Safe Drinking Water; Which Water Really is Safest to Drink?
How often do you actually think about safe drinking water? Our government certainly does, and you should too.
In March 2008, the Washington Post reported a study undertaken on the water supply in Arlington, Virginia by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The researchers found small concentrations of pharmaceutical medications – anti-seizure medications, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs – in the water. In another study, researchers found “pharmaceuticals, along with trace amounts of caffeine…in the drinking water supplies of 24 of 28 U.S. metropolitan areas tested.” This was the first time that the federal government had funded such a study and the results were certainly surprising if not astounding.
Even well water is becoming less safe because it comes from groundwater supplies. It can vary in mineral content and can contain heavy metals, insecticides, agricultural wastes and even gasoline by-products. If we are drinking well water, then it should be tested for mineral content as well as contaminants.
Spring Water and Mineral Water
Walk into any grocery store and you will see rows upon rows of spring water for sale. This is the “natural” water found in underground springs, but near to the surface of the earth. This water may be disinfected with chlorine, but otherwise is not processed. Since it comes from underground sources, it may also contain harmful chemicals. Make certain that the water has been tested and you can get lab reports from the companies selling the water. Also, different parts of the country have different amounts of minerals in their underground springs. Water from the Midwest has the highest mineral content.
Most of the spring water is bottled in plastic bottles that have come under scrutiny as of late for being carcinogenic, which can lead to more serious health issues. Of course, it would be ideal to drink spring water from glass bottles – that is, if these can be found. Mineral water, on the other hand, is spring water that is found deeper in the earth in underground pools. Even though the water is naturally “bubbly,” carbon dioxide is added to make it carbonated. Make certain that the water has been checked for contamination.
This is water that has been treated with a carbon filter to remove chemicals, metals and bacteria. This is one of the best forms of water to drink. The minerals stay intact and the most common contaminants are filtered out. There are home units that can be purchased and attached to the home’s water supply – even the shower. There are many types available, each having different capabilities.
Distilled water is actually tap water that has been boiled until the minerals have been steamed out. It also may be highly filtered to remove all minerals and trace elements. It is great for ironing and for some detoxification programs, but not for everyday use. The reality is that we need the minerals that water provides so that we don’t experience dehydration.
Find our where to find safe drinking water and what to avoid. HERE