Is UK Tap Water Safe to Drink?
by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated January 18, 2024
Drinking a sufficient amount of water is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The human body relies on water to perform vital functions such as digestion, nutrient absorption, and temperature monitoring. Moreover, water plays a significant role in the proper functioning of organs and helps them eradicate toxins.
Tap water is aimed to ensure it meets safety standards and is typically sourced from municipal water supplies. It is an easy way as it is freely available for household taps, making it an excellent choice for many. However, it is essential to note that the quality and taste of the tap water can significantly depend on the region.
Recently, tap water safety concerns have arisen, and the public is more aware. Reports of chemicals in water supplies have sparked people's interest in alternative water sources and water filtration systems .
The Composition of Tap Water
Tap water includes several trace minerals which are essential for human health. Some common minerals beneficial for bones and muscles include magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Moreover, these trace elements, including zinc and copper, are imperative to the enzymatic process.
Yet, having too many minerals can create serious problems, such as hard water and scale accretion in pipes and appliances. Finding the right balance is essential for ensuring that water is entirely safe, smells good and meets all the needs of different communities.
Additives and Disinfectants
Water treatment plants commonly use additives and disinfectants to separate and remove harmful microorganisms and dangerous bacteria to improve water quality. Chloramine and chlorine are common antiseptics that can help remove bacteria and viruses deeply. Even though these chemicals are essential to keep the public healthy, these alternatives can change the taste and smell of tap water.
Moreover, fluoridated tap water may have fluoride added to prevent tooth decay and improve dental health. The careful consideration while using these chemicals suggests the finest balance between guaranteeing the safety of water by minimizing any possible effects on taste or smell.
Even after a complete treatment process, tap water contaminators may exist. Lead is a heavy metal that can get mixed into water by pipes and cause significant health problems. Also, chemicals and pesticides from the industrial sector can pollute water sources from waste.
Treatment plans are tested and monitored to detect and fix these problems quickly. By incorporating an advanced filtration system as an additional line of defense against impurities, homeowners can ensure that the water they drink is clean, safe and highest quality. Detecting and fixing these problems can help ensure that tap water safety standards improve.
Typical Methods of Water Treatment
An essential and initial step in guaranteeing the security and ability to drink water is water treatment. It involves multiple procedures to remove water from pollutants and impurities to make it suitable for human usage. Filtration. Chlorination, Reverse Osmosis and UV treatment are general methods of treating water; each has a unique function in cleaning water while ensuring it is usable for human consumption.
Typical Techniques for Purifying Water
The Filtering Process
The filtration process involves removing particles and other impurities from water by blocking them with membranes and sand. This approach is the first step in cleaning since it effectively eliminates some serious bacteria and pollutants, including silt and waste.
The process of chlorination includes adding chlorine or a compound made from chlorine to water. This can help remove the germs, harmful microorganisms, bacteria and viruses as the water moves through the water distribution system. This makes sure that the water is entirely safe to drink.
UV protection treatment employs light from the sun to make the microorganisms in the water inactive. Modifying the DNA of bacteria, viruses, and parasites, this non-chemical methodology prevents them from reproducing and increasing the number of diseases. The water’s taste and smell remain unchanged during UV treatment, and this results in removing a wide range of pathogens.
Why Is Human Health Dependent on Clean Water?
You can live without taking food for more than just a month, but you will only live a few days with water. Water consumption is essential for the human body and overall health. The two most prominent examples of body parts heavily depend on water. These are eyes and heartbeat; these two will not work without water.
Water is paramount for healthy breathing, temperature control, and a human digestion system. We lose water from our body when we breathe, sweat and urinate. If we do not refill this wastewater, dehydration can occur quickly. Dehydration even, in some cases, can have a terrible impact on health, such as headaches, dry mouth, and reduced urine production.
Most of us need to drink more water in our daily work routine. Even though many guidelines and directions are available on water consumption, each person has different hydration requirements.
It is easy to follow up on the recommended 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Especially when you don’t drink any glass already, as long as you are not following a diet plan restricting fluids, you are free to drink as much water as possible. Preventing thirst while keeping the appropriate hydration is essential. If it is hot outside, you are physically active, or you can have diarrhea or vomiting, you must drink more water.
Health Problems Connected to Water Quality
The contaminants in our water may contribute to several medical conditions, such as neurological disorders, problems with pregnancy, and digestive disorders.
Individuals with weak immune systems, the elderly, pregnant women, small children, and infants may be more likely to get sick after drinking water that has been polluted. For example, excessive levels of lead can be dangerous for your health, especially in children and women who have become anticipating. Federal law says systems must lower certain pollutants to set limits to protect public health.
Tips for Safe Use of Tap Water
If you are curious about drinking water and family health, these suggestions may be helpful for you.
Employ a System for Filtering Water
A water filtration system is installed in almost one out of every three houses in UK. These systems can remove specific harmful contaminants as well as improve the taste of your water. Filters do not remove viruses and germs. Water filters come in various configurations, including whole-house systems, countertop units , and reverse osmosis systems.
By checking the filter’s NSF certification, you can find out which contaminants that filter can remove. The NSF create public health standards for products like water filters. Smaller pores or holes in the filter system can significantly remove bacteria and pollutants.
Regularly Test Your Water
Doing a water test after one year is recommended, even if your local water provider issues a clean report. It is not the public water supply which contains lead or other contaminants. Rather than that, the pies within your home can get leaked. To do so, you can buy water testing kits online at any nearest hardware store.
Boil the Water
Boiling water is another vital thing to remove bacteria and germs. Let the water cool down before drinking it. Yet, lead and other harmful elements cannot be removed by boiling.
Let It Run
Let the water run through your taps for three to five minutes every morning to remove contaminations from the pipes. You can also use this water for cleaning or planting. This is significantly essential to do so if you live in a home with a 1990s or later pipe installation system.