What Is In Your Drinking Water?
With Walker’s Water Systems, we truly believe Water IS Life. And we believe that the key to that water is understanding the different chemicals can affect your drinking water and your health as well as how our Water Systems can help eliminate them for you.
While iron is required by every human for proper bodily functions, it is only toxic to humans in large doses. That said, high levels of iron can ruin your food, clog your pipes and even cause stains in laundry.
The best ways to avoid iron from well water or other treated water include water softeners, aeration, oxidizing filters and chemical oxidation.
It is relatively easy to tell if you have salty water as you will be able to taste it in your tap water. High sodium levels in water typically come from road salt, exposure to animal or human waste disposal or contamination from a landfill.
And while humans need salt in their daily diet, too much salt is a major health concern. Having too much salt in your water can ultimately lead to dehydration and eventually be fatal, whereas slightly increased salt levels can also adversely affect a host of human medical conditions such as high blood pressure, etc.
The best way to eliminate salt in your water would be through reverse osmosis, distillation and deionization.
Does your water have a bitter or highly astringent taste? It may contain sulphates.
Sulphates can naturally occur in groundwater as it travels through soil and rock formation that contain sulfate materials. The sulfates will then dissolve into the ground water and can be ingest from there by humans.
Unfortunately, people who are not used to drinking water with high sulphate levels can experience diarrhea and dehydration, especially infants.
The best way to eliminate sulphates from a water source are Reverse Osmosis systems, distillation or ion exchange.
Nitrates are often found in groundwater – especially those that have been contaminated or come in close contact with agricultural activities, fertilizers, leaking sewage lines or improperly functioning septic systems, industrial processes and motor vehicles.
Unfortunately the only way to detect nitrates in your water supply is through a water test as they are naturally colourless, tasteless and odorless. That said testing water is imperative if your household has any pregnant women, developing babies of less than six months old, elderly, individuals with weakened immune systems or individuals with chronic heart, liver or blood conditions. High levels of nitrogen can reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood, which in extreme cases can be fatal for infants.
The best way to combat high nitrate levels in your water are through ion exchange, distillation, and reverse osmosis.
Chances are you have heard of tasting aluminum from your soda cans or adult beverage cans but don’t really know what it tastes like. That’s primarily because exposure to aluminum can come from food, air and water.
However, it is an element that is not necessary for humans and can be harmful to human health in large quantities. Aluminum has been linked to effects on the nervous system as well as several diseases such as Lou Gehrig’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
While aluminum sulphate is used in treating drinking water in municipalities, it can still be reduced further in your home water. The best way to eliminate aluminum from your water would be through distillation and reverse osmosis.
Like aluminum, Uranium is found naturally occurring in rocks, soil, surface and underground water, air, plants and animals. Uranium will typically get into a household through groundwater that dissolves a compound containing uranium. And unfortunately the only way to detect uranium in your water is through a water test.
Though it is slightly radioactive, the largest health concern from uranium occurs when it is absorbed into the bloodstream, potentially through drinking water, and can cause damage to kidneys.
The best way to eliminate uranium from your drinking water is also through reverse osmosis, distillation or ion exchange.
Of all the chemicals listed here, Manganese most closely resembles iron. In fact, in its natural form, it can bond with the same elements as iron and will cause many of the same issues.
Manganese however oxidizes slower than iron making it more difficult to remove. That said it is still imperative to remove it due to the toxic nature to the nervous system especially in pregnant women and children.
Similar to iron, manganese can be removed through reverse osmosis, water softeners and oxidation filtration.
Hard water is a term often thrown around in areas such as Saskatoon and other areas of the province when referring to the drinking water. Water that is hard contains more minerals than soft water.
The easiest way to tell the difference is by taste. If your water tastes salty, then it is likely soft, whereas if it tastes slightly metallic, then it is likely hard.
While there are little documented reasons to worry about hard water for your health, it may make bathing, daily chores and laundry a little more difficult as it will leave deposits of those minerals and alter the effectiveness of your soap.
The best way to soften your water is – you guessed it – water softeners as well as reverse osmosis and filtration.
The pH levels of your drinking water refer to the alkalinity, or acidity, of your drinking water. The key to pH levels in your drinking water is that you want them in the mid-range of the scale between alkalinity (above 7) or acidity (below 7).
Both sides of the spectrum can cause their own issues for your household and health. Acidic water can leach metals from pipes and fixtures causing a metallic taste to your water, and stain both your laundry and sinks and drains. On the other side, high alkalinity water can cause a bitter taste in water and lead to scale build-up in plumbing as well as lowered efficiency of electric water heaters.
The best way to impact the pH of your water is to determine whether your water is more alkaline or acidic and to then use the proper filtration to balance the pH.