How Safe Is Your Tap Water To Drink?
Water. It is an essential part of our life. We often take for granted our tap water and how easily we have access to clean, fresh hot or cold water at the turn of a handle. In fact, it is estimated that an average person uses a whopping 150 litres of water a day, despite this usage, only a small amount of that is used for drinking.
We are told to drink around two litres of water a day, which is around eight to ten glasses, and it’s not a surprise, we should all drink more water daily because of the many benefits it can bring.
Benefits in drinking water
Drinking at least two litres of water a day can provide a lot of advantages such as;
- Feeling energised and less tired
- Glowing skin and an improved complexion
- Detoxifying by flushing out nasty toxins
- Reduced headaches
- Boosts immune system
- Promotes weight loss
- Improves health conditions and quickens recovery time.
However, while boosting our daily water intake can improve our health, beauty and wellbeing, is it safe to drink tap water in the UK?
What is in your tap water UK?
Tap water is generally considered safe and trustworthy as it meets government standards, but do you know what is really in your tap water? In order to kill bacteria in the UK water system, tap water is treated with many chemicals such as chlorine, fluorosilicic acid and trihalomethanes. What’s more tap water can also contain arsenic, radium, lead and mercury salts as well as potentially harmful nitrates and pesticides.
Not only is water treated with chemicals at the plant, it then has to pass through many pipes to reach your home. With this in mind, as well as how old your pipes may be, it is no surprise that your tap water could be subjected to heavy levels of contamination. In many parts of the UK, lead pipes are still used to transport water which can lead to potentially dangerous levels of metal contamination.
How bad is it to drink tap water?
Recent tests of tap water in the UK have shown that average samples of tap water have up to 300 different man-made chemicals. This is unknown to many people in the UK who will drink tap water without considering the harmful effects.
Fortunately, there are ways to check the quality of your water thanks to a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) test. This test is through a meter which, when the sensor is submerged in water, will offer you an accurate reading of the water quality. The measurement comes with a score in parts per million (ppm), which measures everything in the water, which isn’t pure water.
If the score is above 500ppm, then generally that water is considered unsafe to drink. For the purest, cleanest and freshest tasting tap water, you are looking for a ppm score as low as possible, from 0 to under 200ppm. 200ppm may be quite safe if the water source in your local region is hard water which is common throughout the UK. Sadly, UK tap water tends to have a reading between 250 and 400ppm which is very high and could be damaging your health.
To find out the quality of the water you drink, you can buy your own TDS tester kit on Amazon
Is water drinkable in London?
To check the water quality for UK citizens, we conducted a TDS test ourselves in London, to see the difference between different types of drinking water in the UK and whether there was a substantial difference between tap, bottled and filtered water.
We found that in the average London home, tap water contained 350-400ppm if tested directly from the tap.
Filtered water, was dramatically lower than tap water. By filtering it through a Brita filter, the TDS score reduced to 200-280ppm. However, this was beaten by bottled water with a rating of 40-80ppm and the purest water of all, with 0-3ppm is distilled water. We even tested some rainwater which collected in an old bucket in the garden… 9-12ppm!
Should I change my drinking water in the UK?
With a TDS test and the particles we know to be present in tap water, it can lead us to consider other drinking water options. Naturally, tap water is the go-to drink as it is the cheapest and most accessible water source, however, does run a risk of harmful chemicals and particles. By filtering or distilling water, you can make the water much safer, but with this comes increased time taken to prepare a drink as well as increased energy consumption which could lead to a rise in bills.
Bottled water is one of the purest forms of water with only 40-80ppm, but drinking bottled water leads to increased costs as well as the impact on the environment with high uses of glass or plastic bottles. For the environmentally conscious UK citizen, drinking only bottled water comes at an enormous cost to the environment and a lasting damaging effect.
Another consideration is filter jugs, which are an excellent way to remove particles from drinking water but does require regular filter change and a good memory, as instinct will naturally take you to the tap when you need a drink, not your jug which you may forget to fill.
What is the solution for safe drinking water?
To keep your body healthy and hydrated without the risk of harmful chemicals that come with tap water, a water filter tap could be a great option for your home.
Instead of the environmental and financial cost of bottled water, you can head to your tap whenever you feel thirsty and pour a glass of water, safe in the knowledge that the inbuilt filtration system has removed harmful chemicals before they leave your tap.
Using water filter tap means you don’t have to change your regular water habits such as boiling water or filling filter jugs. Instead of providing harmful water, your tap has the necessary filters in place to deliver you clean, fresh water.
Filters not only help to remove the harmful chemicals but it will also reduce the limescale build up in your tap, ideal for those in hard water areas. Filter taps will also improve the taste and remove any odours, to make drinking water more enjoyable, so you are more inclined to stay hydrated and, therefore, stay healthy.
For peace of mind and improved wellbeing, find out more about inbuilt water filter tap systems here and make tap water healthy again.