Worried About Bad Water? Read This

Water resistivity measurement

There are so many things that we as Americans take for granted, and clean water is definitely one of them. However as it stands, deaths stemming from unclean water or insufficient water account for 3% of deaths world wide. In fact, 2 million tons of sewage and waste are dumped into the world’s water every single day, and the U.S. is just as guilty as the rest of the globe. Just because we have comparatively better governmental filtering systems and safeguards doesn’t mean our water is immune to pollution. Luckily, there are a few practical steps that you as a citizen can take to reduce your chances of coming into contact with polluted water. Some of these steps include:
1. Do research on the area where you live.
I have no doubt that if there were a comprehensive study done of the streams and ponds in my community, our water would be part of the 78% with below-average quality and surrounding biodiversity. This is because I live on Long Island, and any analysis of water quality parameters here would have to take into account the fact that for hundreds of years, Long Island was one great big potato farm. This means that the pesticide DDT was sprayed across land and water for generations, and likely effects any water quality analysis results. If you move to a new area, it’s always good to know if that area has any “skeletons” in the water closet. It could be DDT, black mold, radiation — the list of pollutants goes on and on. Most likely the local government is aware of these hazards, but there’s no harm in keeping local officials accountable and inquiring about the water safety procedures in place.
2. Test the water you use personally.
This is especially important if you live on a farm or are dependent on well water. You might not be aware, but there are DIY water quality kits on the market that empower you to test your water for yourself and cut out the middle man. Water quality kits vary in quality and price, so it’s important to do your research. For example, if you’ve never worked with water testing kits before you’re probably going to want to pay the extra few dollars for the user friendly model. It’s also important to read the fine print and make sure the water quality kits you’re looking at are tailored to your situation. Well water test kits for example might be looking for different pollutants than a kit designed specifically for mineral detection and hard water mitigation, for example.
3. Prepare for the worst case scenario.
Okay, so say you test the water and it comes back positive for cyanide or something else scary. This is not the end of the world, because not only are there water testing kits available to purchase, there are also high quality home filtration systems that can filter all the water you personally use. These systems can be partial (to focus on crop water for example), or entire home care systems that make your Brita filter look primitive. Ultimately it’s up to you how far you want to take water filtration, but with good research and good water testing, you’ll be empowered with the knowledge you need to make a responsible decision.