While we would all love to trust that our water is safe everytime we turn on the tap, the reality is that dozens of people die due to contaminants in drinking water every year in the United States and Canada. We are not trying to scare you, but just as you have a fire alarm, carbon gas monitor, home insurance, we think it’s prudent to spend a few dollars each year to test your home water supply.
There are a few things you want to test for:
pH levels – you want to have as close to a pH level of 7 as possible. Anything below 7 is considered acidic, and anything above 7 is considered basic. But at the same time, anything close to 7 is fine for humans, and a lot of people are a little bit paniced over pH levels. As long as it’s close to 7, you’re in the safe.
Fluoride – most public water supplies have fluoride added to the water. Fluoride is naturally occurring at various levels from different water sources across the United States, and yet it is still added to most water to help prevent tooth decay in the population. If Fluoride levels are too high, you may want to consider a reverse osmosis filtration system to remove the fluoride.
Other Contaminants – anything from lead, arsenic, chlorine and other sediments can be found in public water supplies. And while some small levels are considered acceptable, they often times taste bad. You don’t need any fancy kit for this; if your water tastes bad, you may want to consider a filtration system.
Pathogens – these are bacteria and viruses that can cause major illness. This is the more rare occurrence since the water treatment plants usually heat water enough to be able to kill all pathogens.
How to test your drinking water
There are a variety of online kits available to test your drinking water, in addition to a variety of things you need to test for (mentioned above). Instead of writing you a long essay, we think this video on testing water quality sums it up perfectly.
How to Filter Water if drinking water isn’t acceptable
There are a few different ways you can filter your water, depending on how bad your tests go!
If water is really bad – Reverse Osmosis
If you have quite a few problems with your water, from a bad pH level, to a high fluoride level or having other unacceptable levels of contaminants, then you will want to consider purchasing a reverse osmosis filtration system. Reverse Osmosis filters between 99% – 99.99% of all contaminants and leaves you with some of the purest water you can possibly get, literally, in the universe.
If water just tastes bad but is safe – Gravity Filter
Sometimes the water is perfectly safe but just has enough trace amounts of sediments that it makes the water taste bad. In these cases, you just need a simple water filter, such as a Brita Gravity filter, which will take care of most tastes. While it won’t change any fluoride levels or any pathogens, it will get the majority of sediments, such as calcium and limescale.