Contaminated tap water is not easy to spot.
You can drink gallons of it, month after month and think that because it seems to taste OK it is safe.
But more than 40 million Americans are drinking contaminated tap water every single day - and the city officials in the municipal water office refuse to test for some of the most unhealthy contaminants because federal law lets them get away with woefully less-than-healthy pure water standards.
Read on for the next two minutes and I think you'll be astonished at just how contaminated tap water can be. Especially if you live in a big center like New York (where you'd expect water standards to be high).
First, a long list of prescription pharmaceuticals are routinely found in tap water in this country. This is particularly so in urban centers, but even the rural communities face this problem. Traces of heart pills, asthma medication, hormones, weight loss tablets, antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers, sex hormones and many others were recently found by scientists in the tap water of 24 large metropolitan centers.
They get into our tap water because when we take these pills our body only absorbs some of them. The rest passes through and is flushed down the toilet. City waste water facilities clean this to a limited extent, then discharge it into rivers, lakes and the ocean.
Some of it finds its way back into the municipal water reservoirs and is eventually put through the city's industrial water treatment plant and piped to your tap. Unfortunately these pharmaceuticals are not entirely removed either at the sewage treatment tanks or the water treatment facilities. Most industrial filters cannot remove all drug residues. So studies find that contaminated tap water is common. that is a fact.
Then there are chemicals. They run off farms (which is why rural communities also have contaminated tap water) and leech down into the soil from urban industrial centers. Again, they get into the municipal water reservoirs and the city water treatment facilities on the edge of those big natural storage areas are unable to completely remove the chemicals. As a result they can be easily detected by scientists at the tap.
The most astonishing thing to me about this whole question of contaminated tap water is that city officials routinely refuse to test for even something as prevalent as pharmaceuticals. They seem to be hoping the traces of these drugs will be so small that we will not suffer.
Well, in a lab you can put estrogen compounds into a fish tank at parts-per-trillion and the male fish will begin to change into females, their eyes will become deformed and they have problems in their bladders and circulation systems.
Is that a problem for us humans, or not?
There is something you can do about this contaminated tap water, however. You can install a simple set of pure water filters that will removed the chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs that your local water authorities do not bother about.
Typically you will need a filter using granulated activated carbon, then one that has a resin and multi-media block built in, and something that will prevent those tiny sub-micron particles getting past your taps.
One word of advice, you don't need an expensive reverse osmosis water purifying system, . They are hyped up and well promoted, but they are inefficient, environmentally questionable, and they removed all the healthy essential minerals found naturally in clean water that you need to stay healthy.
Instead, look around the Internet for a suite of filters that will take care of all the things in contaminated tap water. You'll find you don't need to pay more than a couple of hundred dollars.
Actually if you'd like a place to begin reading up on the Internet have a look at my own web site. There's a lot of helpful information there about ways to avoid contaminated tap water.
Len McGrane writes about home water purifiers and pure drinking water from his web site, http://www.pure-drinkingwater.com where he gives advice and helps visitors with contaminated tap waters .