The United States has one of the cleanest water supplies in the world. U.S. municipal water treatment facilities go to great lengths to remove dirt, sand, sediment and harmful diseases from our drinking water. The four-stage process of filtration involves passing water through filters, allowing water to sit while particles settle to the bottom, and adding chemicals to disinfect and neutralize harmful parasites, bacteria, and viruses.
When water is pumped from a treatment facility it is free from harmful diseases and sediments, but its journey through pipes and into our homes can add some of the same contaminants the treatment facilities have tried so hard to remove. In their attempt to solve this problem, municipal water facilities add an over-abundance of chemicals to the water to ensure water reaches your home without disease.
Adding chemicals to the water is a necessary step in removing harmful contaminants, but many of the chemicals used during this process can be harmful.
Removing the harmful chemicals added by the treatment facilities is a burden placed on homeowners and residents. Many people do not filter out these contaminates and are left with dry skin, digestive problems and are exposed to the well-known carcinogen: chlorine.
Chlorine is used to kill bacteria and parasites in swimming pools, but the after-effects of this chemical are much more obvious in a pool than our drinking water. After swimming in a chlorinated pool, skin becomes dry, eyes redden and itch, and, if exposed to the effects long enough, hair becomes bleached. Many of us would be sickened at the thought of drinking pool water (for more reasons than one), but tests have shown that some city water facilities add amounts of chlorine comparable to the amount in pools.
Making City Water Drinkable
Understanding the use of chlorine in municipal water supplies shouldn’t scare us away from our tap, but it should encourage us to add the last step to the filtration process: removing chlorine. Any filters that have been certified with the NSF standard 42 are recognized as sediment and chlorine removing products. Some of these products can include refrigerator filters, shower filters, water pitchers, counter-top filters and whole house filters. Many of these filters are portable and easy to install, which can make the last step of filtration much easier than it might initially seem.
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