You’ve probably heard of tap water is safe to drink, but did you know that some cities have higher levels of contaminants than others? In fact, some cities even have high levels of arsenic, lead, and other toxins. And now, scientists say they’ve found another reason why tap water isn’t always safe to drink.
Tap water has long been considered safe to drink. After all, it comes from underground sources where it’s protected from contamination. But new research suggests that tap water isn’t always as clean as we thought. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, recently discovered that some cities have much higher levels of arsenic, lead, and other toxins than previously believed.
So what exactly is going on? The researchers believe that the chemicals get into our water supply through pipes, faucets, and showerheads. They also point out that these toxins can cause health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and developmental disorders.
The problem with tap water is that it contains a variety of compounds called disinfection byproducts (DBPs). These DBPs are formed when chlorine is added to the water during treatment.
Some of them are harmless, while others are toxic. One of the most common DBPs in tap water is trihalomethanes (THMs), which include chloroform, bromodichloromethane and dibromochloromethane.
It turns out that THM levels vary widely across the country. For example, according to the EPA, the average level of THMs in U.S. drinking water ranges from 0.2 parts per billion (ppb) to more than 100 ppb. That means that some areas have THM levels well above the EPA’s recommended limit of 10 ppb.
1. Different types of water supplies. Some cities rely heavily on groundwater, which naturally contains higher concentrations of THMs because of its proximity to the earth’s surface. Other cities draw their water from lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, which contain lower amounts of THMs.
2. How often does the water gets treated. When water passes through a pipe or faucet, it picks up THMs as it travels. This process happens more frequently if the water is exposed to air, so cities with lots of rainfall tend to have higher levels of THMs.
You should be able to find your city’s water quality report online. If not, contact your local water utility company. It will likely provide this information upon request.
If you’re concerned about the safety of your tap water, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of THMs in your home. First, install low-flow toilets and showers. Second, use a water softener. Third, replace old plumbing fixtures, including sinks, tubs, and toilets. Fourth, keep your water heater running only when needed. Finally, don’t leave taps open overnight.
If your tap water looks like it’s turning orange, brown, or yellow, you may want to consider switching to bottled water. Or, if you’d rather stick with tap water, you might try using a water filter. There are many different models available. You’ll need to decide whether you want one that removes heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants, or just THMs.
In addition to using a water filter, you can also add baking soda to your bathwater. Baking soda neutralizes the chlorine used to treat municipal water supplies, making it easier for the chlorine to break down.
Bath salts are another option. They work similarly to baking soda, but they’re designed specifically for baths. They come in two forms: granules and tablets. Granules dissolve quickly, so you can add them directly into the bath. Tablets require mixing before adding to the bath.
Yes! Here are some additional tips:
• Use a showerhead that sprays less water. Showerheads with large nozzles spray more water, which increases the chances of getting yellow water.
• Avoid taking long, hot showers. Hot water breaks down the chlorine faster.
• Keep the temperature of your bathroom at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Don’t let your kids play in the bathtub. Kids’ skin is thinner than adults’, so they absorb more chlorine.
• Try to avoid bathing your baby in the same water that you bathe yourself. Babies’ skin is even thinner than adults’.
• Don’t use scented soap. The chemicals in scented soap react with the chlorine in the water, creating a chemical reaction that produces THMs.
• Make sure your toilet has a working flapper valve. A broken flapper valve allows too much water to flow from your tank into your pipes.
Yellow bathwater isn’t dangerous to bathe in. But it could affect how well your skin absorbs the water. That means it won’t help moisturize your body as effectively as regular water would.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 years old shouldn’t take baths. And older children should limit their baths to once per week.
It’s important to note that all household water contains small amounts of THMs. So, if you have yellow bathwater, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your entire supply is unsafe. It just means that your particular batch of water was particularly bad.
THMs are trihalomethanes or halo-methanes. These are byproducts of chlorination. Chlorine is added to drinking water to kill germs and bacteria. However, when it reacts with organic compounds (like those found in human bodies), it creates THMs.
THMs aren’t harmful on their own. But they do pose health risks when combined with other chemicals. For example, they combine with nitrates in fertilizers to create carcinogenic substances called NOMs.
If you want to drink yellow water, you’ll need to reduce its levels of THMs. You can do this by boiling your water first. Boiling removes most of the THMs.
You may also be able to remove some of the THMs by adding activated charcoal. Activated charcoal binds with THMs, allowing them to pass through your system without harming your liver.
But don’t rely on these methods alone. If you boil your water, you risk losing essential minerals like calcium and magnesium. And using activated charcoal requires a lot of time and effort.
Yellow water isn’t safe for drinking. But it’s not dangerous either. It just makes your skin look worse than usual.
That said, there are things you can do to improve the appearance of yellow water. First, make sure your showerhead works properly. Second, try to keep your bathroom temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Third, make sure your toilet has a functioning flapper valve. Finally, remember that all household water contains tiny amounts of THMs.