If your indoor air quality is poor, this is not the only pollution problem that may be hazardous to your health.
In fact, your primary drinking water source – whether it is well water or from a domestic water line – could be exposing you and your family to harmful contaminants, pesticides and pathogens.
The Environmental Working Group’s 2005 study analyzed more than 22 million tap water samples and found over 260 contaminants that were detected in water consumed by the public.
Of the contaminants identified in the study, more than 141 contaminants identified are without safety standards and are unregulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The only positive way to determine if your tap water quality is poor is to send it off to an independent water treatment lab for testing.
In the meantime, you can take control of your home water quality, by using the EWG’s Updated Water Filter Buying Guide or using the following water softening and home water filtration systems to purify and protect the water you drink, bathe and cook in.
Use an ion exchange system to soften your hard water
An ion exchange system consists of two pressure tanks filled with sodium or polystyrene beads. These beads exchange ions with the calcium and magnesium mineral ions in your tap water.
By removing hard water scale from plumbing and appliances, your home’s water pipes will be protected from corrosion and you’ll experience cleaner dishes, better drinking water for your pets, and experience softer, healthier skin and hair.
Remove contaminants with a home water filtration system
These water purification systems are the best ways to remove organic and inorganic chemicals such as pathogens, contaminants, corrosion products (for example, lead,) pesticides and the byproducts of the tap water disinfection.
An effective water filtration system can also absorb lead, drugs in the water supply, endocrine disruptors, personal care products and disease-causing microbes.
The five types of point-of-use water filtration include: gravity devices, inline filters, reverse osmosis units, ultraviolet technologies and distillers.
If you want to treat your home’s entire water supply, you should consider a point-of-entry device. These home water filtration systems are designed to filter out contaminants in the water used for showering, washing clothes and dishes, flushing toilets and brushing your teeth. POE filtering options include: water softeners, sediment and tank filtration systems, large inline filtration systems and final barrier systems.
You can distill your water
Distillation is one of the easiest and oldest methods of water-purification. Distillation will remove most chemicals, many pathogens – including arsenic and E. coli– minerals and most of the bad tastes that you experience when you drink water. Via distillation, you boil your water and the steam is collected into a condenser. This condenser cools the vapor and converts the water back to liquid form.
A home distiller is installed under the sink, but it only produces a small amount of distilled water daily. It is important to note that some organic compounds, such as harmful pesticides, may recondense and vaporize in the distilled water. These units also require frequent descaling and cleaning to remove mineral buildup.