“What’s in my water?” After perusing our community’s water quality report I am even more determined pay careful attention to proper water filtration.
Below is our city’s recent annual report.
The Table of Contaminants alone covers three pages. Categories include: microbiological contaminants, radionuclides, lead and copper, inorganic contaminants, synthetic organic contaminants, and volatile organic contaminants.
Here is an excerpt from the Synthetic Organic Contaminants page.
I find the “Likely Sources of Contamination” column unsettling. Residue of banned termiticide. Runoff from insecticides. Discharge from chemical factories. Leaching of soil fumigant. I find no comfort in the fact that the levels of contaminants fall within “safe limits.”
Heptachlor and chlordane have been banned for decades, and yet are in my water supply in 2013.
2,4-D is directly linked with nervous system damage. Glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, has been linked to endocrine disruption in frogs as well as people. (See What’s Wrong with Roundup?)
With two other pages filled with contaminants such as benzene, styrene, toluene, and PCBs, all unique to modern times, I’m unwilling to assume that all is well with my tap water.
If you’re interested in seeing what’s in your water, the Environmental Working Group offers this National Drinking Water Database.
Earthworks also provides a helpful fact sheet on Understanding Your Water and Air Tests.
Where does this leave us in terms of water filtration? Options abound and are often confusing. Our family currently uses the Berkey water filter shown below.
The best bet is to find raw water from a spring that is gravity-fed. These are more plentiful than you might expect. FindaSpring.com offers a helpful database. I was shocked to discover one within 45 minutes of our Arizona home! (See the previous post Gravity-Fed Spring.)
As I consider our water company’s annual report, the growing controversy surrounding hydraulic fracturing (used to drill for natural gas), and the explosive growth of genetically modified crops, I have to agree with author and marine biologist Rachel Carson:
“If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones – we had better know something about their nature and their power.”
- 47Why not try drinking a little sunshine this summer? Did you know the sun offers natural water filtration properties? Solar water traditionally combines cobalt blue with sunlight in order to alter the structure of the water molecules. Cobalt blue glass comes in a variety of forms. These 32 ounce glass…
- 47From Flint, Michigan, to a recent Harvard University study, it's clear that all is not as it seems when it comes to our nation's public water supply. Harvard estimates that six million Americans are drinking unsafe levels of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Gravity-fed spring water offers a pleasant alternative…
Thanks for sharing these resources! In your home, do you also filter water for shower and bathing?
Andrea Fabry says
Yes, I use the Berkey shower filter and a gadget for my bath. (Not sure how well the gadget works for the bath but at least it’s something)…you can also add vitamin C powder to bathwater to help neutralize chlorine.
Laurie Tomkins says
Thanks for the information Andrea!