Identifying the Most Common Water Pollutants
Despite the authorities’ best efforts to regulate our drinking water, common water pollutants still exist. And sometimes, water pollution is caused directly by said authorities. Many still remember the Gold King Mine spill from 2015. It affected the entire Animas River in Durango, Colorado.
The disaster represented the consequence of none other than the E.P.A.’s actions. Yes, ironically, the Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for such an incident. Overall, the water quality in the U.S. is far from perfect.
The most common water pollutants in the U.S.
Your local municipality might be doing a lot of hard work to ensure your drinking water is safe. However, keep in mind that they don’t always succeed.
Several government agencies have acknowledged that our drinking water has contaminants in it. Tap water is teeming with pathogens despite intensive filtering and disinfection that occurs in our country.
Escherichia coli, by its scientific name, is one of the most common bacteria that can pollute drinking water.
- The symptoms can vary, but most people that come in contact with E. Coli have stomach cramps, diarrhea, and uncontrollable vomiting.
- While the first two symptoms might not seem like a big deal, they are persistent.
- The cramps can be so painful that you might find yourself unable to concentrate on anything else.
- The diarrhea caused by this bacterium is often bloody.
If untreated, you also risk developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. This symptom can cause your kidneys to stop functioning. While most recover from it in a few weeks after hospitalization, some people can suffer permanent damage or even lose their life.
The illness caused by this parasite is called Giardiasis. It is the most frequently diagnosed parasitic disease in our country.
- Its symptoms are somehow similar to those of E. Coli.
- Some of the additions are greasy stools and dehydration.
- Weight loss can also be a significant issue caused by Giardiasis.
- However, it’s not a proper type of weight loss that one might want. It’s the one with excessive dehydration and vomiting.
Legionnaires’ disease is an acute type of pneumonia that can lead to death if left untreated. The bad part about this disease is that it can quickly turn into an outbreak. And to make matters worse, the occurrences are hard to identify.
- The Legionella bacteria are persistent when they come in contact with water.
- If you develop pneumonia symptoms, go to a doctor right away. Chances are you won’t be able to tell by yourself if it’s regular pneumonia or Legionnaire’s disease.
Most of us think that Salmonella is bacteria that mainly infects people through uncooked food. However, these bacteria can also thrive and spread through water. Salmonella causes more illnesses than you probably think. The C.D.C. estimates that Salmonella is behind around 1.35 million infections, over 20,000 hospitalizations, and approximately 420 infections yearly. And that’s just in the U.S.A. alone.
“Crypto” is yet another parasite found in the U.S. water supply.
- It is similar to Giardia and E. Coli regarding symptoms.
- Some people might not develop symptoms at all, while others will suffer them for about one or two weeks.
- Others can show signs up to 30 days.
- The most affected people are those with weakened immune systems.
- It leads to chronic or even fatal illnesses for people with H.I.V. and transplant patients.
Hepatitis A & B
Hopefully, you already received the proper vaccines against these viruses. If not, you should know that they can spread through water.
- In time, the symptoms can permanently damage your liver and kill you.
- The first few weeks after infection, you might not notice any signs.
- Down the line, however, you might experience fatigue, nausea, jaundice, and a bunch of other symptoms. These viruses are no joke. And it is alarming knowing that some people got infected just from drinking water.
What can you do to prevent contamination?
Regular water filters only work on inorganic materials. They do an excellent job of stopping dirt, metals, pharmaceuticals, or human-made pollutants.
- Pathogens, on the other hand, are too small to be stopped by a simple filter. They can quickly pass through it and infect your water. It’s clear from the information above that you wouldn’t want any of these in your life.
Neither private nor public water supplies are 100% safe. For example, private wells are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Corrosion, leaks, and spillages affect water at different levels. Having farm animals or using weed killers and pesticides near the well also impacts the water.
Public water plants have also violated state-imposed regulations. Researchers have found out that the most common violations of water regulations are microbial-based.
- As many as 32 million cases of waterborne diseases occur per year in our country. In 2013 and 2014 alone, out of 1006 cases, 124 hospitalizations and 13 death occurred.
Since regular filters only work on non-organic materials, we’re going to have to focus on a solution that solves the pathogen-related problems. Boiling water is time-consuming and doesn’t treat all pathogens. Ozonation is inaccessible for most people. And chlorination has proved that it’s not efficient all the time. Not to mention that it can hurt the environment.
This is the moment when U.V. water filters enter the game. They are designed to target microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The ultraviolet rays they emit target pathogens at a molecular level. It disables the bases of their D.N.A. in such a way that they can no longer replicate.
How U.V. water filters work
We’ve already established that the most common water pollutants are pathogens. Water filters target all of them as long as the water is clear. Non-organic impurities will block the ultraviolet rays from doing their job. The best course of action is to pair a U.V. filter with a pre-filter system or with a traditional filter.
Once the regular filter does its job, the U.V. filter is free to eliminate pathogens. The device works by exposing the water to UV-C rays, which are efficient at destroying 99.9% of microorganisms. Just like humans, pathogens can’t stay for long in U.V. lights. The difference is that the filter’s lights are close enough to act instantly.
They destroy pathogens on a whim, most of the time under one second. These rays are very effective against chlorine-resistant bacteria. Moreover, the best part is they don’t require much electricity to work. And unlike chlorine, a U.V. filter leaves no byproducts. It leaves no pollution traces at all. So you’re not only getting rid of pathogens, but you’re also protecting the environment. And you’re also saving a lot of water by doing so.
Installing a U.V. water filter in your home
You’ll be pleased to find out that installing a U.V. filter is easy. No plumbing skills are required whatsoever. The only maintenance you need to take care of is changing the bulb and sleeve once a year. You don’t have to deal with dirty filters or spend money on accessories. You just need a constant flow of electricity. It doesn’t consume much current, but it needs it to operate. The good thing is that you won’t notice much on your electricity bill.
If you don’t need a regular filter because your water doesn’t have dirt, metals, pharmaceuticals, or other pollutants, you might want to test its hardness. Hard water may appear clear, but it will impede your U.V. filter. Mineral crystals block the ultraviolet rays and might protect pathogens. If this is the case for you, we recommend using a water descaler.
This way, the mineral crystals will become ions. As a result, they won’t block the light anymore, and your U.V. filter will do its job. Just to be safe, you can also clean the filter’s quartz sleeve from time to time.
Where can I get a reliable U.V. filter?
You can check out our enhanced U.V. water filter here. It features several improvements to the old designs. Water flows through the spiral tube that surrounds the U.V. bulb. This way, the rays have a higher greater efficiency rate. Instead of traditional O-rings and end caps that can crack the quartz tube if not tighten carefully, we use two sealing gaskets that are more effective.
Our filter comes in a carbon fiber body encasement, which makes it lighter and more durable than others. Instead of the traditional 15 mm tubes, we use a 19mm tube, which increases the energy that mends the water. It means you’ll get better output with the same energy consumption as other U.V. filters.
- Best of all, it’s one of the only four FDA-approved methods of disinfecting water. So you’re guaranteed 100% that it works.
- Since the most common water pollutants are pathogens – bacteria, viruses, and parasites – that means this filter is essential in your household.
Anyone needs small amounts of metals, minerals, and other elements in their system. Getting it from supplements or certain foods is recommended. However, many such substances get in touch with and contaminate our tap water. In large doses, such common contaminants can lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In other cases, like the Flint crisis, they can lead to veritable public health disasters. Installation of water filters for common water pollutants and UV filters against microorganisms may be the best solution you have to protect your family.