Water is necessary for life, so it is surprising that it is treated with disdain.
Tap water is often contaminated with pesticides, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other toxins—even after being treated.
Removal of toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and arsenic in wastewater treatment plants is minimal and non-existent in some areas. Even the pipes through which clean water is supposed to enter homes can be a source of toxins.
But while bacterial pathogens are being eliminated from the water, a lot of toxic by-products, such as chlorine, are entering the water.
Why is chlorine dangerous?
Chlorine is an essential part of tap water. No other chemical additive can eliminate bacteria and other microorganisms as effectively. However, this does not mean that you should drink chlorinated water or that it is healthy. Chlorine is very harmful to living organisms. Eliminating chlorine from water is essential to maintaining good health.
How does the environment pollute water?
Water resources are replenished with pollutants from various sources. Industrial waste often finds its way into streams and rivers, including mercury, lead, arsenic, petroleum products, and a host of other chemicals.
Car oils, antifreeze and many other chemicals flow with water into rivers and lakes. Landfills are another source of pollution, as waste seeps into the groundwater. Poultry farms also contribute to the leakage of pollutants, including drugs, antibiotics and hormones.
In addition, pesticides, herbicides and other agrochemicals end up in rivers over time. Antihypertensive substances, antibiotics, even caffeine and nicotine are found not only in water sources, but also in drinking water itself.
Is bottled water the best choice?
Not certainly in that way. Most of the bottled water is the same tap water. But much worse, plastic bottles often leach chemicals into the water. Bottles are often made of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), which itself is an environmental hazard.
Independent researchers examined the contents of water bottles and found fluorine, phthalates, trihalomethanes and arsenic, which are either present in the water during the bottling process or come from bottled water. Environmental groups are also concerned about the amount of pollutants contained in plastic bottles.
What can we do to drink water with confidence? Buy a good water filter and use it! It’s very easy and better for your wallet and the environment than buying bottled water.