Posts Tagged ‘water safety’
To drink or not to drink? That is the question...
Shakespeare parodies aside, this is a question we frequently hear from our customers. It's safe to say that most of us as kids drank from the garden hose. And if you're still able to read this post, it didn't cause any serious, lasting effects. On the other hand, there are many things we are more aware now that products are better tested and we have a better understanding of the potential dangers of chemicals leeching into our food and water supply.
So what's the answer? Is it safe to drink from a garden hose? Here is some information that might make you think twice before you pucker up at the spigot:
In a 2012 Time Article, Dominique Browning outlines research showing that many garden hoses contain everything from lead to endocrine disruptors to neurotoxins. She states that since garden hoses are not regulated in the same way as plumbing fixtures, harmful chemicals are frequently found in hoses. This problem is worse in older hoses, partly because of the way they were manufactured, and partially because the plastic, rubber and metal used to construct them degrades over time.
You've probably heard concerns about lead in your home water. Home water filters always mention that they remove lead from water. You may have even heard that you shouldn't drink water taken from the hot water tap. We thought it would be a good idea to clarify what the risks are, where they come from, and most importantly, if you are at risk of lead in your home water supply.
Why is lead an issue? Lead is absorbed by the human body and accumulates over time. It can cause neurological impairment, particularly in children and can cause high blood pressure or kidney problems in adults.
If your home is connected to city water, rest assured that the water coming to your home has safe and acceptable levels of lead. Lead is rarely found in the source water for water systems, and Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and other local city water is no exception. The water treatment plants in these cities also constantly test their water for impurities and chemicals, including lead.
Lead is most often introduced into your home's water through corrosion of plumbing materials in your home, such as the solder used to connect pipes, old fixtures and faucets. Newer homes should not have any issues with lead, since federal regulations now prohibit the use of lead-based materials in plumbing systems. However, if your home was built before 1986, there is a possibility your plumbing system contains lead-based materials.
The only way to know for sure if your home water contains lead is to have your water tested. If you are concerned your home water may contain lead, or just want piece of mind, we will be happy to refer you to a certified lab that can test your water. According to the City of Olympia, these tests typically run between $20-40 -- a small price to pay if you are worried about drinking water safety.
If you are to believe TV commercials, print advertising and the packaging on many water filtration products, you'd think most water is full of everything from dirt and mold to lead and deadly spores. The truth is, most of this is advertising hype. Virtually all municipal water (city water) in the United States is safe to drink from the tap. There are strict, Federal guidelines governed by the Environmental Protection Agency requiring proper treatment and testing of municipal water systems. The United States has some of the safest water in the world.
Here in Olympia, and other cities around South Puget Sound, are no exception. In fact, you're more likely to have safe water living in the city than using well water. That being said, there are two important steps you should take to ensure the safety of the water in your home: