You turn on the faucet and fill your glass with cool, clear, clean water—or do you? That water could possibly contain a lot of contaminants you can’t see, smell or taste.
Even within municipally treated systems, your drinking water may contain traces of chemicals, discarded prescription medicines, antibiotics or other contaminants.
What’s in your glass?
The nonprofit Water Quality Association has identified 18 common waterborne contaminants, ranging from aluminum to uranium. And one U.S. survey of 25 drinking water treatment plants found traces of up to 20 different pharmaceutical drugs present in water after going through the treatment process.
While little is yet known about the long-term effects of some of these contaminants, many are known to be potentially harmful to your health.
The bottom line is that the journey from the water source to your tap is a long one—leaving plenty of opportunities for contaminants to enter.
What causes contaminated water?
Pharmaceuticals and antibiotics can enter the water system when unused medicines are dumped into wastewater systems—flushed down toilet or poured down the drain—or when patients eliminate them from their bodies.
Once that happens, they can filter down into the aquifer or directly into surface-water sources.
Chemical contaminants enter the water much the same way, but may start with pesticide runoff or even from natural deposits in the earth.
“Contamination of water can come from a variety of sources including industry, agriculture and nature,” said Amanda Morgott, a product design engineer in research and development for Amway.
“You should only drink water deemed safe for human consumption by public health authorities, but the drinking water distribution system—including corroded pipes, roof top reservoirs, and even in-home plumbing components—can be potential sources of contamination as well.”
So, in that glass of water, you might find lead, mercury, asbestos, radon, radon decay products, more than 30 pesticides, vinyl chloride, gasoline additives, disinfection products, suspected carcinogens, opioids, antibiotics and more.
“This isn’t intended to scare people about their water quality, but to make them aware of the opportunities for contamination and the benefit of having a water treatment solution in your home,” Morgott said.
Choosing a water treatment system
The Water Quality Association notes that a “point of use” water treatment system, which treats contaminants right at the tap, provides “the final barrier to the contaminants of concern before the water is consumed or used.”
In choosing a system, one way to be certain of effectiveness is to look for products that have been tested by third-party evaluators, such as NSF® International. NSF is an independent, not-for-profit public health organization with a goal of helping people live more safely by putting consumer products through rigorous, highly controlled testing.
The eSpring™ UV Water Purifier manufactured by Amway was the first home water purifier to feature a carbon/UV system that meets NSF International Standards 42, 53, 55, and 401. These standards are recognized worldwide for water quality.
UV light water treatment
In addition to dramatic improvement in taste, odor, and clarity, eSpring has been found to reduce more than 140 potential health-effect contaminants in drinking water.
It uses UV light to treat water without the use of chemicals. The UV light destroys up to 99.99 percent of waterborne disease-causing bacteria and viruses. And it leaves in beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium.
A point of use water treatment system like eSpring means the next time you fill your glass, you won’t have to worry about what else is in there, but just take a big drink of clear, cool water.