Drinking tap water is a common practice for most Americans. Unlike many other countries, tap water in the USA is filtered and treated to prevent significant illness. However, if you’re like many Americans, you may be wondering just how clean your tap water is.
At After Hour Plumbing & Drain, we’re familiar with what you ingest when you take a sip of tap water. Although most tap water is generally safe to drink, there are some benefits to using a water filtration system. If you’re wondering if your Monterey tap water is clean, you’ve come to the right place.
Where Does My Tap Water Come From?
The source of your tap water depends on where you live. In general, tap water comes from rivers, lakes, reservoirs and groundwater sources. Other water sources include filtered ocean water and wells.
If your water comes from a well, it doesn’t go through the same filtration process as water from a public source. Well owners are responsible for testing their own water since wells are usually private property.
How Is My Tap Water Treated?
Don’t worry – you aren’t drinking unfiltered river and lake water when you drink from your tap. In general, tap water goes through a four-step process before it reaches your home. These steps ensure that the water meets the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Coagulation And Flocculation
The first step of the filtration process is coagulation and flocculation. Chemicals are added to the water to clump smaller particles of sediment and contaminants. This makes it easier to filter out these particulates.
During the second step, sedimentation, the clumped particles settle to the bottom of the water tank. Once the particles have completely settled, the water is ready to be filtered.
The third step of filtration removes any dust, microorganisms, chemicals or bacteria from the water. The dirty water is passed through a series of porous filters that catch the tiny contaminants. The purified water passes into a separate container where the final step takes place.
The final step of the purification process is disinfection. Chemicals, such as chlorine, are added to clear the water of any germs that could cause waterborne illness. Disinfection also kills any parasites in the water to prevent illness in the consumer.
Does This Mean Tap Water Is Safe To Drink?
Since tap water is thoroughly treated, it’s mostly safe to drink. However, contaminants like aluminum, copper, lead, arsenic, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and iron can still remain in tap water after treatment. Some of these contaminants come from the pipes that the water travels through after treatment.
These contaminants can lead to serious illness if they are consistently ingested. To learn about your local water source, you can use online databases to learn about the contaminant levels in your city’s tap water.
Should I Use A Water Filtration System?
Since most tap water isn’t 100% contaminant-free, you may want to consider using a water filtration system. There are a few different options to choose from when it comes to filtering tap water.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
One way to purify your water is to use a reverse osmosis water filter. This type of water filter relies on the water pressure from the tap to push municipal water through a membrane with very small pores. These pores are small enough that most contaminants are unable to pass through.
Reverse osmosis removes contaminants like arsenic, copper, iron, bacteria, lead and viruses. Although many contaminants are filtered out through reverse osmosis, some volatile organic compounds and chlorine might still remain in the water.
Activated Carbon Water Filter
An activated carbon water filter absorbs the contaminants instead of not allowing them to pass through. The small pores on the carbon filter allow the contaminants to latch onto the filter. This effectively removes many contaminants so clean water can flow out of the filtration system.
Activated carbon water filters effectively remove contaminants like volatile organic compounds, chlorine and pesticides. However, unhealthy minerals and metals may still remain in the water.
How Do I Choose A Water Filtration System For My Home?
The best water filtration system for your home depends on the contaminants present in your home’s tap water. Fortunately, some water filtration systems include both activated carbon water filters and reverse osmosis filters to provide maximum filtration.
At After Hour Plumbing & Drain, we recommend speaking with a plumber about a professional water filtration system for your home. What you drink can affect your health and well-being, so filtering your water is very important. Contact us today to learn more about water filtration!