We get a lot of questions about safe drinking water when we’re at client’s houses, and we think they’re smart questions for them to be asking.
Triton Plumbing is a full-service plumber, including bathroom renovation in London Ontario. It’s our business to know about the water that you have coming into your home, as much as it is what happens to it once it’s there.
So, is your drinking water safe? Here’s how to tell.
Is Your Water At Risk?
Many people remember Walkerton, where E. coli got into the town’s water supply and killed six people, and worry that could happen to them.
Then there’s also the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan that many have heard about, though there are many other examples around the world.
There are a few things you can do to become more aware of your risk, reduce your risk and even mitigate your risk, so we thought we’d put together some information for you.
What Should You Be Looking For?
Houses that were built prior to 1975 should have their water tested for lead, because that’s when the Canadian government banned the use of lead pipes.
If you live adjacent or downstream from a farm, you may want to consider testing for pesticides, or arsenic if near an orchard. Though many of you are reading this in London and are safe, we service a wide area outside the city across Middlesex and Oxford counties.
Giardia lamblia is derived from both human and animal feces, and this can sometimes turn up in drinking water, causing gastrointestinal issues.
Bromite is a byproduct of the disinfection process, but in high levels, this can cause cancer, so it’s also a good one to test for.
How To Reduce Your Risk
It’s a great idea to take a sample from the first draw of your tap in the morning and send this off to be tested; this can help you identify any of the above considerations.
However, there are other steps you can take right away that can improve your drinking water.
1. Run Your Tap For A Moment
When testing water, you’ll always sample the “first draw” because this is the water that’s been sitting in your pipes for a while – and morning water is even better, because it’s been sitting overnight.
On the other hand, running your tap for a moment will allow that stagnant water to be flushed from your pipes, giving you water with less sediment and accumulations.
There’s no need to let it run for too long –but even the Environmental Protection Agency agrees you should run your tap for 30-60 seconds before drinking it.
2. Clean Your Faucet’s Screen
The little screens inside your tap are called aerators, and they can be changed out periodically to both improve water pressure in your faucet as well as to replace blocked ones.
Aerators tend to catch sediment in the water – which is good – as well as minerals that may also be toxic.
If you notice your water pressure going down in one faucet, we recommend you replace the screen in order to remove that build-up before it breaks down the gasket and gets into your gut.
3. Cook With Cold Water
Once an old wife’s tale, studies show that using cold water is better than using warm or first-draw water.
Warm water is more likely to dissolve pipes and what’s lining the pipes, and carry it along into what comes out of your tap.
By putting your vegetables in water that is full of sediments, heavy metals and other contaminants, you increase your chance of ingesting that through your diet.
Instead, run the water for at least a minute until it’s as cold as it gets, and use that in your cooking and baking.
4. Contact The Ontario MOE
Of course, you also have the right to contact the Ontario Ministry of the Environment about your water, how its treated, and what contaminants they test for.
It may help you decide whether you want to pay for your own private lab test; unfortunately, the municipal water department will not test your drinking water for you.
5. Install A Home Water Treatment System
One option that some of our customers have opted for is installing a home water treatment system, which helps to filter out not only impurities, but also contaminants.
A wise choice, this doesn’t depend on others to ensure that you and your family have the healthiest drinking water available.
Call now and we’ll provide you with a quote on how much it would cost you to install peace of mind into your home.