Contaminants And Chemicals: What Is Actually In My Tap Water?
Currently, the average American is drinking 38% more water than they did 15 years ago. Although tap water is safe to drink according to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, many people opt for residential water cooler services or countertop water coolers instead. These commercial water dispensers offer water sterilization and advanced filtration to ensure the water coming from your tap truly is safe to consume -- but are they really necessary? Let's take a look.
Water Purification Explained
Back in the 1900s, cities and towns across the U.S. were only just beginning to disinfect their water. At the time, typhoid fever ravaged an estimated 100 people out of every 100,000; in 2006, that number had dropped to 0.1 cases per 100,000 people -- and 75% of them included individuals who had traveled overseas recently.
This shows that the EPA has gotten rid of the truly nasty stuff in our water; in fact, they have set standards and regulations for the presence and amount of about 90 different contaminants in public drinking water, including E. coli, Salmonella, and Cryptosporidium (a gastrointestinal bacteria).
Ironically, some of the contaminants that remain -- such as trihalomethanes, which can increase the risk of cancer -- are a byproduct of the disinfection process. Other chemicals that are used to kill bacteria may be:
Although these chemicals do eliminate the more serious and harmful bacteria in our water supply, they don't really sound like they should be ingested. At the same time, there are solid materials (such as sediments and detritus from the pipes your water pass through) that can also wind up in your glass.
By relying on countertop water coolers, however, you get the best of both worlds. Depending on which filtration option you've chosen, you'll be able to enjoy fresh, clean water that lacks any chemicals, sediments, and dangerous bacteria. At the end of the day, there's no real reason to take the risk; even if your water tastes fine and you've never gotten physically sick, there's no way to tell what slow-and-steady damage may be occurring from those harsh and insidious cleaning chemicals.