How much water is used in the United States?
Water is one of the most vital substances in the world, yet purified and filtered water is rare to find when you travel around the world, let alone in your own home’s tap water. As it pertains to our country, the United States uses an average of 346 million gallons of freshwater per day. The average American uses about 75-100 of these gallons per day. The typical American household of four uses about 100,000 gallons of water each year. To put that into a visual perspective, 100,000 gallons is 20 semi tanks that can hold 5,000 gallons each or 836,000 pounds. 100,000 gallons is also 1,066,667 Solo Cups filled at the 12oz mark.
Isn’t that nuts?
So, why is filtered water better than tap water?
We use tap water to drink, to bathe, to clean, to water our lawn, launder our clothes, to birth babies in, and to cook. Tap water is part of our every day, yet, when we start talking about the cleanliness of that water, most individuals are baffled or don’t have an interest in the conversation. This is why we need to talk about the importance of filtered water in contrast to tap water.
Do you know who Erin Brockovich is?
In 2000, Julia Roberts made headlines across the nation about her Hollywood portrayal as Erin Brockovich, an American legal clerk, consumer advocate, and environmental activist, who, despite her lack of education in the law, was instrumental in building a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California in 1993.
The case (Anderson, et al. v. Pacific Gas and Electric, file BCV 00300) alleged contamination of drinking water with hexavalent chromium (also written as “chromium VI”, “Cr-VI” or “Cr-6”) in the southern California town of Hinkley. At the center of the case was a facility, the Hinkley compressor station, built-in 1952 as a part of a natural-gas pipeline connecting to the San Francisco Bay Area. Between 1952 and 1966, PG&E used hexavalent chromium in a cooling tower system to fight corrosion. The wastewater was discharged to unlined ponds at the site, and some percolated into the groundwater, affecting an area near the plant approximately 2 by 1 mile (3.2 by 1.6 km). The Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) put the PG&E site under its regulations in 1968.
The case was settled in 1996 for $333 million, the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history. Masry & Vititoe, the law firm for which Brockovich was a legal clerk, received $133.6 million of that settlement, and Brockovich herself was given a bonus of $2 million.
So why did it matter that there was alleged contamination of drinking water in the town of Hinkley?
Well, there were countless neighbors within that 2-mile x 1-mile radius getting incredibly ill and a major rise of cancer cases. A study released in 2010 by the California Cancer Registry showed that cancer rates in Hinkley “remained unremarkable from 1988 to 2008”.
Read that again! The water contamination led to a remarkable increase in cancer patients in just one small town. What’s ironic about all this is that it’s been about 20 years since American water standards have been updated.
The cleanliness of your water matters! This is why filtered water is better than tap water!
Chromium isn’t the only contaminant found in your tap water.
What other common contaminants found at high (but “legal” levels) in your tap water?
According to the CDC, Arsenic is an element that occurs naturally in rocks and soil and is used for a variety of purposes within industry and agriculture. It is also a byproduct of copper smelting, mining, and coal burning. Arsenic can combine with other elements to make chemicals used to preserve the wood and to kill insects on cotton and other agricultural crops.
Arsenic can enter the water supply from natural deposits in the earth or from industrial and agricultural pollution. It is widely known that naturally occurring arsenic dissolves out of certain rock formations when groundwater levels drop significantly. Some industries in the United States release thousands of pounds of arsenic into the environment every year. Once released, arsenic remains in the environment for a long time. Arsenic is removed from the air by rain, snow, and gradual settling. Once on the ground or in surface water, arsenic can slowly enter groundwater. High arsenic levels in private wells may come from certain arsenic-containing fertilizers used in the past or industrial waste. It may also indicate improper water well construction or overuse of chemical fertilizers or herbicides in the past.
Chloroform is also known as trichloromethane or methyltrichloride per the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It is a colorless liquid with a pleasant, nonirritating odor and a slightly sweet taste. Most of the chloroform found in the environment comes from the industry. It will only burn when it reaches very high temperatures. Chloroform was one of the first inhaled anesthetics to be used during surgery, but it is not used for anesthesia today. Nearly all the chloroform made in the United States today is used to make other chemicals, but some is sold or traded to other countries. We also import chloroform.
Chloroform enters the environment from chemical companies and paper mills. It is also found in wastewater from sewage treatment plants and drinking water to which chlorine has been added. Chlorine is added to most drinking water and many wastewaters to destroy bacteria. Small amounts of chloroform are formed as an unwanted product during the process of adding chlorine to the water. Chloroform can enter the air directly from factories that make or use it and by evaporating from water and soil that contain it. It can enter water and soil when wastewater that contains chlorine is released into water or soil. It may enter water and soil from spills and by leaks from storage and waste sites. There are many ways for chloroform to enter the environment, so small amounts of it are likely to be found almost everywhere.
This acid is made when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromochloroacetic acid and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. This information is pulled from one of our most treasured sites of relevant and current data, the EWG Tap Water Database.
These contaminants are just A FEW of the contaminants found in our drinking, bathing, and cleaning tap water. All of these contaminants are legally cleared by the United States standards of clean drinking water. However, it doesn’t have to be the standard in the home that you own!
So, since we have your attention, what should you do about all these contaminants?
Well, now that you know that filtered water is better than tap water, filter your water with one of our water systems! We will rid your water of these contaminants and you will notice a difference in taste immediately.
Give us a call and let us send you a free test kit so that you can see what is in your tap water yourself. After doing that research, let’s chat and see if one of our filtering systems is best for you and your home. Your body and your family is your most important investment and at ONIT Water, we want to do everything we can to protect you and your water source. Give us a call at (833) 664-8426.