Drinking Water Safety - Is Drinking Water Really Safe to Drink

Walking to the sink and pouring yourself a glassful of clear, cold water takes very little effort on your part. Nevertheless, have you ever stopped to think where your drinking water comes from and how safe it is to drink? Sure, we purchase bottles of water every year but who makes certain that the water found inside those plastic containers is actually safe for human consumption?

In the USA, drinking water safety is a multifaceted process that starts with your bottle or glass of water and carries on through to the federal government.

If you have not afforded your drinking water a great deal of consideration it is time to do so since there are plenty of risks you are taking every time you take a drink of water. Here are some answers to the more common questions that you may have about your drinking water, along with what happens to it on the journey between source and tap.

Who monitors drinking water safety?

In the USA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the government group that oversees the safety of your drinking water through the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Safe Drinking Water Act helps to ensure that the quality of your water, not how it looks or tastes, is pure enough for human consumption and is free from any pollutants. The EPA regulates water treatment facilities and bottling plants.

How does the Environmental Protection Agency monitor drinking water?

The EPA has set up analytical tests for local sanitation offices to run in order to ensure that the drinking water is free from a certain level of contaminants such as arsenic, lead and other pollutants. On a random basis, they will come in and require a water sample so that their team of scientists can check the water sample for themselves rather than rely on reports mailed in quarterly by the sanitation department.

What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?

In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act as a way to monitor the drinking water standards of all US public drinking water facilities. It does not cover well water but it does cover bottled water facilities. It does cover ground well water sources where public water facilities tap into though and of course rivers, streams and lakes.

Is water from a well safe to drink?

Well water can be just as safe as bottled water or tap water. It will have a different taste though because all of the impurities such as lime that are found naturally occurring in water. Some people actually prefer the taste of well water to that of tap or bottled because of that "hard" water taste. Unfortunately, hard water is rough on sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers and hot water heaters with the lime scale build up. The solution is to buy a water purification system and softening system to remove the impurities.

Can water suppliers receive fines for lying about their source water?

Any company that deliberately misleads the public and their consumers through false advertising is subject to fines. The amount of fines and whether further actions are taken against the falsifying company are subject to the FCC and the EPA. If you have purchased a bottle of the water that has been proven to be falsely advertised as something else when in reality it was tap water, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and contact the company for a refund.