We all know water is an important part of our survival. Experts tell us we can expect to live only about three days without water, compared to three weeks without food. Most of us have easy access to water throughout our day whether its bottled water, from a water cooler or straight from a tap. Even with so many options, chances are you aren’t getting enough water in your diet. Even if you are, you probably haven’t thought much about where your water comes from and how clean it is.
Water for Cooking and Cleaning
Clean water is essential, not just for drinking, but also for cooking and sanitation. In total, the average person requires about five to fifteen gallons of safe, clean water per day. You probably start your day using water by taking a shower and brushing your teeth. We wash our dishes and our clothes with water. We clean and cook our food with water. And of course, we should be drinking lots of water throughout the day.
Drinking Water for Health
It is recommended that women consume 91 ounces of water per day and men should get at least 125 ounces. Your water intake can come from all sources including other beverages and foods with a high water content. This number can go up if you exercise or are in a hot environment. When you’re sweating, it is possible to lose about a quart of water in an hour. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to start drinking. Thirst is actually a sign that dehydration has already started to occur. You should be drinking water throughout the day, on a regular basis. If you’re water tastes bad, here’s what you can do.
How Clean is Your Water?
When you take notice of how often you use water, you may start to think about just how clean your water really is. Whether you have well or municipal in your house, clear water does not mean clean water. Well water is not regulated, and it is up to the well owner to test water quality. Because changes to the soil and the environment can impact well water, it is recommended that you test your well water at least once a year. Municipal water is regulated, but testing requirements and regulations vary by state. Even if your municipal water tests safe at the source, the piping in your home could be leaching contaminants into your drinking water.
The first signs that your water might be contaminated are cloudiness and odor, but a lack of warning signs doesn’t mean your water is safe. Many of the contaminants that are cause for concern can easily go undetected. They are colorless, odorless, and tasteless. More and more cases of illness related to tainted water are reported in the news each year. Learn more about impurities in your water.
Home Water Testing
Because contamination isn’t always easy to detect, the only way to know for sure what is in your water is to test it. There are many companies that will come to your home to test your water. There are also labs where you can mail samples to be tested. One of the faster and easiest ways to find out what is in your water is with a home water testing kit. These kits contain all the tests you need to analyze your water for a variety of contaminants, including heavy metals, bacteria, and pesticides. The tests are easy to administer and give you results in minutes for most tests and within a few days for bacteria tests.
Contaminated water can cause serious health issues, especially for infants, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health problems. Not only does poor quality water impact your health, but some water problems can also reduce the efficiency of your appliances, taps, and plumbing, indirectly affecting health. Regular testing is the best way to know what is in your water.