It’s easy to take tap water for granted. It’s there on demand, and here in Australia, it’s of a pretty high quality. However, no tap water is completely free from impurities or additives. In fact, the purification process itself involves the addition of some helpful substances to tap water.
So let’s take a look at some of the common substances found in tap water. It might surprise you to see some of them, but there’s no need to worry! Tap water purity is closely monitored in Australia, and impurities are mostly only present in minute quantities.
Lead: It’s in a lot of tap water, and the reason might surprise you
Lead is not exactly a welcome addition to your drink bottle. It’s got a bad reputation as harmful heavy metal, and that reputation is well-deserved. However, in earlier times, lead was present in the metals used for plumbing purposes. In fact, it had some pretty interesting side effects in centuries gone. Today, lead is all but absent from drinking water systems. However, in certain places where antiquated plumbing remains, there may be trace amounts of lead in tap water. As for your tap water though, chances are you’re completely safe.
Mercury: Agricultural runoff can easily see mercury enter tap water supplies
Mercury is present in agricultural runoff, industrial waste, and landfill. It’s very harmful to humans, and even short-term exposure can cause kidney problems. Luckily, today, mercury is effectively managed to keep it from drinking water supplies. However, there have been instances worldwide where excessive runoff or factory pollution has seen mercury enter tap water. Fortunately, such events have led to careful regulation around the use of mercury in agriculture, and its proximity to water supplies.
Chlorine: It’s an essential decontaminant in a lot of tap water – but you don’t want too much!
Chlorine is a decontaminant, and it can be used in tap water to enhance its purity. However, chlorine can also be a harmful chemical. As a result, any presence it may have in tap water is at minute trace levels. Too much chlorine can lead to adverse health effects.
That is why its presence in any water is tightly controlled and monitored. Of course, there are other ways to purify water. For example, water coolers offer pure spring water, purified by other means. It is clean, refreshing, and generally lower in contaminants than tap water.
Fluoride: It’s great for your teeth, and it’s in a lot of drinking water worldwide
Finally, some more positive additives! Fluoride is an additive in most tap water. It is terrific for dental health, and its presence in drinking water has been endorsed by dental associations worldwide. Generally, the level of fluoride in tap water is still quite low. But even at exceptionally low levels, it can have great health benefits.
Giardia: Common after floods, the giardia parasite can enter tap water and cause illness
Giardia is a common addition to tap water after flooding. It is a small parasite that can cause illness to humans if consumed. You may have seen ‘boil before drinking’ notices placed on the use of tap water after flooding. Giardia is one possible cause of that. It is generally found in animal faeces, and flooding can cause such products to enter drinking water supplies.
The best way to avoid post-flooding contamination is to drink purified spring water. Sourced from unaffected areas, from nature’s purest water source, purified spring water is not affected by giardia. Better still, you can get a steady supply of purified spring water delivered to your doorstep. That means it is a great decision for those who live in areas susceptible to flooding, or other natural disasters.