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Water Works

2011 July 8

By Alex Gorsky

One of the fondest memories I have growing up is of having water balloon fights with my friends. On a hot summer day, it was the only way to cool off. When we got thirsty, we’d drink straight from the hose. Nowadays most people drink bottled water instead. Unfortunately, not everyone’s water is as clean as the water I had. Even though most drinking water is safe, there are cases where water has been contaminated.

Water can be contaminated by microbes or chemicals. Microbes are either bacteria or viruses. There are some microbes in drinking water but most of these microbes are not harmful. Sometimes there may be harmful microbes in your drinking water but our bodies’ immune system will usually be able to defend against them. When one gets older our immune systems do not work as well and cannot defend against harmful microbes.

There may also be chemical contamination in drinking water by such chemicals as lead or radon. The EPA has a standard for public drinking water. If your drinking water comes from a public source then your water supplier is required to meet this standard. If your water comes from a private source, such as a well, be sure to test your well every year for bacteria, viruses and chemical contamination.

If a contamination were to occur, your water supplier is required to issue a notice that will tell you how you can avoid the emergency. In some cases you can just boil your water to get rid of the contamination. In other cases you may have to drink bottled water instead. Follow the advice and instructions provided by your water supplier. If you have a compromised immune system, you will want to read the bottled water labels to make sure that more stringent treatments have been used, such as reverse osmosis and distillation. If you are having a long-term water problem you can treat the water at your home as well. Home treatment filters can be installed at the tap or at the water main connection to your house in order to provide clean water to your home.

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About the author: Alex Gorsky is an intern in the Office of Public Engagement and Environmental Education at the Environmental Protection Agency. He is a senior at Beloit College majoring in Environmental Studies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    July 8, 2011

    Water Work, Antibody And Water Faith.-

    Some Countries in the world are hungers food, water, economy, social politic and cultures. However, that problems are precisely to be formed that citizens right now with their healthy and environmental problems. Their life-style, direct or indirect, create gen-antibody whom different with the other people that have great antibody. Eventful, we can see, the people unnutritious but they are seriously using water faith…..

  2. unemployment permalink
    July 9, 2011

    Water supply systems get water from a variety of locations, including groundwater, surface water, lakes and rivers, conservation and the sea through desalination. The water is then, in most cases, purified, disinfected through chlorination and sometimes fluoridated.

  3. Gene Autry permalink
    July 10, 2011

    Water is our life. But some times It can be cause of our death when it is not fresh.So we need to drink boiled water. Otherwise we can fall many types of serious disease.

    Thanks

  4. leo martin | enamorar a una mujer permalink
    July 14, 2011

    Yes, some rich countries have the necessary equipment to purify water, which happens in poor countries? are not as lucky as us.

  5. June 19, 2012

    radon can build up in water, when the water is under pressure it collects the radon gas and once the water is pumped to the surface the bubbles will decompress and let radon gas out. radon gas causes lung cancer so its always a good idea to decompress you water away from you home!

  6. Mariana Saenz permalink
    September 21, 2012

    You have some really good ideas in this article. I am glad I read this. I agree with much of what you state in this article. Your information is thought-provoking, interesting and well-written. Thank you.

    Mariana Saenz

  7. Rebeca Jimenez permalink
    September 25, 2012

    “There may also be chemical contamination in drinking water by such chemicals as lead or radon. The EPA has a standard for public drinking water. If your drinking water comes from a public source then your water supplier is required to meet this standard. If your water comes from a private source, such as a well, be sure to test your well every year for bacteria, viruses and chemical contamination.”

    Yes, this is very true. But …
    There is something to tell us that the “components” we drink in the drinking water, such as fluoride are beneficial to our health?
    Many small laboratories, have doubts.
    I hope to answer.
    PS: Sorry for my expression. I’m learning English. Thank you.

    FDO; Rebeca Jimenez (I love psychology)

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