Doctors recommend drinking eight cups of water daily, or 64 fluid ounces. This is a recommendation, but it varies from person-to-person. Your daily water intake needs are dependent on:
- Physical activity
You need enough water to replace the amount of water you lose daily. A runner will need to drink more water than a person that spent the day on the couch. Some recommendations for water intake go as high as 125 ounces – nearly double the recommendation people are following.
But you also need to consider another factor: water quality.
1. Water Contaminants
Water quality is directly tied to contaminants in the water. The EPA sets limits on the amount of contaminants it views as “safe,” but people can be more vulnerable if they’re:
- In chemotherapy
- Suffering from HIV/AIDS
- Infants or children
- Transplant patients
The EPA provides safe limits for 90 contaminants. Chemical and microbial contaminants are in your water, so it’s important to concern yourself with water quality before you start drinking your daily recommended amount of water.
2. Bottled Water Can Be Contaminated
Bottled water is a big business, and people are more than happy to spend money on the 39 billion gallons of water Americans drink annually. The FDA regulates bottled water, and the FDA looks for the following contaminants:
The issue is that your general city tap water is tested over 100 times per year while bottled water is under far less scrutiny. You’ll also pay a lot more per bottle of water. Water bottles made from plastic may also contain harmful BPAs and will have their own environmental impact to worry about.
So, before you choose to buy a huge pack of bottled water, think twice – it’s expensive and may be contaminated.
3. Tap Water Can Be Contaminated, Too
Tap water is far less expensive than its bottled counterpart, and it also tastes better according to several random taste tests. The good thing about tap water, not to be confused with well water, is that it undergoes as much as 100 tests for contaminants annually.
If an issue occurs, county sewer repair will take care of it.
Water line breaks are always a concern, but when the tap water is controlled by the city, it must be repaired quickly and will undergo severe testing. If you are afraid of lead consumption, because even lead-free pipes contain as much as 8% lead, you can:
- Run the water for 1 minute before consumption
Running the water drains out most of the contaminants before you drink the water.
So, how can you reduce your water contamination?
The truth is that you can only reduce so much contamination. There will always be some concern of contamination, but water filters and systems can help you reduce contamination greatly. Never drink unsafe water even when using filters.
Filter options, include:
- Carbon. Carbon filters remove taste and odor contaminants. Pesticides and certain metals are also removed.
- Ion Exchange. Minerals that make water hard are removed with ion exchange. This method of filtration is best used in combination with other methods to purify the water further.
- Reverse Osmosis. A highly effective way to remove contaminants in water, reverse osmosis will remove sodium, petrochemicals, pesticides and nitrates from your water.
- Distillation. Distilled water revolves around boiling water and creating distilled water in the process.
Water filtration does cost a lot upfront, but it is a long-term investment that is cheaper than buying bottled water. You can also have your water tested after filtration to see how it compares to your city’s water and bottled water.
Before you drink another cup of water, make sure you know just how contaminated the water is that you’re drinking.