What’s in your water?
In today’s health-conscious world, luckily, we have access to a lot of information. It’s one of the many benefits of living in a connected society, and most of us exercise this power to find out exactly what goes into the food we eat.
So, why should your quest for more information stop when it comes to what you drink? In the UK, we’re fortunate enough to have some of the cleanest, highest quality and best tasting tap water in the world, but this doesn’t mean the water coming out of your tap is perfect.
In this blog post, we explore what’s found in normal tap water and why filtered water is always the best option.
How fresh is your tap water?
The freshness of tap water is one thing many people query. Your water company has to legally provide wholesome water that’s suitable for many uses, including drinking, cooking, and washing. The water supplied undergoes rigorous testing to ensure standard quality levels are met, and as a result, it’s the most regulated drink on the market. Tap water is, in fact, more regulated than bottled water.
Your tap water is however only as fresh as the time it takes to travel from your local treatment plant to your home. The length of this process varies between water companies and can take anywhere between a few hours and a few days.
What does tap water contain?
Tap water is collected as surface water that originates from rivers, lakes & reservoirs, and groundwater from sources like wells. One-third of the tap water provided in England and Wales is sourced from underground with the rest starting life as surface water.
Before it’s available from our taps however it undergoes intense disinfection, a process that strips source water of its harmful bacteria and parasites.
The resulting tap water contains a number of minerals, including nitrates, phosphates, iron and manganese. Water content may vary depending on whether it is hard or soft water. It also contains small levels of chemicals and contaminants, contents that have been the subject of much scientific research in recent years. These findings revealed the troubling truth about what’s really lurking in tap water, here’s just a snippet:
“The collection of research also highlighted how oestrogen used in birth control can make its way into UK rivers, where it’s having an adverse effect on male fish. It has also been suggested that these same hormones can be found in drinking water.
Chlorine may also make its way into our tap water. The disinfectant added during water treatment to kill bacteria is mostly used up, but up to 0.5mg/l can remain – sometimes adding a taste or smell to your tap water.”
How can I improve tap water quality?
Whilst risks associated with the previously discussed chemicals and contaminants are low, there are a number of steps you can take to improve the quality of your tap water, especially when reducing exposure to lead.
Running water until it’s cold and only using cold water for drinking and cooking are just two tips for reducing lead in drinking water. Hot water generally has higher levels of lead. Using a water filter will reduce exposure to lead and other water contaminants to ensure a healthier, purer, and better-tasting drink.
Remember tap water shouldn’t have a pungent odour or a cloudy appearance. It is recommended that you contact your water company or local council if your tap water does. Sudden changes in its taste, appearance, and smell may warrant further investigation.