Before water flows out of your tap, it’s supposed to be treated to prevent harmful bacteria and contaminants from tainting the water. Untreated water can contain dangerous microorganisms that can lead to diarrhea, cholera and even death, according to Everyday Health.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates tap water and provides water utility customers with annual quality reports about what’s in the water. And while you would think meeting EPA standards means your water is pure, the agency actually has regulations for 90 different contaminants, some of which can still legally be present in water at low levels.
According to the EPA, most drinking water contains at least small amounts of some contaminants. These include sediment, organic material, chemicals like nitrogen or bleach, water organisms and radiological contaminants. Breaks in a water line and lead leaching into water from pipes can contaminate water before the EPA reports it to customers.
The presence of those contaminants may not pose a health risk, according to the EPA. But if you’re a part of a vulnerable group (those undergoing chemotherapy, living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, older adults or children), what does get through to your tap water can be dangerous.
Water Issues in Arizona
If you drink water in Arizona, the contaminant list may be higher than in other regions. Arizona groundwater is also among the hardest in the country. Learn about water issues in Arizona so you and your family can stay safe with what you drink and use.
Water hardness, as defined by the United States Geological Survey, is the amount of dissolved magnesium and calcium in water. Arizona has some of the highest levels of water hardness in the country, according to the USGS.
The Arizona Water Quality Association reports the water supply in most of Arizona is hard. Hard water can cause scale build-up inside appliances and pipes. This can reduce water flow efficiency and cause appliances to break down more quickly. Hard water can cause water quality issues, like soap scum, the inability of the water to lather and taste/odor issues.
In May 2019, a report found at least 20 water systems throughout Arizona, including in Phoenix and Tempe, had dangerous, hard-to-eliminate toxins from firefighting foam and other industrial and household products in them. These toxins have been present in the water systems for at least the past 5 years.
In 2019, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported the following contaminants found in Arizona that were above legal limits, among many others:
- Total trihalomethanes, which can adversely affect the central nervous system, liver, kidneys and heart
- Nitrate, which increases cancer risk and can cause methemoglobinemia in infants
- Arsenic, which can cause cancer and skin lesions
- Uranium, which can cause kidney damage
- Radium, which is associated with anemia, cataracts, fractured teeth, bone cancer and other types of cancer, and death
These are just a few contaminants in Arizona water that were above legal limits in 2019. Others include fluoride, cadmium, chromium and carbon tetrachloride. Long-term exposure to contaminants like these can negatively impact health, especially for the vulnerable groups previously mentioned.
Treat Your Water
If you want to get rid of costly water issues like hard water and contaminants, solutions include water softening, water filtration and water purification through methods like reverse osmosis. Here’s how they work.
- Water softeners use a process called ion exchange to remove calcium and magnesium ions and exchange them with sodium chloride or potassium chloride as reagents. This creates water that tastes and smells great, that lathers correctly (good for showering and washing dishes), and that doesn’t create scale build-up that can impact your water flow or appliance functionality.
- Water filters remove chemicals and contaminants from water to make it safe for human consumption.
- Water purifiers use a process called reverse osmosis to remove dissolved solids from water. Water purifiers typically remove a wider range of chemicals and contaminants than water filters.
Using a combination of reverse osmosis systems, water filtration and water softeners is the most effective solution for clean drinking water for your home that doesn’t create scale on pipes and appliances. If you want the best quality water for drinking, washing, cooking with, you name it, water softening and purification is essential.
Get Healthier Water in Your Home
The water that flows from Arizona taps meets legal requirements to be considered drinkable. But it’s not necessarily safe. As seen from the EWG’s latest report, many harmful contaminants are found in tap water above legal limits. And when you’re drinking unpurified water before contaminants are found and reported, you might be ingesting even more harmful contaminants.
Clear Water Concepts is here to help you purify your water and keep your family safe. We provide water softeners, whole home water filtration systems, reverse osmosis systems and more, with quality installation you can count on.
If you’re not sure if a water softener, reverse osmosis, or filter is best for your home, find out what type of water system fits your needs by taking our quiz.