, others prefer sparkling, and some like their water flavored.
It doesn’t matter too much as long as you drink enough fluids. Still, it is advisable to drink plain water until your thirst is quenched as the flavoring and carbonation will increase the amount of sugar (empty calories) in your diet.
If you prefer flavored or carbonated water, it is best to use natural flavorings such as lemon juice, fresh herbs, or spices. Straight off the spoon of honey works too (without the bees, obviously), but these sugars are not empty calories like those found in soft drinks and manufactured beverages.
Types of Drinking Water Purification and Their Differences
Different types of water purification methods are available to treat water for consumption. Each process is suited to treat certain types of water. The type recommended will depend on your requirements and the quality of the water source in your area.
Home Treatment Systems
Household chlorine-based filters are the most common form of home water purification systems today, with activated carbon filters being slightly less popular, despite offering more significant benefits than their chlorine counterparts.
Chlorine-based filters are relatively cheap to purchase and easy to maintain, with each cartridge lasting three months. The filter housings themselves need regular cleaning every month or so depending on how much water is used in the home. Chlorine can be toxic in high concentrations, but when diluted in a water filter, it provides a powerful disinfectant that kills the bacteria and microorganisms in your drinking water.
However, chlorine-based filters do have some drawbacks. They cannot effectively remove all of the harmful chemicals from our tap water, such as fluoride and pharmaceutical drugs, so this is something to consider if either of these is a concern for you. Another drawback of chlorine-based filters is that they can leave a bad taste and odor in the water, depending on how dirty your local supply is, to begin with.
Activated Carbon Filters
Although activated carbon filters are slightly more expensive than their chlorine-based counterparts, there are several reasons why you might want to consider them as your preferred choice. Firstly, they can remove more contaminants than chlorine filters do. Second, their filter housings are easier to clean and last longer (around six months per cartridge), thus providing more excellent value. Thirdly, activated carbon filters typically leave the water tasting better than chlorine-based models, so there is no need to purchase or use bottled water when using these systems.
Public Treatment Systems
The quality of public tap water varies from place to place, even in developed countries such as the USA, so you must check with your local council before drinking any supplied water without purifying it first. If your local supply contains a higher level of contaminants than is considered safe for consumption, you can use a public treatment system to reduce the risk of illness and disease.
Public water filtration systems vary depending on where you live and should be discussed with your local council beforehand. The most common filters used in general treatment systems include fine screen filters, disc filters, rapid sand filters, and slow sand filters. There is also a relatively new system known as ceramic membrane filtration, which is becoming popular with water suppliers due to its effectiveness and low impact on the environment.
Bottled Water vs. Tap Water
It might seem like common sense that bottled water is better than tap water, but it’s not always the case! Bottled water isn’t always regulated as strictly as tap water is. So unless the bottle specifically states that it has been purified and contains safe levels of contaminants, you can assume that it is no cleaner or healthier than your local supply from the tap.
In terms of cost, bottled [tap] water tends to be much more expensive than tap water, so if you can use a home treatment system or a public purification unit, you will probably be better off in the long run.
However, if you are worried about the quality of your tap water for any reason – whether it’s because the supply is communal or because there are contaminants present that you want to avoid – purifying your drinking water with a home treatment system will make it safe to drink.
Having an advanced water filtration system at home is one of the best things you can do for your health.
About 15% of waterborne illness outbreaks are due to drinking water contamination in the US. Cleaner water can reduce the risk of these illnesses, including diarrhea, dysentery, and other gastrointestinal diseases caused by bacteria such as Shigella, Salmonella, and Campylobacter.
You can always contact us here at Charlotte Water Filtration for your water purification concerns because we care for your health too! Call us today!