We are predisposed to think that city water is the best water we can get for our homes, but every year, we hear about cities that declare water emergencies. While cities have the best intentions for their citizens, contaminants may be hiding in your water due to natural occurrences or aging infrastructure. Have you ever wondered what is in Nashville Municipal water and if there is a safer and better alternative to city water? The answers may surprise you.
General Quality of Municipal Water
No matter where you go in the country, city water will be comprised of so much more than just H2O. For instance, most water is from rivers & lakes in TN, filtered, treated with chemicals like chlorine, and pumped to your home. It is pumped to your home through miles of often antiquated piping, after its final city water treatment. The CDC says that four parts per million or PPM of chlorine in city water is a safe level. To put that into perspective, the average city pool has one to three PPM of chlorine, and five PPM is considered too high to swim.
Chlorine is only one of the many additives in city water; one of the most notorious is fluoride, which has come under some controversy in the last decade.
Even if the city didn't add anything to your water, you might still find more than just H20 in your water supply. When water travels through the ground, it picks up what are essentially microscopic rocks called minerals. Minerals like calcium and magnesium in your water are what cause the common term "hard water" and can wreak havoc on your skin and appliances.
Common Contaminants in Nashville Water
Nashville is no different than any other city in the country, so they have its own natural and added elements in city water. Nashville's water supply is known to have bromodichloromethane, chloroform, haloacetic acid, radium, and trihalomethanes; all are thought to cause cancer. In addition, the City of Nashville admits to adding bleach to kill bacteria in the water and fluoride as per government recommendation. While Nashville water is allegedly soft by USGS water standards, it still has five grains per gallon water hardness, so it is not entirely soft.
Quality of Nashville Municipal Water
With so many contaminants in Nashville's drinking water, you would think it isn't safe to drink, but according to the government, it is. Nashville has only had two violations of the Water Safety Act over the past decade, and both were "non-health based infractions." Regarding water quality, Nashville is pretty average with the rest of the country.
Regulations of Nashville Municipal Water
Nashville municipal water regulations fall under the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's water supply program. This program is responsible for regulating water quality through the following actions.
- Supervising construction of new public water works systems, including design, construction, and operation.
- Creating and enforcing rules around the operation and maintenance of public water works.
- Requiring public water works to meet the requirements of the Safe Water Drinking Act through observation and enforcement when necessary.
- Certifying laboratories and water suppliers desiring to conduct microbiological, organic, inorganic, and turbidity analysis of drinking water samples.
- Testing of water supply systems to ensure they are sanitary and compliant with rules and regulations.
- Providing aid and technical assistance to public water works.
- They are conducting examinations of water supply system operators and certifying compliance with performance standards.
- Offering ongoing training and resources to public water works operators
- Verifying and recording an accurate database of water supply records.
City Water and Your Body
Now that you know what is in Nashville's municipal water, you probably have questions about what it does to your body. Most additives in city water are considered harmless; after all, they wouldn't be pumping poison into city water. However, some of the additives are considered questionable when it comes to adverse health effects.
One thing is certain; the minerals found in most city water, aka hard water, can do a number on your hair and skin. Hardwater can exacerbate skin conditions and make healthy hair and skin dry, itchy, and brittle.
City water isn't only potentially harmful to your body; it can also affect your house's body. To be more clear, hard water leaves behind residue that will build up in pipes over time, throttling water pressure and potentially bursting pipes. In addition, it will significantly reduce the lifespan of your appliances.
Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting
If the idea of everything floating around in your city's water leaves a bad taste in your mouth, don't worry because there is another option. Rainwater harvesting is a method of capturing and filtering rainwater to supply your home with the freshest, most natural water possible, and it has many benefits.
The most important feature of rainwater is it is free from contaminants and additives. When rainwater reaches your house, it is the purest water you will find anywhere. First, rainwater doesn't come in contact with harmful ground contaminants like pesticides or heavy metals from aging municipal infrastructure. Instead, rainwater comes from the sky, then goes through our multi-step filtration process to remove anything the water may have come in contact with on your roof. Second, rainwater is pure water that falls from the sky, so it is not pumped full of cleansing chemicals like bleach or chlorine.
Another knock on city water - and even more so, well water - is how hard it can be. Hard water causes all kinds of problems with your plumbing, appliances, and body. Rainwater collected through a harvesting system never touches the ground, so it doesn't pick up the minerals that make it hard, making rainwater the softest water there is.
Rainwater harvesting makes you self-sufficient, so you won't need to worry about water reliability. Wells can run out, and city water can be disconnected for several reasons, but your rain tanks will always be connected to your plumbing. Rainwater harvesting is perfect for off-grid living and is the best backup plan in an emergency. Though it will likely never happen, if your rainwater tanks run low, you can always fill them or switch to another water source until they refill.
There are many ways that switching to rainwater will save you money, starting with stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff is becoming a significant issue, especially with new construction. Using your rainwater harvesting system manages storm runoff and prevents you from having to dig a costly retention pond that has no other use.
Then there are the savings you get from not paying a monthly water bill. Unfortunately, as water becomes more scarce, many municipalities are starting to increase the price per gallon of water, which can add up at the end of the month.
Lastly, it saves you money in the long run as well by keeping your pipes and appliances free of hard water so they last much longer than they would using regular city water.
The "Other Option" Is Only Becoming More Popular
The harvesting and use of rainwater is growing in popularity, which makes sense since it has so many benefits. Are you interested in rainwater harvesting for your home? Contact us today for a quick, easy, and reliable solution to your problem. You will love knowing that there is nothing but water streaming through your pipes.