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Kevin Cook for Idaho Senate Ribbon

Water is a vital resource that we use every single day. It is essential for cooking, drinking, bathing and other household tasks. Unfortunately, the quality of our water is not always guaranteed. Over 63 million Americans may have been exposed to potentially unsafe water in 2019, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Whether it’s from environmental pollution, outdated pipes or chemical leakage, contaminated water poses a serious risk to our health. In this blog, we’ll explore some common water issues and their solutions.

Water filtration systems offer proven solutions to address the issue of water contamination. These systems work by removing harmful substances from the water we use, improving its safety, taste, and odor. They come in various forms, such as activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis systems, and ultraviolet disinfection units, each designed to target specific types of contaminants. For instance, reverse osmosis systems are extremely effective in removing chemical pollutants, while UV units are ideal for neutralizing bacteria and viruses. By installing a suitable water filtration system at the point of use, we can significantly reduce exposure to contaminants, ensuring that the water we use every day is safer and healthier.

Chlorine and Other Chemicals

Chlorine is a chemical typically used to disinfect our water supply. Although it helps to kill off harmful bacteria, it can also produce byproducts that can harm our bodies. Short-term effects include skin irritation and gastrointestinal issues. Long-term exposure can lead to cancer, miscarriage and birth defects. Other chemicals found in our water may include herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, and pharmaceuticals. Installing activated carbon filters can remove up to 99% of chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water.

Hard Water

Hard water has a high mineral content of calcium and magnesium. While it is not harmful to our health, it can cause problems in our household appliances, plumbing fixtures, and dishes. It can also leave residue on our skin and hair, making it feel dry and itchy. Water softeners can remove minerals from the water and reduce scaling and mineral buildup that can clog pipes and fixtures.

High Lead levels

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and other organs. The most common source of lead in our water is from lead pipes or solder used in plumbing fixtures. Lead poisoning is particularly serious for children under the age of six, as it can lead to developmental delays and learning issues. To avoid lead contamination, you can have a plumber check your pipes and install lead-free plumbing fixtures.

Bacteria

Bacteria are microorganisms that can cause illness and disease. Some examples of bacterial contamination in our water include E. coli, Salmonella, and Legionella. Symptoms can range from minor stomach upset to severe illness, depending on the type of bacteria. UV water disinfection systems are effective in eliminating bacteria from your water. UV light breaks down the genetic material of bacteria, viruses and protozoa, making them unable to reproduce.

Sediments

Sediments such as sand, silt, and dirt can be found in untreated water sources such as well water. They can clog pipes and plumbing fixtures, and even damage appliances such as water heaters. A sediment filter can remove these particles from the water and prevent damage to your plumbing system.

Conclusion

Contaminated water poses a serious threat to our health and well-being. Luckily, there are solutions available to ensure the quality and safety of our water supply. From removing chemicals and bacteria to reducing sediment and mineral buildup, a variety of water treatment systems can improve the quality of your water. It is important for homeowners to be aware of these issues and seek the help of a plumbing professional when necessary. By taking action to treat and maintain your water supply, you can ensure the health and safety of your family for years to come.