Where Does Tap Water Come From?

16.06.2020 0
Where Does Tap Water Come From?

For most Americans, it is effortless to turn on the tap and have immediate useable water.  Although tap water isn’t always the best quality for drinking, for the most part, it is serviceable for things like cooking, cleaning, and bathing.  Tap water should be purified before it is consumed or used to prepare food, but in a pinch, the water that comes straight from your tap will probably get the job done without causing too much harm. We are lucky in the United States to have the luxury of a potable water supply, which in part is due to our abundant natural resources, and also thanks to our countries extensive water-processing infrastructure.  Believe it or not, only about one percent of the water on earth is classified as “clean and useable.” In the United States, this one percent of water comes from two different sources, and both are treated before they reach your tap. However, even with treatment, it is still important to filter your water. As you will discover in this article, the way that tap water is treated and distributed makes it a potential health risk, and as a result, a filtration system like FloWater should be used as a way to combat low quality water.


Where Does Tap Water Come From

The two different types of drinking water that are used for tap water are groundwater and surface water.


Groundwater comes from underground wells found in water deposits in the earth known as aquifers.  These aquifers, which are commonly referred to as “rock pockets,” are usually located deep below the surface.  Water penetrates the surface of the earth and settles amidst the water permeable rock. The water then comes to rest and is stored in these pockets until a well is drilled into the rock to access the useable water.  In the United States, there are an estimated 13 million households that rely on private wells, and there are 11 major aquifers used for large-scale use. Sometimes due to pressure and high water levels groundwater wells up on its own and becomes a natural spring. Due to the amount of natural filtration groundwater goes through as it is sifted through silt and mineral-rich rock it requires much less treatment before it is used for cooking, bathing, and drinking.  However, groundwater still needs to be treated before use and the larger the aquifer, the more the water needs to be manipulated. While groundwater has the allure of natural filtration, there are still significant health concerns. Pesticides are the greatest threat to groundwater. Many natural aquifers have been compromised due to the high number of pesticides used in rural areas. These pesticides seep into the ground, and because they are so chemically rich, are not filtered away as the water flows through the rock.  Especially for those people utilizing groundwater and private wells, a FloWater filtration system is critical to ensure that all those harmful chemicals are filtered out before your water is used.

Surface Water

Surface water is any water that sits above the ground or has contact with the surface, i.e., lakes, rivers, ponds, etc.  These sources of water, although considered “fresh water,” are not safe for consumption, or use until they are well treated.  Surface water is utilized by local water companies, and act as an alternative to groundwater if there are no large aquifers in a particular region.  Unlike groundwater, surface water doesn’t go through any kind of natural filtration process and is therefore much dirtier than groundwater. As a result, the water that is collected for use from surface water collection sites needs to be treated with a more stringent set of regulations.  Because surface water is exposed, it is much more apt to contain not just contaminants but also debris. Whether this debris is animal residue or human waste, there is a large amount of wastewater that exists on the surface. Fecal matter, both animal and human, is commonly found in surface water as a result of runoff and drainage.  Usually, this debris is much more prevalent in a stagnant body of water like a reservoir, pond or lake, but where there is surface water, there is a higher percentage of contaminants large and small. Parasites and bacteria growth is another of the dangers that accompany surface water. Even with the high amount of toxic treatment surface water is exposed to in the process of delivering tap water to your home, there is no guarantee that these harmful parasites have been eradicated from your tap water.  Fortunately, with FloWater’s seven-step filtration system you can be assured that your water is cleansed, purified, and alkalized all using a natural seven step filtration process. 

Water Treatment Process

I know what you are thinking if there are contaminants in our public water supply, how can we be sure that the water used for our tap water is safe to drink?  The answer lies in the process known as water treatment.  While most of the water that eventually runs through your tap is classified as “fresh water,” most of it is not suitable for consumption.  The water that comes to us in our tap must be heavily treated before it ever reaches our faucet. Typically to clean the water that eventually becomes your tap water, major water utility companies rely on chemicals to combat contaminants. Whether the pollutants come in the form of dirt and minerals from groundwater or extraneous debris found in surface water, water needs to be heavily treated before it is deemed safe drinking water. Even after treatment tap water should be well filtered to ensure you are not ingesting any chemicals.  FloWater is the best water filter toensure that the treated water you get from the tap is purified and safe for consumption.

Coagulation Process

There are several steps in the water treatment process.  As stated earlier, a water treatment facility’s first step is to add chemicals to the water.  In a process known as coagulation, large amounts of chemicals with positively charged ions are introduced to the water being treated.  As a result, dirt and other contaminants with negatively charged ions find and bind themselves to these chemicals to create larger coagulated particles that can then be sifted out.  The larger particles referred to as sediment, sink to the bottom of the water. Because of coagulation, the dirt that was once free-floating debris takes on a higher density that allows it to fall to the bottom of the tank where it can be sifted out of the water. This process of sifting debris out of the water is known as filtration, though it is not the same filtration you are familiar with.  This filtration process only gets rid of the dirt and contaminants that bound themselves together in the coagulation process. There is no doubt that residual chemicals remain in the water even after filtration, and as such another step is taken to manipulate the water further.

Disinfectant Process

After coagulation and a basic filtration process, the next step is to disinfect the water.  This process is precisely what it sounds like. Disinfectant is added to the water in large doses to combat the other chemicals previously added along with any bacteria left over from coagulation.  I want you to think about the chemicals you would use to disinfect your pool. Those same chemicals are what is being added to tap water during the treatment process. Chlorine and chloramine are added during the disinfection process to kill any free radical contaminants that may be lurking in the water. The obvious flaw with this process is that these chemicals stay in the water without going through another filtration process. After the water goes through the disinfection process, it is stored in a water tower or other storage container where the public can tap their water from. To keep the water “fresh,” these chemicals have to be in the water to prevent abundant bacteria overgrowth. Water companies also add fluoride to water to mask the chemical taste of all the other previous chemical manipulations your water has undergone. And even with all of this chemical treatment when most tap water is tested, it is found that there are large amounts of various bacteria living in the water that comes straight from the tap. The most common chemicals found in tap water when it is tested fluoride, chlorine, nitrates, pesticides, and salts of mercury, arsenic, and lead.

How Water Gets to Your Faucet

Once treated, water finds its way from the water treatment facility to your home through the use of large industrial pipes called water mains. This water pipe is generally constructed from materials like copper, cast iron, and steel. In rare cases, like the one in Flint Michigan, it was found that the pipes that were used to transport water were made with lead. This oversight caused toxic levels of lead to be present in the town’s water for over 4 years! Water mains are also susceptible to breaks and leaks which means that other contaminants can quickly be introduced between the time the water leaves the facility to the time it gets to your faucet. From the water main running through your neighborhood, water enters your home through a smaller series of pies that are attached to the city’s main water line. Water usage is monitored using a water meter wherein the city can track your water usage and charge you accordingly.

Even though tap water is the cheapest option for personal use, it is still interesting to note that unless you have a private well on your property, you are being charged by the city, and maybe even the state as well. This is especially interesting when you take into consideration the fact that water is considered a utility and is therefore regulated and controlled by those same authorities that are selling it to you. There are no checks and balances when it comes to water.  Unlike every other form of food and beverage where private companies are held to government standards, for water, it is the government which is the supplier and the regulator. The result is low water quality. If you live in an urban area, which is the case for 80% of all Americans, you have no choice on your water source. Local municipalities have a monopoly on water, and they control everything from price to distribution, and even quality. This means that if you are dissatisfied with the quality of your local tap water, there are no alternatives for a new water supplier. However, there is a solution to this seemingly daunting problem.  While you cannot choose whom and where your water source comes from, you can control the quality.


Benefits of Water Purification for Clean Drinking Water

A water purification system like FloWater ensures that you are getting the most out of the water you are already paying to use.  FloWater’s patented seven-step filtration system not only filters out chemicals and debris, but it also cleans, ionizes, and alkalizes your water to create the best water you can possibly drink.  Many hazards accompany tap water usage, and because you cannot control the quality before it reaches your tap, it is paramount that you do everything in your power to regulate the quality before you drink it. Filtering tap water is especially crucial for the water you drink but there are also significant health benefits when you cook, clean and even shower with filtered water. Tap water comes from a system of neglect and compromise, which puts you as a consumer at risk. Everything about tap water, from the way it is treated to the way it is transported to your home, offers new way for debris and bacteria to contaminate your water. Take control back from the water companies and put the power to enjoy high-quality water back in your hands.  Knowing where your water comes from is a great first step in getting the potable water supply you deserve, and FloWater is here to help you the rest of the way.