National Water Quality Month

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The Environmental Protection Agency has designated August as National Water Quality Month, which is a perfect chance to consider the purity of the water you consume. As you know, quality can vary greatly from tap to bottle. Some water may contain mere harmless microbes and bacteria, while other sources can be contaminated with lead, or even radioactive minerals that can measurably impair your health.

If you receive water quality reports, items to watch out for include high levels of microbes, radionuclides, cryptosporidum, arsenic, lead, uranium, giardia and inorganic contamination. Many people no longer trust tap water, period, and depending on where you live, it may well pay to be on guard. The issue of water purity is a problem worth solving, however, given the critical importance of staying well hydrated.

Why is drinking enough water so important? For starters, water is an essential nutrient which makes up 55-75% of your body, transports nutrients in and cellular waste out, regulates body temperature, protects your organs and helps you stay mentally alert. In fact, drinking too little─dehydration─is associated with memory loss, reduced cognitive function, kidney problems, even weight gain.

Did you know water is also a great energy booster? According to Debra Waterhouse, R.D. in her book Outsmarting Female Fatigue (2002), even mild dehydration can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. Water facilitates all biochemical reactions, including the production of vital ATP molecules that power our bodies with energy.

Given the importance of this life-giving fluid, what are you options when it comes to purity and safety? Here are some suggestions, in order of cost.

  • Least expensive is a filtered water pitcher through which you run your tap water. These are fast and easy, and definitely clean out some, though not all, contaminants.
  • Next best is buying bottled, distilled water, though it’s far from eco-friendly if you use disposable plastic bottles. A delivery service or fill-your-own reusable 5-gallon jugs is far better for both budget and planet.
  • More elaborate water filtration systems that attach to your kitchen sink are the next level up. These are hassle-free once installed and the better ones yield very clean water.
  • A complete home filtration system─though your costliest option─is ideal, since this gives you drinking water from all taps, which also allows you to brush teeth, bathe and shower in water that has had potentially-dangerous chemicals removed.

National Water Quality Month is a clear invitation to make contaminated water a thing of the past─at least in your own home. You and those you love deserve it.

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