It is impossible to make a singular statement about the quality, or lack thereof, of tap water – it simply depends on too many factors, not least where you actually live. Nevertheless, many people consider their tap water substandard, which is why products such as simple bottled water all the way up to advanced water products like diatomic hydrogen water, end up selling so well.
Dissatisfaction with tap water drives the market. Just ask water product specialists Synergy Science, who say that this is pretty much the number one reason why there is a market for their products at all. By all sorts of metrics – taste, hydration efficiency, and purity – tap water falls short of the mark.
Of course, if buying endless amount of bottled water is not the thing for you, then the obvious alternative option is to start filtering the water that comes out of the tap. This can be done by means of a separate water filter into which tap water is decanted, or else a filtration system can be installed right into the home’s water system itself.
However, far from just being a consumer luxury in this sense, sometimes home water filtration is a necessity or, if not a necessity, the only way to avoid tap water that is so substandard that it can begin to cause health detriments when regularly consumed. Sometimes tap water is not even suitable for washing or cleaning, in which case a filtration system very certainly is a necessity if the tap water is going to be used at all.
Things rarely get that bad, but there are several generally accepted indicators that tap water really should be filtered before use. Nevertheless, it is wise to look first at the causes and dangers of substandard tap water.
When Tap Water Goes Bad
It is generally thought that purified or distilled water is the gold standard for drinking water – you’re getting all the bad stuff out, right? Well, while this may indeed be true, it is not the case that all impurities are bad. The minerals contained within mineral water, for example, are technically impurities, and there are many other impurities in different waters that have beneficial health effects.
But of course, some of the impurities are not good for you at all. For example, some homes that are fitted with older lead piping or pipes that have degraded somewhat will pass some of these metallic contaminants into the water itself. Sometimes, the original water source for your tap water can also be contaminated (in the bad way) to some extent and, while it will nearly always be technically safe to drink, it can taste unpleasant and contain mildly harmful substances.
Signs That You Should Start Filtering
So, there could be two ways to proceed. Tap water filtration will nearly always significantly improve the quality of your home’s water. Therefore, you could simply be looking for better home water, even if there are no serious problems. The other reason you could be that it is necessary or at least highly recommended. To find out if you are in this latter camp, look out for these warning signs:
- The water tastes bad (this could be because of harmful contaminants)
- You have lead piping (usually in homes built before 1986)
- You use well water and not the water mains (wells are much less regulated for safety)
- Your clothes come out of the washer dull or dingey.
All of these are signs that you tap water is seriously substandard. If you notice even one, filtration is almost certainly a good idea.