Water is truly the source of life. We know we need to drink it to survive (experts recommend about eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to stay hydrated!), but we often forget about the other ways water affects our lives.
First things first: which type of water should I drink?
Drinking Water is a key component of our lives. Since 70% of the human body is water, the water we drink and cook with must be the highest quality. Water is used for many different types of purposes besides drinking water — but, let’s face it, we’re most concerned about what type of water we’re putting in our bodies. Let’s dive into the different types of drinking water people from all over the world use to stay hydrated:
Distilled water is made by boiling water and collecting the steam as it condenses. Minerals and most contaminants and chemicals are left behind, at least those which have a higher boiling point than water. Distillation is most effective in removing heavy metals, nitrates and minerals, and the boiling process kills the vast majority of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. Some chemicals that have a lower boiling point than water, such as chlorine and benzene, are vaporized and remain in the distilled water unless they are filtered out with charcoal.
Spring water comes from naturally occurring springs, which are underground sources that are usually uncontaminated. Spring water typically undergoes some processing and filtering to remove debris and kill bacteria and other microbes, but most of the mineral content — such as calcium and magnesium — is left in the water. Consequently, spring water tastes “fresher” or “crisper” than distilled water to most people.
Purified water is a general term that usually means the water is filtered in some way. Water filtration can be accomplished via reverse osmosis or activated carbon and ceramic filters, although the common goal is to remove harmful substances from the water. Municipal water from your tap should be safe according to government guidelines, so the EPA only recommends additional water filtration at home in order to improve the taste of your drinking water. However, the EPA admits that municipal drinking water can be expected to contain some contaminants, so people with severely weakened immune systems or serious health conditions may benefit from further purifying their water or buying bottled water.
Bottled water includes virtually every type of drinking water including tap water, spring water, filtered water and even ozonated water -- which is infused with oxygen. Some brands have been heavily criticized because they use unfiltered municipal water. On the other hand, some brands are highly filtered and purified, and some contain additional minerals and electrolytes.1
Did you know there are different grades of water?
Water makes up the majority of our fruits and veggies; we use water to clean our clothes, dishes, and our bodies; and water can influence a home’s air quality through certain HVAC systems that use water to heat and cool their homes. In fact, did you know there are different grades of water that serve different purposes?
Utility grade water is water suited for watering your lawn and plants. It usually requires no water treatment. Working grade water needs to be higher quality because it runs through your plumbing, fixtures, and appliances. To make these essential household systems last longer and save you money, treated water is needed.2
City vs. Well Water
When it comes to supplying your home with water, it really comes down to two options: city water or well water. Other than the well itself, the biggest distinguishing factor between the two are how the water is treated. If your home’s water supply is provided by a well, you are directly responsible for the water quality and treatment. City water is treated before it reaches your home.3
City water is often treated with chlorine to achieve the clean standards mandated in the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. But by the time the water reaches your home, much of chlorine has done its job, and you're left with safe drinking water.
Is well water clean? If you're skeptical on the cleanliness of your well water, there are several ways to test and treat the water to reach safe level for drinking. For both types of water, even when they’re treated, there are still minerals, bacteria, and nitrates that can remain and cause minor issues.
What are some signs my water may need help?
Most people find it alarming when they see rust-colored stains or buildup in their sinks and tubs. While it’s definitely something to watch out for, it shouldn’t cause any health problems. After all, hard water is just dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium that water has accumulated as it passes through rocks.4
So the minerals are all-natural, but having too much of those minerals is what causes stains on your hardware, it can start to erode your pipes, and it can cause soaps and detergents to be less effective. Thankfully, there are a lot of options to soften your water and keep your appliances and pipes in tip-top shape.
How can I improve my water?
For hard or occasionally discolored water, people turn to water filters and softeners. Many companies sell various home treatment devices ranging from small faucet-mounted filters to "whole-house" systems to water softeners. These are some of the most popular options:
- Active carbon filters are placed on faucets or in water pitchers and work by attracting and holding onto certain chemicals, especially chlorine. These have to be replaced regularly.
- Reverse Osmosis, or RO, works by moving water through a membrane that removes many minerals that are associated with hard water, like fluoride.
- Water Softeners are designed to replace hard minerals for soft minerals, like sodium or potassium.4
When it comes to your water, it’s always good to be safe. Our team at Commercial Service takes the health of your family and your home seriously, so give us a call at 812-339-9114, and we’d be happy to help you find a filtration or softening system that works best for you!