Water is such an integral, magnificent part of our lives that save things like a cliff’s edge by Niagara Falls, we seldom associate the word dangerous with water. Yet, the news is regularly populated with bad things happening because of water. We all know of the hazards of recreational use of water. Boating, skiing, swimming and shark events have touched most of us in one way or another, but I want to talk about the more common, hidden risks we face.
- Water parks and swimming pools – The risks are bacterial, viral and organisms like algae. Don’t enter water that is colored, cloudy or that smells funny. If there is not a readily detectable, pleasant chlorine smell when you first approach the water, be suspicious. Without chlorine in the water, the risks of heath problems go up. Of course, too much chlorine is also a heath hazard. Make sure the place you splash around in has a long standing reputation for safety. It probably isn’t a bad idea to ask them about their treatment plan.
- Our tap water – Most municipalities are run with the utmost of care and the track record of clean city drinking water across America is better than any nation’s. Still, there are caveats. As cities get more crowded, contamination risks increase. With climate change water supplies are also undergoing change. Often, even the most well-meaning water supplier treats water by rote; that is to say they administer treatment based on how they always did it. Up until about 2000, most US drinking water sources were stable and changed very little over the years. Today however, water is changing fast and municipal providers must constantly be on alert. A home water filtration system that employs silver-impregnated carbon for tap water is an inexpensive way to head off many contaminants. It also makes sense to have an amply supply of bottle drinking water stored on your property.
- Water Filtration Pitchers – Many companies offer a counter-top water purifying pitcher to help keep our drinking water safe. Without getting into a major comparison article, just know that most of these units remove chlorine from the water. Water without chlorine will grow bacteria, algae and other harmful organisms. Keep your filtered water refrigerated, and discard it at the end of the day. Disinfect your unit daily if possible. A dishwasher cycle if possible, and if not, an eyedropper drop of chlorine in a bath of distilled water, or even tap water can help. A detergent washing if possible is also helpful.
- Bottled water, tap water and glassware – Again, we face the risk of contamination due to lack of chlorine. Bottled water without chlorine in it should be discarded after 1 hours. Tap water left sitting in a glass will gradually grow bad things since chlorine in the water begins to dissipate as soon as the water comes into contact with the atmosphere. Discard your glass of tap water after 8 hours, and don’t reuse glasses after they have sat idle for 8 hours.
So there you have it. Some things to help you keep your water safe. This article was not meant to raise alarm, but instead water awareness, which we can never have too much of.