Top ways to boost water quality at home
Despite boasting world-class water quality here in the UK, our tap water still contains several nasties. UK tap water undergoes rigorous disinfection before being distributed into the system and making its way out of our taps.
Yet, the contaminants, chemicals, sediment, and other impurities are still found in small quantities, which can be concerning for those looking to get the best from their hydration and unlock further health benefits.
As well as the water itself containing hidden impurities, the pipes servicing many homes are still made of lead, which can result in a long list of health implications, especially for pregnant women, unborn babies, and young children. Problems with lead, in particular, have led many to boost water quality within their homes, so what can be done to improve what comes out of your tap?
Our experts discuss the top ways to enhance water quality at home leaving you to enjoy a healthier, great-tasting, and odour- and impurity-free glass of refreshing water every time.
Check your water quality
Understanding your drinking water is the first step to improving its quality. The water coming out of your taps should not have a strong odour and should also be clear.
If it isn’t, you should stop drinking it immediately and contact your water company or council for further advice.
Determining whether your water is hard or soft can help you improve water quality. The hardness and softness of your water are dictated by your geographical location. Several hard and soft water maps will enable you to identify which category your tap water fits into.
Use a water softener
If your water is too hard due to its high mineral content, you may want to use a water softener.
By using a water softener, you will unlock additional benefits within your home. As water prevents limescale build-ups, you’ll find that cleaning household items (such as sinks, bathtubs, showerheads, taps, shower screens and kettles) is easier. Appliances, like washing machines, dishwashers, and boilers, will also be more efficient and their lives extended.
It is important to note that water softeners aren’t suitable for households with babies or people with heart problems on low-sodium diets as softeners add salt to the water supply.
Install a water filter
The idea that filtered water is too expensive for the average household has to be one of the biggest home water myths out there. Unbeknown to most, you can install a drinking water filtration system rather inexpensively and enjoy the best quality water from your very own tap.
Drinking water filtration systems offer a convenient, safe and cost-efficient way to sip water. It can also be bottled in a reusable water bottle to enjoy on the go without harming the planet, unlike the single-use bottles used to store bottled water, which pose a major risk to the environment.
Be sure to clean your water filters regularly and replace when necessary to keep them working effectively and maintain a high standard of drinking water quality.
Run water before use
Water that’s been sitting in pipes is far more likely to be contaminated than a fresh supply of tap water.
Whether you need water for drinking, cooking, or washing, running water for around two minutes will ensure it’s the best quality it can be.
Upgrade or maintain storage heaters
Whilst most homes in the UK use central heating systems to heat and supply water, those who are not connected to the gas mains or live in flats may rely on electric heating and water storage tanks to supply their properties with the essentials. Here Energy Saving Trust explains more about this type of heating:
“Most UK homes that don’t have a boiler and radiators have electric storage heaters. These heat up overnight using cheaper off-peak electricity and give out the heat during the day. If you have storage heaters, you will probably have a hot water cylinder heated by one or two immersion heaters.”
Whilst a convenient solution, electric heating can diminish water quality and prevent energy saving. Maintenance of water storage tanks is therefore essential with annual drainage minimising the build-up of bacteria, metals, and sediment within the tank.
If possible, it’s recommended that you upgrade your electric heating system to a boiler system to ensure improved hygiene and energy saving.