Although municipalities and towns adhere to local and federal government guidelines, water contamination still occurs in our homes. Generally, city water is safe since the Environmental Protection Agency regulates it. Although most of it is not consumed, all of it undergoes treatment.
However, note that the quality of the water varies from one home to another. In most jurisdictions, the water is processed at treatment plants before the testing is done. Water contamination is dangerous and can result in waterborne diseases. There are several signs of contaminated water.
One of the obvious indications is if it appears cloudy or colored. Hard water is common in many homes across the country. Therefore, it may contain a significant amount of minerals and other substances. However, your drinking water should always be clear. If you notice the water is cloudy or colored, contact an expert to do an analysis.
Another common sign that water is contaminated is chlorine or sulfur smells. Chlorine is often added to water in small amounts to kill bacteria. However, excessive use can result in odors when the water is coming out of the faucet.
On the other hand, sulfur occurs naturally in the ground, and it may get into your water supply. Many homeowners prefer using Berkey water filters to remove different contaminants. Here are some tricks to prevent water contamination at home:
Proper Disposal of Chemicals
Chemicals such as paint and thinner are becoming a major cause of water contamination in various homes. Millions of people tend to dump toxic chemicals by flushing them down the toilet every month. With time, the effects of the materials add up. This is why you need to ensure proper disposal.
You can recycle most household chemicals. For example, some jurisdictions have put up recycling centers where residents can take used engine oil, old paint, and other household chemicals.
Also, you can look for community collection centers and drop-off sites near your home. There are hazardous waste collection days in some areas where such chemicals can be delivered for safe disposal.
When shopping, avoid purchasing products that contain hazardous chemicals. Some manufacturers are now offering non-toxic cleaning products and pesticides. You may spend more money on such products, but this will automatically reduce water contamination.
Avoid Pouring Fat and Grease Into the Drain
Dispose of the substances in the trash or “fat jar” and throw them away with other solid waste. Note that fat and grease can accumulate and cause the clogging of sewer pipes and back up into your yard. The waste also contaminates the surrounding water bodies.
Using Phosphate-Free Cleaning Products
Another effective way of reducing water contamination is using just enough of the products for the work. Phosphates aren’t the only harmful substances found in cleaners. The chemicals reduce the amount of oxygen in water, resulting in algae blooms and the death of aquatic animals.
According to some studies, many soaps have hormone-disrupting chemicals that can result in medical disorders. Consider using natural products to minimize water contamination. You can find many DIY procedures for making safe cleaning products.
Avoid the Use of Pesticides and Chemical Fertilizers
The products are effective when it comes to getting rid of bugs in your home. However, they are also major water pollutants. Pesticides contain many chemicals, including sulfur, chlorine, bromine, and metals, such as copper and mercury. Contamination occurs when they’re used on areas used for growing crops and get flushed into water bodies.
When pesticides contaminate water, it becomes harmful for consumption, and when coming into contact with them. On the other hand, chemical fertilizers contain nitrates and phosphates, which are the leading causes of water contamination. Nitrogen and phosphorus result in eutrophication. The process involves enriching water with nutrients and hence algae bloom.
Some of the signs of that eutrophication have taken place include an increase in the production of biomass such as algae, the release of toxins by algae, changes in the odor of water, and the clogging of water canals.
Avoid Flushing Medications Down the Drain
Water quality experts have expressed their concerns over water contamination due to prescription drugs. Some reports have shown that pharmaceuticals such as hormones, mood stabilizers, and antibiotics are common in drinking water supplies.
According to some researchers, the drugs usually get into the water when people flush some medication down the toilets. Experts believe some pharmaceuticals may remain even after water treatment procedures. However, the levels are low. This has been a concern for about a decade now.
Water contamination is a serious problem in many homes. Some of the common contaminants are avoidable. You can ensure the safety of your drinking water by using the tips above to prevent water contamination.