TAP WATER BENEFITS AND WATER FILTERS OPTIONS
Water plays an essential part in maintaining our health, as it is involved in many processes such as regulating body temperature, flushing out toxins via kidneys and promoting blood flow.
In the United Kingdom, access to clean and safe drinking water is considered a fundamental right, yet so many people question if it´s ok to drink tap water. The tap water supplied across the country is subject to stringent regulations and quality standards, making it safe for consumption. However, while UK tap water is typically safe, there are considerations and concerns regarding its quality that may prompt individuals to explore alternative options, such as water filters.
UK tap water is regularly tested and monitored for various parameters, such as bacteria, lead, pesticides, nitrates, and other impurities. Water companies are mandated to provide water quality reports to consumers, detailing the composition and safety of the water supplied. If you think that your tap water is contaminated, ask your provider to analyse it.
Despite stringent regulations, concerns may arise about certain elements present in tap water. For instance, some areas might have higher concentrations of minerals like calcium and magnesium, resulting in hard water. While not harmful to health, hard water can cause limescale buildup in pipes and appliances.
Another concern is the presence of chlorine used for disinfection in water treatment plants. While necessary to kill bacteria and ensure water safety, some individuals might dislike its taste or odour. Again, studies have not shown that chlorine is harmful to our health, nor it has a meaningful impact on our microbiome.
Additionally, there might be trace amounts of contaminants or pollutants from environmental sources that could enter the water supply. This is a particular concern for PFAS: a group of man-made chemicals that are vastly used in household products. Some of them have been mostly banned, due to their known effect on human health and the facts that they can accumulate in our body and in the environment. Unfortunately, a recent article in a British known newspaper, found that these chemicals have been detected in the drinking water of many water companies in the UK. In the US the situation is similar, while thankfully in Scotland and Europe there are stricter regulations that limit greatly the amount of PFAS in tap water.
Benefits of Water Filters
I personally use a water filter, because I want to avoid as much as possible all traces of pollutants, but I understand that this is not something that can suits everyone. Water filters are a popular solution for those people like me, that seek an extra layer of purification or wishing to improve taste and odour. Various types of water filters, including activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis systems, and UV filters, are available in the market.
- Improved Taste and Odor: Water filters, especially activated carbon filters, effectively remove chlorine and its taste or smell, enhancing the overall palatability of tap water.
- Removal of Contaminants: Certain filters, like reverse osmosis systems, can effectively remove contaminants such as lead, pesticides, nitrates, and other impurities that might be present in small amounts in tap water.
- Reduced Hardness: Some water filters can mitigate the effects of hard water by removing minerals that cause limescale buildup, thus extending the life of appliances and plumbing systems.
Considerations when Using Water Filters
While water filters offer advantages, it’s crucial to also consider a few aspects before investing in one:
- Maintenance: Filters require regular maintenance, including replacement of filter cartridges or membranes, to ensure optimal performance.
- Cost: Initial setup costs and ongoing maintenance expenses, including filter replacements, should be considered.
- Over purification: Some filtration methods might remove beneficial minerals, leading to overly purified water.
Tap water in the UK is generally safe for consumption, meeting strict quality standards. However, for those seeking improved taste, odour, and/or an extra layer of purification, water filters can be beneficial.
Before investing in a water filter, you should assess your current tap water profile and consider the potential benefits and maintenance requirements.