Health and Wellness

What is Really In My Tap Water?

Written by: Amy Sloane

Having access to water is wonderful, and it’s important to ensure the water coming into your home is safe for everyone. The problem is there could be a lot in your tap water you don’t know.


One thing tap water could have in it is lead. The US passed a law back in 1986 that outlawed the use of lead in plumbing systems, which is good. Sadly, the law didn’t make an effort to deal with the country’s infrastructure.


A number of the country’s water systems have lead plumbing. If the pipes corrode, the lead is released into the drinking water. This problem is affecting several places around the US like Detroit, Flint, and Pittsburgh. Lead poisoning is known to cause brain damage in children and reproductive issues in adults.


There’s no way to talk about what could be found in tap water without talking about chloride. City water systems use chloride to clean the water that makes it to your home. The water is supposed to be clean by the time it gets to you, but sometimes, chloride makes it through.


This could affect you even if you live in a place where the water is perfect. It’s important to have chloride removed, which is why folks are drawn to home water filtration systems. The most popular filters are the ones that use reserve osmosis, and once reverse osmosis is explained, you’ll know why. The system forces water to go through a series of filters using pressure, ultimately giving you water free of chloride, lead, and much more.

Radioactive Substances

It may be a hard pill to swallow, but the reality is some water systems have been exposed to radioactive substances. Of course, if you live near a nuclear plant, this is something to worry about and to keep an eye on, but there’s more to this. You can find some radioactive substances in nature, such as radium, uranium, and radon, just to name a few.


One reason folks worry about practices like coal mining, heavy construction, and oil production is that these practices could cause water contamination. They make it easier for the aforementioned substances to be released. If this happens, the substances could leach into your groundwater. This can put you, your family, and neighbors in danger.


Copper is another type of material used in plumbing. This material is a good plumbing option. It is high quality and lasts a long time, but it does need to be maintained. If the metal is not properly maintained, it may start to leach copper into your tap water. You could have a plumber check out your plumbing to see if your copper is properly maintained, but that only deals with the problem on your end.


These types of pipes are used by the city, and many public schools use copper pipes. This reality shows you why infrastructure repairs are vital. Now, copper in very small amounts is not bad for you, but it can become poisonous if you are consuming high amounts of it. You could be at risk of developing kidney or liver damage.

Perfluorooctanoic Acid

Another contaminant that could end up in your tap water is perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA. This chemical can be found almost anywhere in the country where Teflon is manufactured. That non-stick thing people love in cooking pans is a chemical that could leach into water systems when it’s being manufactured.


The substance is new, so there isn’t a lot of information about it, but there’s enough to cause some concern. Some people are starting to notice that high amounts of this chemical could be linked to things like testicular cancer, high cholesterol, colon ulcers, and so many other issues. It’s important to keep yourself informed regarding this chemical and whether or not your water system could be contaminated somehow with this chemical.


One of the smartest moves you can make right now is to invest in a whole house water filtration system to help ensure your tap water is as clean as possible. After that, you’ll want to stay informed, and get active with regards to the water situation in your community.

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