While the United States water supply is considered among the safest in the world, the quality varies throughout the country; it still contains many contaminates that pose health risks.
In an attempt to control these risks and reduce contamination, chlorine, which is a type of disinfectant, is added to the water supply. Chlorine interacts with these contaminates creating a class of organic compounds known as total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), the most common of which is chloroform. TTHMs can have several side effects such as contributing to anemia (in vulnerable populations). Even when TTHM levels are kept well below the EPA’s maximum content level (MCL) of 100 micrograms per liter, medical research supports that long-term ingestion can increase the risk of certain cancers, and may cause adverse reproductive outcomes.
Complicating things even further, microbial cysts such as Giardia and Crytosporidium react to the unfavorable environment of chlorinated water by growing a cyst wall to survive in the hostile environment. Once in the more favorable environment of the stomach, the walls break down causing gastrointestinal problems.
Throughout the country, the water supply also contains varying levels of industrial pollutants such as asbestos, benzene, and VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds. The EPA determines the parameters of acceptable levels of these chemicals. However, acceptable levels are often still well within in a range that poses health risks.
Pharmaceuticals pose another problem. The water supply contains various levels of a wide variety of pharmaceuticals such as hormones and mood stabilizers. While the levels vary according to population numbers, trace levels are thought to enter the homes of 51 million Americans.
Water treatment facilities do not filter out all of these contaminates. Not every contaminate is regulated. Not every contaminate requires any type of testing.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency only requires testing for less than 100 of 75,000 known contaminates! This leaves a substantial number of contaminates for which there are no enforceable standards, such as the gasoline additive MTBE.
At Nuvia, we understand the different ways that water touches your life, and we understand the necessity of having clean, safe water for your home and business.