Are you one of the 83% of people of people in America that use municipal water? Here’s another question, how many times do you turn on a water faucet in your home every day?
Water is a life essential that we probably don’t give a second thought to if we’re honest. We can live with an assumption that the water coming out of our faucet is high-quality, good, and healthy for our family.
Some of you reading do not fall into that category. Some of you are educated on the contaminants and water quality of municipal water and want to learn more.
Wherever you find yourself today, I challenge you to continue reading and learn more about water!
Let me be VERY clear. We think that municipalities are very good. They provide millions of people with hundreds of millions of gallons of water every single day, and that’s only in Tennessee alone! In fact, Tennessee municipalities are estimated to collect, filter, and distribute 500 million to 1 billion gallons of water EVERY SINGLE DAY.
That is a massive amount of water. And U.S. municipalities provide, more than likely, the highest quality of public water available in the world. They do exactly what they are there to do, and provide water that meets the guidelines and regulations that are set before them by the EPA.
It would be an infeasible task to provide mass-water distribution that meets our standards of high-quality water. That is why final-barrier-filtration is the answer to the water-quality problem in the U.S.
Most municipalities collect water from either surface water sources such as rivers and lakes, or from groundwater sources such as well water. Because of the Tennessee geographical layout, most Tennessee municipalities, including those in Nashville, TN, primarily use surface water.
Using surface water isn’t necessarily at an advantage or disadvantage compared to well water supply. Both go through a similar mass-filtration process:
- Coagulation and Flocculation: This is a process of injecting positively charged chemicals into the water, which binds particles already in the water with the chemical, creating larger particles, called floc.
- Sedimentation: The water is then sent to a large tank where the floc settles at the bottom.
- Filtration: The clear water on the top is then sent through various filters including sand, gravel, and charcoal filters with multiple pore sizes.
- Disinfection: After filtration, a disinfecting chemical such as chlorine or chloramine is added into the water to kill any remaining bacteria, viruses, or parasites. It also is meant to keep the water protected on its way throughout the municipality plumbing.
From this point, the water is stored and sent through the distribution system, which is miles of piping (much of distribution is still made up of old iron galvanized pipes), then it reaches your home’s water meter and into your whole-house plumbing.
Common Contaminants in Municipal Water
I wrote a lengthy article that covers the contaminants found in municipal water – I would encourage you read it to get more in-depth detail on this subject. Here is some basic information:
Chlorine/Chloramine is a the most common disinfectant used in the filtration process, this chemical is toxic to human health. In my opinion, just this disinfectant alone should be enough reason to filter it out when the water reaches your home.
Other contaminants can include pesticides, pharmaceuticals, insecticides, chemical-byproducts, and much more.
Regulations of Municipal Water
While there is a lot I could cover on the regulations of municipal water, I would also refer back to the article I mentioned above for greater detail, but there are two things you need to know:
1st, the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations – this is a list of the 88 contaminants that are found or likely to be found in municipal water that are currently regulated. Out of the 88, only 1 contaminant is regulated to be at 0 presence. Now there are many contaminants that have a “goal” of zero presence, but legally allow the contaminant to be present in some amount.
I would encourage you to read over the NPDWR document on the EPA website.
2nd, the Common Contaminant List – this is a list of over 130 contaminants that are present or likely to be present in municipal water that are currently NOT REGULATED at all (that wording is straight from the EPA website). This list includes pesticides, insecticides, pharmaceuticals, hormones, herbicides, and more.
What’s the Solution?
Okay, that’s probably a lot to take in. Don’t worry, we’ve tried to simplify it down into three simple steps to make sure you have the highest quality of water for your home and family.
Step 1. Remove the chlorine/chloramine from your whole-house water. This chemical affects your skin, hair, and health, it needs to be removed.
Step 2. Soften the water. One of the contaminants I didn’t mention above is calcium and magnesium, these create what is known as “hard water”. Hard water affects almost everything it touches: skin, hair, clothes, washing machines, dishwashers, coffee makers, plumbing, dishes, water heaters, and more. The benefits of soft water are numerous.
Step 3. Purified drinking water. High-quality drinking water is the cherry on top. All the contaminants I mentioned such as hormones, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides are removed with reverse osmosis. High-quality drinking water for consumption provides peace-of-mind that you are helping maintain good natural health for your family.
Okay, I think that pretty much covers it. … no, not really, there is plenty more that could be said or questions you may have. If you would like any help or sincere answers to your questions, please feel free to reach out and we would be glad to help!
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. You can also contact our team.