On a hot day or after exercise there is little more refreshing than a glass of cold water straight from your faucet. However, you may not spend much time thinking about the water you are drinking. After all, it comes out of your tap clear and has been treated at your local water treatment center.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it is as clean or safe as you think it is.
The Problem With Clear Water
Clear water can be found in many streams but you would hesitate to drink it. The reason is you do not know what is in the water. However, if you scoop a glass of clear stream water and put it next to a glass of water from your faucet, you probably wouldn’t see any difference in the coloration.
This is because water can contain tiny contaminants which are invisible to the naked eye. Bacteria, minerals, parasites, and even tiny pieces of debris are all too small to be seen by the naked eye and yet can be in the water. You probably wouldn’t even notice these contaminants if you drank, the water. But, your body would.
The bacteria and parasites in the water can be very dangerous to your health. There can also be heavy metals in the water. They are invisible but will accumulate in your body leading to health issues.
Why Treatment Plants Don’t Completely Clean The Water
Treatment plants filter the water to remove many contaminants, they also add chemicals to kill bacteria and even add fluoride to strengthen teeth and bones. The water leaving the treatment plant must reach a specific standard, although there are debates regarding the health implications of adding chemicals to our water.
The problem is the water then travels down hundreds of miles of pipes on its way to your home. This allows debris from inside the pipes, and bacteria from outside the pipes to infiltrate the water. It only takes a tiny pinprick hole to allow contaminants in.
The result is your clear faucet water is not as clean as you think it is.
The best way to ensure that the clear water from your faucet is as clean as it appears is to install a water filter. You can choose between the whole house and individual faucet water filters. The choice is yours. But, a water filter will remove the contaminants from the water, making it safe to drink. It is a safer approach than relying on the water treatment plant and hoping the water has not been contaminated again.
In The Wild
If you are looking for water in the wild the best option is to locate a stream with running water. Providing the water looks clear you can scoop it up and inspect it. If there is no visible debris you will be mainly considered with bacteria and parasites.
UV rays are effective at killing bacteria and parasites in water. You can get a UV filter to slot into the bottle or seal it and leave it in the sun for 24 hours. It will give you clear and clean water.