The concern of drinking water purity is growing. So naturally, the need for education is following suit. Water filters and bottled water are now commonplace with the rise in awareness that what is in our food and water is also entering our bodies. But how do we decipher the validity of everything we hear?
There is a wide spectrum of what we might call “drinking water purification” or “drinking water filtration.” The spectrum ranges from removing a few contaminants or chemicals to producing all but exactly pure water. For our purposes, we are going to label “drinking water purification” as the highest standard for residential purification, and currently that is, reverse osmosis.
People don’t want to drink chemicals and contaminants. And with new concerns, come new myths. We’re here to set you on the right path to pure clean drinking water.
Myths of Drinking Water Purification
Myth #1 – City Water is Purified to a High Quality
Water municipalities supply over 80% of the population with water every day. Due to mass collection, filtration, and distribution, the water that comes out of your faucet may not be quite as pure as you think. The disinfecting chemicals used to make the water microbiologically safe affect the taste and smell of the water, although most peoples’ bodies become used to the smell and taste after being exposed over time.
The contaminants found in municipal water may surprise you, we wrote an entire article covering contaminants in municipal water. The list includes hormones, pharmaceuticals, herbicides, pesticides, and much more. This list comes straight from the EPA.
Myth #2 – Chlorine is the Only Contaminant that Really Needs to be Removed
Even from what is stated above, this myth is highly false. While Chlorine/Chloramine (Chloramine is a chemical that is a mixture of chlorine and ammonia) are easily detected by taste and odor, there are many other contaminants that can be present in municipal water.
In fact, the EPA has released two documents that cover contaminants that are present or are likely to be present in municipal water and have NO REGULATIONS.
Myth #3 – Water Purification Removes Minerals that Your Body Needs and That are Healthy for You
It is faulty to think that one’s primary intake of healthy minerals would be through water. While it is true that water purification does remove minerals, it will not affect your health because the body’s primary source of minerals comes from food, not your water.
To illustrate, the number of minerals one would intake from eight 8-ounce glasses of water would be much less than even one slice of bread. Plus, the body regulates the minerals that enter it in liquid form, rendering many of the minerals in municipal water useless to the body anyway.
Another great example to debunk this myth is calcium. The bioavailability in milk is 7%, the bioavailability in broccoli is 85%, but the bioavailability in water is less than 1%. To take it one step further, the calcium found in your water is dissolved rock. Your body cannot even absorb dissolved rock.
However, your broccoli plant can use dissolved rock. So once a broccoli plant has taken that dissolved rock and converted it to a chelated calcium, only then will it absorb into your bloodstream. So the lesson here is you should not rely on your water to get calcium, but rather eat your broccoli with good clean water on the side and you’ll feel great.
If minerals are a must for your water than the water should be purified and re-mineralized. That way it is controlled, and only good minerals are in your drinking water, NOT minerals and a host of other contaminants.
Myth #4 – Filters Such as the Berkey or Brita filters are Just as Good as Reverse Osmosis
The price point of these products makes them so easy to rely on. And they are often advertised as removing 99.99% of all contaminants in the water. But this is simply not true.
Most often, there are a few components to these types of countertop, faucet and pitcher filters: Microfiltration, carbon filtration, and perhaps an activated resin of some sort. They claim to remove viruses, cysts, microbiological bacteria, and so much more. But it doesn’t add up.
Microfiltration is at the bottom of list when it comes to drinking water purification. This document from the CDC lists the five most common filtration levels from least effective to the greatest: microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, distillation, and reverse osmosis. Although microfiltration is a start, it is far from getting you to the cleanest drinking water you and your family deserve.
Myth #5 – Reverse Osmosis Systems Need to Be Under the Sink
While this is true for many “online water purifiers” or “box store systems”, reverse osmosis systems have made great strides in the recent years. Our company, for instance, installs central water purification.
This means that we have purified water lines running throughout the house to different locations, all being supplied by the unit that is in a mechanical room, garage, crawlspace, or basement. This not only frees up that under-sink area for the everyday items, but efficiently distributes clean water throughout your home.
There are a lot of myths out there about your drinking water, but the best news is that there are also a lot of answers. Contact PerfectWater for a free water consultation today to get the facts.
Want to learn even more about whole-home water purification in Knoxville and Nashville? Check out our Knoxville and Nashville Residents Guide to Water Purification.