In today's hectic society and often harmful environment we have to take as much care as possible to keep ourselves (and our families) as healthy as possible. Constantly through our day we are exposed to many different contaminants which will affect us adversely. These may be from the food we eat, the water we drink, from the life-styles we lead or even from living in various areas which may be more polluted or impure than other areas of the United Kingdom.
One way that I believe that we can begin trying to have a better and healthier lifestyle is to address one daily (sometimes twice daily) routine that we do each day without even thinking about how this could have effecting our health adversely – we can begin filtering the water which we shower in every day!
So why would the water we shower in be harmful to us? Many of us in England will know that many parts of our country suffer from hard to very hard water supplies. Although what is hard water and what happens to our water before it reaches us?
What is hard water?
Water which contains calcium and magnesium compounds is called hard water. When rain water – which is naturally soft – seeps through the ground it picks up minerals from soil and rocks it passes through. The Drinking Water Introspective state that two thirds of our drinking water in England comes from above ground sources and one third comes from underground geological formations that store rainwater. The rainwater seeps through porous strata such as sandstone and chalk. Below is a map of England which shows the hardness of water around England.
Water Distribution Water is delivered to our homes through various methods and distribution networks. These networks are made from cast iron, plastic or cement. Residues from treatment and corrosion of the pipes can sometimes settle in areas of low water flow. When deposits are disturbed, this can result in discolored water arriving through the pipes into homes.
Water is treated at treatment plants before it gets to all of us. There are three main processes in the treatment process:
Clarification: This is a process which removes silt, algae, color, magnesium and aluminum, and various other matter which may be found in raw water. A chemical called coagulant, which is usually Iron or Aluminum salt is added to the water. Making the material coagulate into larger pieces to be removed easier.
Filtration: The water is then filtered through beds of sand or other material where particles are trapped.
Disinfection: In England the most common method of disinfecting is with the use of Chlorine. Chlorine is used to kill bacteria in the water supply, water companies need to leave a portion of the chlorine in water to ensure that bacteria is controlled on the way from the treatment plant to our taps.
So now that we have a better understanding about the tap water in the UK – we can make a more informed and value add decision on whether or not we need a shower filter in our own home.