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Blog/Opinion: Water Quality - Not So Simple

By HHI Staff

Many people believe that tap water is simply H2O—two molecules of hydrogen combined with one of oxygen. Actually, water is a very complex solution. In fact, each water sample contains a unique set of minerals in varying amounts, biological life, dissolved gases such as radon, a particular pH level (its acidity-alkalinity content), and a some chemical contamination. It also differs in its turbidity (degree of clarity), taste, and smell.


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Why does water vary so greatly? One major reason is that water is a universal solvent. In other words, it easily dissolves many of the substances with which it comes in contact. It also puts many other substances into suspension. In addition, water can provide the ideal environment in which certain microbes thrive. As a result, water composition varies simply because it comes from so many different locales and sources, and it can be altered by virtually everything it touches. Water sources can include wells (private or municipal) that tap into aquifers (underground geologic formations holding or conveying water), springs, rainwater cisterns (holding tanks), rivers, reservoirs, or lakes.


Then, too, water can be altered by local utility departments when they filter it and subject it to chlorine or fluoride treatments. Furthermore, water can vary because of how it eventually reaches your faucet. Did it travel through cement, asbestos/cement, plastic, cast iron, copper, or perhaps lead pipes? Were the soldered joints connecting the copper pipes and copper fittings made with lead-based or lead-free solder?


When you consider all the possibilities, you can start to see how complicated the subject of water really is. Our educational partnership with the Water Quality Association will help us address this complicated subject. For example, see: Gaining the Confidence to Make Sound Water Treatment Choices.







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The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

(Note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)

Water Quality - Not So Simple:  Created on January 14th, 2012.  Last Modified on January 14th, 2012


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