Not sure why you should consider investing in water filtration? Check out a short list of dangers that might be lurking in unfiltered and untreated water:
Majority of pathogenic bacteria that is present in water is caused by humans/animal faeces that contaminate it. Disinfecting the water (with chlorine, for instance) often kills all the bacteria. There is another potential threat, though, which is the bacteria developing in the water mains. For this reason, water suppliers make it a point to add some chlorine to protect the water that flows from the treatment plant to a home.
Cryptosporidium and giardia belong to this group. These can bring about severe illness while their cysts often resist disinfection.
A number of viruses present in water can be potentially harmful. Water disinfection often kills most viruses but those that remain can make a person ill. The severity of such a problem in some countries as a cause of viral infection (whether it is from food, water or an infected person) has not yet been determined since it is hard to trace.
It is easy for pesticides and herbicides to find their way into the waterways of rural areas. Some may be carcinogenic and have been present for quite some time. These chemicals can sometimes be found in low concentrations so when drinking water is tested it is often free of them. However, only some water authorities check them on a regular basis.
Sewage and fertilizer run-off are the main sources of such chemicals in waterways. In rural areas, groundwater supplies possibly have high concentrations of nitrate. Though nitrate is not harmless, it can convert into nitrite, which poses a threat to the health of babies by reducing the amount of oxygen carried by the blood. When nitrate is a problem in some areas, the water supplier usually advises people to give bottled/rain water for babies below 3 months.
Chlorine and chlorination by-products
Water authorities often add chlorine or chloramine to eliminate bugs in the water that goes through the treatment plant as well as protect it from getting contaminated again as the water flows through the distribution system. Depending on some parameters, these chemicals can react with organic substances that occur naturally in the water and form potentially harmful by-products (trihalomethanes or THM). People can see the maximum concentration for such by-products in the guidelines for drinking water. Here, it states that though their concentration should be reduced, drinking water disinfection should not be compromised. The risks involved in having these by-products are significantly less than the danger posted by the existence of pathogenic micro-organisms.
In the 1960s, 1970s and until now, fluoride is added to drinking water since it has been proven to be effective in reducing tooth decay. At present, fluoride from other sources can protect like toothpastes and fluoride treatment that are applied to teeth. According to critics, fluoridated water is not a necessity as it may cause dental fluorosis or mottled teeth in those who get too much of it plus no one knows the potential health risk given by drinking fluoridated water in a lifetime.
Chemicals with aluminum are used in a process known as flocculation, which gets rid of suspended particles in the water to make it clearer. A high percentage of the aluminum used can be removed from the water but still, small amounts can pass through. Therefore, some water authorities stopped using aluminum chemicals and replaced these with other alternatives.
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