Facts about Drinking Water A Guide to Drinking Water
Safe Drinking Water
In general water from your tap is safe to drink. If it comes from a public water supply it has to be tested regularly to meet required Environmental Protection Agency standards. Recent problems in the District of Columbia have caused concern, because some testing results were not being properly reviewed and acted upon, and lead levels have been found to be too high in some locations. This is of concern for pregnant women and young children. For more information you can access the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or in the DC area 1-202-382-5533, or go on-line at www.EPA.gov/safewater.
If you have a concern about your drinking water, first contact your water company for their most recent test results for your area. They are responsible for the water and the pipes that bring water to your property. The pipes on private property are the owner's responsibility. If you think you may have lead in your pipes, you can get your water tested. If you do not have public drinking water and use a private well, you should have it tested regularly for all types of contaminants. Check with EPA hotline or website for more testing information.
What else can you do? To reduce lead levels in house pipes the recommendation is to run the cold water for at least one minute when it is first used during the day. This is because lead takes time to leach into the water, so it will concentrate more in standing water. Longer running times have been recommended in some cases, but for your house pipes, one minute should clear most of the standing water in the system. Also use cold water for drinking and cooking because more lead leaches into warm and hot water.
Should you use bottled water or purifiers? These alternatives are significantly more expensive than tap water, so you need to know if the filtering of the bottled water or filtering system actually is designed to remove the contaminants or just to improve the aesthetic qualities like flavor and cloudiness. The filter systems like the pitchers with filters or the attachments to your faucet will give information about what contaminants will be reduced or removed.They should list an 800 number for further questions on the package. Remember those filters need to be replaced regularly to do their job properly.
What about our bottled waters? Our bottled waters, Acadia Water, Filtered Drinking and Distilled, are tested regularly for contaminants including heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, radiological substances and microbes. Our spring water is filtered to remove any sediment and ozonated to disinfect in case of any microbial content. It is tested to be sure it meets EPA requirements. We filter it to remove any sediment and chlorine, treat it with UV light and ozonate it to disinfect. This does not remove the added fluoride which is good for dental health. Our distilled water is safe and drinkable, but is really meant for use in machinery where any minerals may cause mechanical problems. It is first put through distillation to remove the minerals and then filtered and ozonated. Samples from every run of any of our waters are microbiologically analyzed and held for shelf life.