Do you have city or well water in your home? Do you know the process that water goes through before reaching your home? Hopefully this article can give you some insight into how your home’s water is processed and how an in-home filtration system could help your family lead a clean life.
To start, here are a few fun facts about our environment and where our water comes from:
- Every year at least 255 million metric tons of hazardous chemical wastes are dumped into our nation’s environment.
- There are 400,000 landfills, ponds, pits and lagoons in the U.S. containing some of the most dangerous substances known to mankind.
- There are 35,000 pesticides (that are made from 600 chemical compounds) all potentially winding up in our water supply from household and industrial pollutants.
CITY or MUNICIPAL WATER
City water supply systems get water from a variety of locations, including groundwater (aquifers) and surface water (such as lakes and rivers). Once collected from their source, the water is then filtered by the city.
Here is a brief outline of the general process that city water endures before heading to your home:
- Water first enters the water treatment facility through an inlet pipe with a large metal grill to keep out large debris. Then, a preliminary screening takes place at a pumping station, which removes other large debris, such as fish, garbage, sewage, and grass.
- Once the debris is removed, the raw water enters the water treatment plant – at this point the water is dirty, smelly and unsafe to drink. At the treatment plant, activated carbon is added to the water to remove the bad taste and odor. The water then enters a series of mixing tanks to coagulate and form clumps of sedimentation to be filtered out. At this point, then water looks clear but is still teeming with bacteria and viruses.
- Next, to eradicate the bacteria and viruses, technicians chlorinate the water and, in many municipal water treatment systems, add fluoride. This process disinfects the water to an EPA safe guideline.
- Treated water then either flows by gravity or is pumped to reservoirs through miles of pipes. It is traveling through these pipes where the treated water becomes vulnerable to contaminants before it reaches your home.
- Once water is used, wastewater is typically discharged in a sewer system and treated in a wastewater treatment plant before being discharged into a river.
And the cycle continues.
There are pros and cons to embracing city water:
- City water has to meet or exceed EPA guidelines. In most cases, this means your drinking water is safe.
- City water is readily available in most places.
- You aren’t responsible for the maintenance of city pipes.
- City water usually has a decent smell and taste.
- City water can become contaminated on a large scale. This can be catastrophic if a natural disaster strikes.
- City water is expensive, and may not be available everywhere.
- You have less control over city water. Sometimes it is difficult to find out information about your water testing, and your water can be turned off at any time for treatment or non-payment.
If you have a private, drilled well for your home, it is to your benefit to learn how your system works. While your system may last for many years, knowing how the system works is important in order for you to troubleshoot if a problem does arise. Here is a brief outline of the general components of your drilled well:
- Well casing or a well lining – Once the well has been dug, it’s lined with a casing. The casing extends from above the ground and down into the aquifer. The casing provides a pathway for bringing the well water to the surface and also prevents surface water from contaminating your well water. The casing also prevents loose soil, sediment and rock from entering the well.
- Pumps – Shallow wells employ a jet pump. A jet pump functions by creating a vacuum that sucks water out of the ground. Deeper wells usually have a submersible pump which is housed inside the well casing and connects to power by insulated wires. The submersible pump pushes water through the pipes.
- Pitless Adapter – The pitless adapter is a plumbing fitting that connects the casing to the water supply pipes that lead to the pressure tank.
- Pressure Tank – Otherwise known as a water storage tank, the pressure tank has an air cavity and a rubber bladder to keep the air and water separate and pressurized. The pressure tank assists your pump so that it doesn’t have to come on every time you need water, hence saving you energy and time.
- Pressure Switch – A pressure switch is a pressure-sensitive switch that monitors the pressure in the tank and switches the pump on when necessary. This helps to extend the life of your pressure pump and also the well pump.
There are pros and cons to embracing well water:
- Well water is cheaper than city water.
- Well water contains a lot of good, natural nutrients from the earth.
- With your own well, you aren’t at the mercy of the city’s decisions.
- Well water is less likely to be contaminated after a natural disaster
- You are reliant on power, and cannot access well water without it.
- Well water can be easily polluted, which can be deadly. Chemical pollutants can enter your well from your use of chemicals in your home, it can be polluted by a sewage leak, or even contaminated by an animal falling into your well and dying.
- You are responsible for the upkeep of your well.
IN-HOME WATER FILTRATION SYSTEM
It’s easy to see how more water treatment is necessary once water enters your home. Whichever route you decide to take for your home, city or well water, you can see that BOTH are at risk for contamination – city water is being pumped full of chemicals in order to clean it and then travels through miles of pipes before reaching your home, and well water is a fight against chemicals contaminating your water.
With unhealthy contaminants such as fluoride, chlorine, and pesticides coming from your city and/or well water, it’s time Americans started thinking about the cleanliness of the water they’re drinking and bathing in. These contaminants not only effect you by drinking unclean water, they can also enter your body through the pores of your skin (think hot shower). These contaminants have been linked to several serious health issues, including issues with neurological development and asthma.
Having a quality at-home water filtration system is the only way to know that your water is clean and safe. The advanced design of our water filtration systems can be customized to your specific needs. For a comprehensive analysis of your water supply, contact Water Daddy.