How Safe Is Your Municipal Water Supply?
In most of the developed and developing countries including ours, water comes through underground pipelines. Almost all households and industries receive this water, which is processed and treated to meet the drinking water standards as per WHO guidelines.
According to the 2011 Census, approximately 32% of Indian households have access to treated tap water, while almost 62% of the total households are in the urban areas. Although, only a small portion of the water we receive goes into cooking and drinking, these are the activities that have the greatest impact on our general health.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the food quality administrating body in our country, recently expressed apprehension over the quality of drinking water being supplied by the Municipal corporations. While the government of India mandates adhering to the standards for drinking water irrespective of its source, FSSAI claims the quality of water supplied through the pipelines to be below the set standards, and harmful.
This leaves us all in a dilemma about the reliability of municipality supplied water, which can actually vary from community to community. This is a major reason why we should take our family’s safety into our own hands and take preventive measures to avoid water-borne diseases.
Read on to find out more about the municipal supply water that we all receive through the taps in our homes.
Sources of Municipality supplied water
In most cities, municipal water is derived from large bore wells, lakes, rivers and reservoirs. This water is first sent to water treatment plants where it is purified as per the WHO standards, and then it is piped to homes and industries.
The type and amount of treatment applied by a public water system differs according to the source of water attraction. There are certain groundwater systems that may not require much treatment, but there can be river water that may require adding chlorine and additional treatments because surface water is normally exposed to added pollutants and contamination.
Disinfection of Municipality supplied water
New and efficient disinfection techniques are one of the major advances of the 20th century. However, these disinfectants often tend to react with some naturally occurring substances in water, to form byproducts which pose unintended health risks. This is a major task for municipal water suppliers- balancing the risks from disinfection byproducts and microbial pathogens.
Though physical contaminants can be easily removed, chemical and biological contaminants can be hard to remove. Poor maintenance of water carrying pipes, unattended leakages and other unruly factors can cause higher levels of contamination, including physical components like sand and suspended materials.
Chemical and biological contamination can refer to the presence of nitrogen, bleach, pesticides, salts, metals (lead and arsenic), human or animal drugs (chlorine, aluminum, copper, and fluoride), bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Presence of these materials may also lead to foul smell or taste in tap water. People with compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable to the ill effects of contaminated tap water.
Contrary to popular perception, boiled water is also not as safe; the effect of boiling depends on the level of contamination. Although boiling the water can kill germs, elements such as nitrates, lead and pesticides remain unaffected. In fact, since the volume of water reduces on boiling, the concentration of these contaminants tends to increase.
In an effort to make the municipal supply water safer to drink, installing water purifiers and filters has become a necessity. For areas where the level of contamination or TDS is on the higher side, RO water purifiers work the best.
Moreover, newer technologies including UV filtration and TDS control, something which you get in Kent water purifiers, can help you get rid of nitrates, sodium, metals like lead as well as pesticides and chemicals from your water supply. Kent water purifiers come with a combination of RO + UV + UF technologies that give you the safest drinkable water.
Take this step proactively, and install a water purifier at your home to ensure the right quality of drinking water.