What, How, and Why: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Drinking Water Quality

Water is definitely one of the most important necessities of life. It is needed by each individual cell in the body and almost every single biochemical process that takes place in the body requires water. But as with many other essential nutrients, the body doesn’t have the ability to produce enough water on its own. This is why doctors, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals recommend drinking no less than 6-8 glasses of water every day to ensure the proper functioning of the body.

But then again, our sources of drinking water remain prone to contamination and pollution. Some of the most common water pollutants and contaminants include chemical substances, heavy metals, sewage, and disease-causing microorganisms such as protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and nematode parasites. These affect the quality of water, making it important to filter and purify before considering it safe for human consumption or drinking to be precise. But really, Thin

For answers to these and other questions, here is an account of literally everything you need to know about drinking water quality.

Why Is Drinking Water Quality So Important?

As earlier mentioned, water is always prone to contamination at the source point and through the various channels it passes through before it reaches the consumer destination. For instance, germs are always flowing around in the air, surfaces, and even in water itself. Quality water is water that is free from germs, contaminants, and pollutants. At times, the taste and color of water are also used to assess its quality.

Nonetheless, one of the biggest risks of taking low quality or contaminated water is that you could easily catch waterborne illnesses such as guinea worm, typhoid, dysentery, and cholera, some of which could be fatal within a matter of hours if left untreated. As a matter of fact, even getting into skin contact with water that is contaminated can cause skin conditions that could end up causing gastrointestinal infections. This is the major reason why drinking water quality is important and to prevent such illnesses, water is normally filtered, treated, and purified to make it safe for drinking.

Additionally, drinking water that has been contaminated with pesticides, nitrates, fluoride, and heavy metals such as Lead could lead to serious to life-threatening health complications, especially when this is done over time. Contaminants such as arsenic (a highly poisonous substance) could be deadly when consumed in water.

Needless to mention, taste is the other major reason why the quality of drinking water matters. Good-tasting water is refreshing. Try drinking some salty or hard water (of course don’t!) and you will discover how disgusting it can be and why water quality matters. You might not even be able to swallow it.

With this in mind, what are some of the common ways used to improve drinking water quality?

Water Quality in Missoula

Public water systems are required to provide annual Consumer Confidence Reports with an analysis of the quality of the water that they are serving to their customers. Overall, the water quality in Missoula is very good. In 2017, no contaminants were found above legal health limits. Which contaminants were found exactly? It’s a long list:

  • Chlorine
  • TTHMs
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Nitrate
  • Lead
  • Uranium
  • … and some more

*Data from the  2018 Annual Water Quality Report

Keep in mind though that all water sources contain contaminants that are not necessarily harmful in low levels. Why not remove them? Because it’s too costly and would not increase the protection of public health in many cases. Also, some minerals that we refer to as “contaminants” might actually improve the taste of drinking water and are important for our bodies.

Ways To Get Quality Water For Drinking

It may be safe for household consumption and even cooking, but tap water is not recommended for drinking. This is because even though the water may be treated at a central source, it may get contaminated along the water by sewer leaks, pesticides, and other contaminants mentioned above. To ensure you’re drinking safe water, it pays to understand some of the ways water is treated or purified to make it safe for drinking.

Boiling

This is one of the most basic ways to make water safer for drinking. With a boiling point of 100 degrees centigrade, most germs are killed during the process. But there are a few caveats with this method. One of them is the fact that it can really take time. You, first of all, have to filter any particulate matter of solid particles, consume fuel to boil your water, and wait for it to cool off before you can drink it. Additionally, boiling water may not improve its taste or appearance/clarity.

Using Iodine

Especially in the healthcare industry, Iodine is one of the most important chemical elements due to its strong antiseptic properties. It is able to kill bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing germs. Iodine for water treatment comes in various forms, including tablet, solution, and crystals. However, it will take about 30 minutes or more for your water to be safer for drinking after treating it with iodine. Additionally, it can also be a challenge if you don’t know how much of the iodine to put in what amount of water. The water also tends to have an aftertaste that most people dislike.

Chlorine Drops

We’ve all heard the phrase Chlorinated Water, right? Chlorine is another common disinfectant that is used to kill bacteria and other pathogens in water to make it safe for drinking. However, it is important to note that too much chlorine in drinking water can be toxic. It also takes about 30 minutes before you can drink the water after adding chlorine.  

Water Filter Systems

Today, the technology used in creating water purification systems has highly advanced. Some of the best water filters today combine various elements such as filters, carbon, and iodine-coated screens into a unit that filters out bacteria, eliminates potentially harmful chemicals, and gets rid of viruses to result in good-tasting water that is pure and safe for drinking.

In comparison to alternatives such as bottled water, having a water filter system can be a cost-effective way to protect yourself and your family from waterborne illnesses in the long term. Some of the most common types of modern water filters include activated carbon filters, UV filters, reverse osmosis filters, water ionizers, and infrared filters. After choosing one that suits your needs and budget, all you need to do is learn how to install a whole house water filter or hire a professional to help you install one in your home.

Water is arguably the most important nutrient in the human body. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 2 million deaths occur each year due to waterborne diseases. To minimize your trips to the doctor’s office, it is crucial to ensure that you always take filtered, treated, and safe drinking. If you read this article carefully, the above tips might teach you a thing or two if not everything you should know about drinking water quality.