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In the 1798 poem titled, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a sailor says, “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

The sailor was staring out at a seemingly endless expanse of ocean near the equator. He was lamenting the fact that he couldn’t quench his insatiable thirst due to the ocean’s saltwater.

We may not be surrounded by an ocean but we might have water coming through our taps that’s not particularly safe to drink.

And if a natural disaster further contaminates our water, we might not have any water suitable for drinking or bathing in a survival situation.

Opportunities for contamination

Approximately 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. And yet millions of people do not have access to clean water.

Even in countries with a greater capacity for purifying water, such as ours, water can become contaminated between the time it leaves a treatment facility and enters our homes.

You might feel safe if you access water from a private well. But that water can still become contaminated through unsafe groundwater.

There’s only one reliable solution to this problem and that’s using an effective water filtration system in your home.

What to watch out for 

How do you know if your tap water is possibly contaminated? Bob Vila gives us five things to watch for.

One is bad taste. If your water starts tasting different than it used to, there might be a problem. It could be too high in mineral content. A second is the year your house was built. If constructed prior to 1986, you may have lead water pipes leading into your home.

Third is well water. Some wells produce clean water. Other well water has been contaminated with pesticides and chemicals. A fourth is dingy clothing. Too much iron can give clothes a rusty hue. And fifth is you have to scrub too much to clean your sink. That’s an indication of contamination.

But even if you don’t have any of those five things going on, your water could still be contaminated.

Benefits from filtration

What are some of the benefits you’ll receive from filtering your water? There are many, but I’ll just mention five here.

  •           Have clean drinking water. This is the most obvious benefit but its advantages cannot be overemphasized. Your tap water may be contaminated and need filtration. Even if the water coming out of your faucets has been treated at the plant, it likely contains fluoride and chlorine. Your filtration system can get rid of a vast majority of those chemicals.
  •           Improve the taste. People get used to the taste of their tap water over time. But once they start filtering it at home, they realize how much better it tastes. And when your water tastes better, you’re likely to drink more than you would have. And that’s good for your health.
  •           Reduce the risk of disease. None of the contaminants in tap water is good for you, but some are worse than others. They can cause serious health issues. You can spare yourself from dealing with some of those problems by filtering your tap water.
  •           Enhance your preparedness efforts. One of the big problems with water contamination is that it often isn’t discovered until people have been drinking that tainted water for some time. Filtering your water in advance of a contamination will help protect you and your family.
  •           Save money and the environment. Many people concerned about potential contamination in their tap water buy bottled water. Purchasing a water filtration system rather than bottled water can save you hundreds of dollars a year. And it’s very likely your filtered tap water is healthier for you than bottled water. Water bottles are no friend of the environment. According to National Geographic, only 30 percent of water bottles are properly recycled. And it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to completely degrade.

Every year we learn more and more about water contamination and the harm it can do. You owe it to yourself to minimize the risks by filtering your tap water.

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