What’s in your drinking water?

Water consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, hence the formula H2O. However, it refers only to what is called distilled water. And what about the water you drink every day?

The water in nature is the same water you fill your glasses with. Contrary to popular beliefs and the commercials, it is not technically pure. The water you drink soaks with various micro-and-macro elements while seeping through the rocks and mineral deposits. 

Most of the absorbed minerals are beneficial for your well-being. However, water is not selective here and is also infused with compounds that may harm your health.

Which minerals in drinking water are essential for your health?

There is a bunch of minerals that are both good for you and boost water taste. For your information, these minerals are:

  • magnesium (Mg2+) – supports the nervous system; if you have experienced some muscle contractions or eyelid twitch lately, it’s because of magnesium deficiency.
  • calcium (Ca2+) – is good for cardiac activity; calcium-rich water supports the proper functioning of the circulatory system
  • potassium (K+) – essential for regulating body fluids; its deficiency results in fatigue and nervousness
  • sodium (Na+) – an element crucial for proper muscle functioning, including heart muscle
  • chlorides (Cl-) – important for the digestive process, but mind the amount you absorb
  • sulphates (SO42-) – regulates the functioning of cells and skin
  • carbohydrates (HCO3-) – are crucial for a healthy stomach, as well as the entire digestive system

Other water compounds, such as microelements, also support your body in proper functioning:

  • iodine – regulates the vital functions
  • copper -collagen and bone structure component; promotes wound healing 
  • zink – indispensable for the immune system
  • lithium – crucial for proper nervous system functioning
  • boron and fluoride – prevent caries, promotes bone formation
  • manganese – crucial for nervous system formation, supports reproductive processes

Even if present in trace amounts, these compounds help you stay vigorous and in good condition by keeping the balanced electrolyte level.

But beware of drinking purified water distilled from any dissolved minerals. Highly clarified water may seem super safe to drink. However, it is chemically and bacteriologically unstable and dangerous to drink.

Harmful mineral elements in drinking water

Along with the desired nutrients, some minerals can do our bodies no good when found in water in excessive amounts. For safety reasons, the city water we use daily is constantly monitored for the concentration of harmful compounds. But if your water source is a private well, you need to control it by yourself.

Which minerals are considered harmful and should be strictly monitored or removed from drinking water?

Take manganese and iron for instance. If these two exceed the allowed limits, the water instantly becomes unfit for drinking. Their maximum level should be respectively 0.05 mg/l and 0.2 mg/l.

Also, they deposit in the water pipes, which deteriorate even faster over time and are a breeding ground for ferruginous and manganese bacteria. Drinking too much iron water can lead to tooth decay and cardiovascular problems.

For the same reason, monitor the sulphates and chlorides as they must not reach over 250 mg/l.

The amounts of nitrite and nitrate must be kept under control, too. The maximum amount is 0.5 mg/l for nitrates and 50 mg/l for nitrites. Both naturally permeate the water from mineral deposits, but they can also transfer from fertilizers and septic tank leaks. They are highly dangerous, in particular for kids and pregnant women

Mind also the high water cloudiness, as it may be a high content of suspended solids, e. g. sand, soil sediments, but also iron and manganese. The drinking water turbidity should not be more than 5 mg/dm3. Don’t make your cuppa with cloudy water. It should not be consumed even after boiling. Luckily, water turbidity can be easily removed with proper sediment filters.

Bacteria in city water and well water 

Water is a natural environment for microorganisms. Drinking water must be bacteria-free, as they cause health troubles, ranging from mild stomach problems to serious diseases.

The safety of city water is guaranteed by municipal suppliers, responsible for thorough water monitoring. They check on biological water purity and adjust it by dosing chlorine. They also look after the city water mains and conduct regular maintenance.

Things are different with well water. The well’s owner is obliged to test and monitor the water purity level.

Regardless of the water source – municipal or private, regular water testing is a must, as far as health is concerned.  

With the development of water filtering technologies, there are various simple water treatment methods for keeping your drinking water clean and safe, no matter the contamination level.

Categories Healthy living, Drinking water Tagi: Data publikacji: 07.04.2022 Autor: Ewa from FITaqua team
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Keep your drinking water safe with these filters: