Monday, January 2, 2012

Water 101 - From Water Filters to Bottled Water, Storing and Conserving by Mariette Mifflin

Water is a necessity of life and while water can come from many sources including bottled, municipal systems, rain water or ground water from wells or springs, not all water is considered potable and safe to drink. How safe your water is depends on several factors and what standards it is measured against.

In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets water quality standards and testing schedules under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). It also provides helpful information for consumers as to certain water contaminants to alleviate concerns regarding safe drinking water.

According to the EPA, most states and territories directly oversee the water systems that are within their borders. If you are on a municipal or other public water system, it can be assumed that your water is subject to these water quality standards and treated before it reaches your tap as safe drinking water.

However, if you have any doubts as to the health of your water supply, you should ask your water system provider for a copy of their most recent water report. You can also take your investigation a step further by having your water tested by an approved water laboratory. Learn more about water testing from the EPA.

However, when it comes down to taste, even treated water can leave an undesirable aftertaste. But there are simple solutions for making tap water drinkable. And there's also a downside to buying bottled water; it too can leave a bad taste in your mouth.

For those in rural areas and on private ground wells, lake or river water source, in the absence of federal or state/province regulation and oversight of water quality, the onus is on the consumer to ensure that their water is safe to drink. There are solutions for treating water from raw water sources. 

This article looks at solutions for the consumer to improve the taste or quality of their water, as well as to make treated tap water drinkable. The term 'drinkable' is subject to interpretation; not all potable water is drinkable, when it comes to taste.

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