May 1st – Research your local water quality report to see the contaminants in your water. Tomorrow we will talk about the right water filter for you.

In order to properly chose the right water filter for you, you need to know what is in your water, as it varies depending on where you live.

You can do this by finding the water quality report published by your water utility company annually.  The law requires that the utility provide this report to it’s consumers each year, though you may have disregarded it.  You can ask for another copy or there is a good chance you will be able to find it online.

Below is an explanation provided by EWG.org as to how to read the water quality report:

Water contaminants and concentrations detected by the water utility are typically presented in a table. Here are some terms you’ll see:

  • Parts per billion (ppb) or parts per million (ppm) – These are measures of the concentration of a chemical.
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) – This is the legal maximum set by federal law and EPA regulations.
  • Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) – This is a voluntary ideal level set by public health experts to minimize risks.  Most of EPA’s legal limits are generally higher than the corresponding goals because regulations must take into account cost and feasibility.
  • Action Level (AL) –  If the concentration of a chemical exceeds this number, a water supplier must conduct additional treatment  or take other measures.

EWG believes that many of EPA’s regulations, based on a compromise between health risk and costs, are too lenient. Moreover, there are countless other contaminants that are not even regulated by EPA.

When you read your utility’s water quality report, pay close attention to readings higher than the Maximum Contaminant Level, or MCL. These violate federal law and regulations.  They can be dangerous to human health. Take a particularly careful look at the measurements for arsenic, lead and trihalomethanes. Even if they don’t exceed the regulatory cap, they can be linked to serious health problems.  You should consider a filter that can reduce the concentration of these chemicals in the water you drink.

This was my first time reading a water report, and I have to say that it was interesting the things I did not know. Water is the primary source of life for us, making up more than 60% of our body and we consume it everyday… so it may be worth paying some attention.

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