4 Steps to Improve Your Home’s Water Quality
Nobody wants their family, their loved ones or themselves to get hepatitis A, Giardia intestinalis, norovirus, or Shigella, but these health risks can occur due to unsanitary water.
To ensure that you maintain good health, here are four steps to improve your home’s water quality.
1. Understand what contaminants may be in your water.
Before you can take any steps to improve the water quality, you need to understand what contaminants may be in your water and the effects they can have on you and your family’s health.
Depending on your locale, there is a wide variety of contaminants that can penetrate your water. Some of these may enter the municipal water supply at its source, others throughout the treatment process, and some as the water moves through your home’s pipes.
The contaminants in your home’s water may include:
- Additives (such as chlorine and fluoride) used in the water treatment process
- Chemical runoff from factories, refineries, mining facilities, and other industries
- Microbes (including bacteria and viruses)
- Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers
- Radioactive materials
- Pharmaceuticals that weren’t correctly disposed
- Metals, salts, minerals, and other soil sediments
When released into your water, these contaminants can cause severe adverse health effects.
2. Discover how to test the water in your house.
Once you are aware of the potential contaminants in your home’s water, you can begin to test it.
First and foremost, purchase a test kit. When you run the strips under the water, they will change color symbolizing which contaminants are present in your water. However, keep in mind that these are not always accurate and are unable to test for everything. But, they can be an excellent first step.
If you are gravely concerned about your water quality and want to ensure that the members of your home are drinking clean water, talk to a representative from a professional lab who understand the chemistry of water and can provide you with accurate results.
Industrial and commercial users as well as managers of major building projects clean up groundwater contaminants by utilizing chemicals such as sodium permanganate for water treatment. This can treat chlorinated solvents that poison soil and groundwater.
3. Look into water treatment methods.
As there are so many variations of water contaminants, there is also a range of water treatment methods that can be used to eliminate or counterbalance them. That being said, you either install systems into the Point of Entry (POE – before entering the domestic water distribution system) or at the Point of Use (POU – locations such as the kitchen sink or a showerhead).
Water treatment systems are an excellent approach to handle contaminated water. Here are some of the most common methods:
- Water filtration cleans water by trapping contaminants in a filter, often absorbing or breaking down the pollutants after filtration. This method allows you to enhance the taste and smell of your water and decreases the amount of some contaminants.
- Reverse-osmosis systems use water pressure to push the water supply through a semipermeable membrane so that inorganic solids such as salts can be removed from the water. This removes more and smaller contaminants from the water compared to water filtration systems. However, this treatment creates more water waste in the process.
- UV light treatment uses UV-C to interfere with the bacteria’s DNA fatally. It is more powerful than chlorination and can kill bacteria, viruses and other microbes.
Keep in mind, that your municipalities should be continuously remediating and testing for hazardous levels of water contaminants.
4. Do your part to keep it clean.
Obviously, you can’t control everything that comes into contact with your water. But you can certainly do your part to keep it as clean and healthy as possible.
- Never flush unused medicine.
- Make sure that you always appropriately dispose of hazardous household waste (such as light bulbs and electronics).
- Never pour grease down your drain as it can quickly clog your pipes and lead to blocked ducts and an overflowing sewer.
- Purchase suitable lawn and garden fertilizers.
- Don’t throw anything into your storm drains such as grass and tree clippings.
- Properly manage and repair septic tanks to stop leaks or overflows from occurring.
Clean water for good health
There is no denying that if you want your loved ones and yourself to have good health, you have to ensure everyone is consuming clean, safe water every day. Water is essential to human life and everyone needs it for cooking, cleaning, and drinking.
As one of (if not the most) essential resources, it’s crucial that everyone take the steps to preserve the water quality of your homes and to make adjustments when necessary.
About the Author
Patrick Randall is the Vice President of National Sales at Hepure Technologies. He holds a BS in Mechanical and Chemical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from CSUS. He has been working in the environmental and bioremediation space since graduating in 1986.