Here are a few tips about how to make your safe drinking water even safer. Every night in the evening news, there’s yet another story about another contamination in our drinking water across the country somewhere. Under the 1976 Safe Drinking Water Act, only 91 contaminants are mandated to be regulated. That means that the 87,000 chemicals that are on the market and floating in our air and landing in our surface water bodies that become our drinking water, could certainly have many contaminants that we want to avoid.
Sometimes water can travel 50 miles from a treatment plant and have breaks along the way, so we really don’t know what happens after water leaves a water treatment plant. There are fertilizers and pesticides which are very pervasive in our country and near our water bodies. There are endocrine disrupting chemicals, which are products and chemicals that come from cleaning materials and cleaning products, like Triclosan, which is an antimicrobial.
There are also chemicals from fracking. There are metals that come from old pipes, lead pipes from broken infrastructure. Then there are also persistent organic chemicals like C8 or the Scotch Guard materials that end up getting into our water system and in our environment, and are very difficult to break down for many years.
My recommendation is to always filter your clean drinking water at the tap, which is your point of use. There are simple carbon filters that can be used in a pitcher or in a refrigerator filter as well as attached to the sink faucet. Then there are more complicated filters like reverse osmotic water filters and distillers.
Choosing the right filter is very important. The best resource is really Environmental Working Groups’ guide to choosing a filter; ewg.org. You can also carry your safe drinking water in a glass bottle instead of plastic. You can also use stainless steel, but make sure that you drink out of the stainless steel portion and not hot plastic, because again, avoiding plastic is key when drinking safe water and one should avoid plastic drinking bottles as well.
Remember, when it comes to our environment and our health, you too can be The Smart Human.