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Water Filtration at Home: Better Alternative to Bottled Water

Water Filtration at Home: Better Alternative to Bottled Water

Water Filtration at Home: Better Alternative to Bottled Water

Water is everywhere in Canada. Canada has 1,169,561 square kilometers of freshwater alone – accounting for 11.7% of the country’s total area and yet one in five Canadians choose to drink bottled water over tap water.

According to Statistics Canada, 69% of Canadian households reported that they primarily drink tap water at home in 2015, while 19% reported that bottled water is their main type of drinking water at home.

Harmful Chemicals in Tap Water

Fear of tap water is one of the reasons why Canadians turn to bottled water; this fear isn’t misplaced.

According to Health Canada, tap water can be broken into three parts: 1) source of water; 2) drinking water system; and 3) distribution system which carries the treated water to your home.

“As drinking water travels on its journey to you, it can become contaminated in many ways,” Health Canada said.

Here are some of the harmful chemicals that may contaminate your tap water:

  1. Lead

Lead is a soft metal that has a low melting point and resists corrosion. Because of these characteristics, lead has been used sizably since the Roman times and has since become widely distributed in the environment.

In terms of drinking water, lead comes into play as it was used in drinking water systems since ancient Rome; lead was used to make water pipes.

The National Plumbing Code of Canada prohibits the use of lead in pipes in 1975 and as solder in water distribution systems in 1986. According to Health Canada, while the prohibition was in place decades ago, many drinking water systems in Canada “may still have some of these lead components in place today”.

Health Canada, the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for national public health, noted that there’s little lead in natural water sources in Canada, as well as water coming out of the drinking water treatment plants.

The department said that the most significant sources of lead in tap water usually come from water pipes that link the house to the main water supply and from lead solder in plumbing, or from fittings such as faucets made of brass.

The department added that the amount of lead that goes into your tap water depends on many factors, including the age of the plumbing system, the length of time the water sits in the pipes and the chemistry of the water.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lead is a toxic metal that affects multiple body systems, including the neurologic, hematologic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal systems.

“Children are particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead, and even relatively low levels of exposure can cause serious, and in some cases, irreversible neurological damage,” WHO said.

Health Canada said that lead toxicity can increase blood pressure and kidney dysfunction in adults, as well as adverse neurodevelopmental and behavioral effects in children, including reductions in intelligence quotient (IQ) scores in children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)said that there’s no safe blood lead level in children. “Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body,” CDC said. “Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.”

  1. Benzene

Benzene is another chemical that may be hidden in tap water. Natural sources of this chemical include volcanoes and forest fires. Other sources of this chemical include oil and gasoline. This chemical is also used to make plastics, resins, nylon, synthetic fibers, some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents and pesticides. Benzene mixes with drinking water through industrial effluents.

A person can be exposed to benzene by drinking contaminated drinking water and through both inhalation and skin absorption from showering and bathing.

According to Health Canada, benzene is a human carcinogen, which means that any level of exposure in drinking water may increase the risk of cancer.

WHOsaid that exposure to benzene has been associated with a range of acute and long-term adverse health effects and diseases, including aplastic anemia and cancer.

According to CDC, benzene causes cell dysfunction; for instance, it can cause bone marrow to not produce enough red blood cells, resulting in anemia. The CDC added that benzene can damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells.

Lead and benzene are just two examples of harmful chemicals that may contaminate your tap water. Other chemicals that may be hidden in your tap water include the following:

Carbon Tetrachloride

Dichlorobenzene

Dichloroethane

Dichloroethene

Trichloroethane

Trichloroethylene

Vinyl Chloride

Dibromochloropropane

Ethylene Dibromide

Ethylbenzene

Pentachlorophenol

Styrene

Toluene

Dichloropropane

Dichloromethane

Dichlorobenzene

Hexachlorobenzene

Trichlorobenzene

Trichloroethane

Water Filtration System vs. Bottled Water

Lead, benzene and the above-mentioned harmful chemicals can be removed by using the Simply Pure Chemical Remover, a water filtration system fitted for home use. This water filtration system removes up to 99.9% of harmful chemicals in your tap water, eliminating your fear of drinking tap water.

A home filtration system also eliminates the cost of bottled water. According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian household spent $41 on bottled water in 2015. Many Canadians, however, spend more than this amount on bottled water today.

Turning to bottled water isn’t a guarantee of getting harmful chemical-free drinking water. As shown in the test conducted by the researchers at the McGill’s Biocolloids and Surfaces Laboratory, 30 of the 50 bottled water tested (from Canada’s five leading brands of bottled water and purchased in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal) contained microplastics. 

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic less than five millimeters (5,000 microns) in length. The types of plastics found in the bottled water tested by the researchers include polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl acetate, nylon, rayon, polystyrene and polytetrafluoroethylene.

Contact ustoday, and start enjoying the health befits of clean water in your home, and protect your family.

3 Ways Hard Water Increases Your Household Expenses

3 Ways Hard Water Increases Your Household Expenses

3 Ways Hard Water Increases Your Household Expenses

As water travels through rocks and soils, it absorbs very small amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium. This is how it becomes hard water.

These two minerals aren’t necessarily a problem. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers dissolved calcium and magnesium in water as essential to human health. Calcium, in particular, is good for our bones and teeth; while magnesium is credited for preventing muscle weakness and irregular heartbeat.

What is Hard Water

A higher than average volume of calcium and magnesium in water makes water “hard”. Other minerals aside from calcium and magnesium like iron also result to hard water. Water hardness can come from surface water – water that moves through rocks and soils, groundwater, inorganic chemical and mining industries. Surface water is generally softer than groundwater.

Water hardness is primarily the amount of magnesium and calcium in water. It’s computed by adding up the concentrations of magnesium and calcium, and converting this value to an equivalent concentration of calcium carbonate in milligrams per liter (mg/L) of water.

In the paper “Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality”, Health Canada categorizes waters with a calcium carbonate concentration less than 75 mg/L as “soft”; between 75 and 150 mg/L as “moderately hard”; between 150 and 300 mg/L as “hard”; and more than 300 mg/L as “very hard”.

Water Quality Association (WQA), meanwhile, categorizes less than 1 grains per gallon (gpg) and less than 17 per mg/L as “soft”; 1 to 3.5 gpg or 17.1 to 60 mg/L as “slightly hard”; 3.5 to 7 gpg or 60 to 120 mg/L as “moderately hard”; 7 to 10.5 gpg or 120 to 180 mg/L as “hard”; and more than 10.5 gpg or more than 180 mg/L as “very hard”. Click here to view the water hardness level in your city.

Hard water increases your household expenses in three ways:

1. Hard Water Results in Excessive Soap and Detergent Consumption

Traditionally, hardness in water is tested by using soap. If the soap lathers or foams easily, the water is considered as soft. If it takes some time for the soap to lather, then the water is considered as hard. Hardness of water is evident in our daily household tasks, from personal grooming, bathing, dishwashing and laundering. As hard water makes it difficult to form lather, this lessens the cleaning effect of soaps and detergents. Water hardness makes soaps and detergents less effective as hardness renders active ingredient in soaps and detergents partially inactivated.

The harder the water, the more soaps and detergents are needed to clean your hands, hair, body or for washing your dishes and laundry. Hard water also causes graying of white fabrics and the loss of brightness in colored fabrics. It can also shorten the lifespan of your clothes.

2. Hard Water Lowers Efficiency, Shrinks Lifespan and Raises Costs of Water-Using Appliances

If you’ve ever used an electric kettle, chances are you’ve most likely spotted a limescale. It’s that stony, off-white crust covering the bottom of your electric kettle. This hard, off-white crust is also evident in your coffee maker and water heater.

When hard water is heated or left unattended, the dissolved minerals in it solidifies and forms a limescale – also known as calcium carbonate or simply scale – as the moisture evaporates. It can shrink the lifespan, lower the efficiency and raise the costs of heating water of water-using appliances. Limescale can also manifest through dry, itchy skin and scalp.

“Water quality is the single most important factor affecting the life of the water heater,” the Natural Resources Canada said in the paper “Water Heater Guide”.

According to the Natural Resources Canada, the average person in Canada uses 75 L of hot water per day and the average Canadian household uses 225 L. Hot water in Canadian homes are used mostly, according to the Natural Resources Canada for faucet use – food preparation and handwashing (34%), followed by shower (25%), bath (17%), clothes washer (15%), leak (5%) and dishwasher (4%).

A Pacific Northwest National Laboratory report found that local water quality is one of the factors that affects most significantly to the performance and longevity of water heating equipment. The report highlighted that highly alkaline water – rich in calcium, magnesium and other minerals – will lead to the accumulation of “scale”, which will impact the efficiency of water heaters’ storage and can lead to decreased equipment life.

“Increasing the lifetime of water heaters can improve the cost-effectiveness and increase the amount of savings achieved by an efficient water heater investment,” the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory report said.

3. Hard Water Clogs Pipes

Limescale can also develop on the inner walls of pipes where there’s hard water or water with high mineral content. As water travels through the pipes, calcium ions present in hard water react with the air inside to form limescale. The limescale buildup can slowly clog water pipes, resulting in lowering of water pressure and less water movement. Limescale inside your pipes may require an expensive pipe replacement.

How is Hard Water Treated

A New Mexico State University report found that preventing and reducing limescale buildup in appliances and pipes, households could achieve longer lifespan for their water-using appliances and pipes between 25 and 40 percent.

A water softener is a home water filtration system that removes up to 99.9% of harmful minerals in your household water. By installing a water softener in your home, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  1. Save money on soaps and detergents;
  2. For use fewer soaps and detergents, you help save the environment; and
  3. Prolong the lifespan, increase efficiency and lowers the cost of your water-using appliances and pipes.

“Conditioning of water, including central softening and stabilization, may be necessary to reduce corrosion of piping materials and/or scaling effects in installations and to improve consumer acceptability,” WHO said. “Corrosion and scaling can be associated with adverse effects on health (from leachates such as lead) and the environment (from leachates such as copper if the water is not conditioned) and reduced lifespan of the distribution network and appliances using water.”