Discover the Answer To: What Does Tap Water Contain?

By: Laurel Tevolitz

When seeking an answer to the question "What does tap water contain?" one benefits from a broad knowledge of geography and geology. That fact should not surprise those who are familiar with the water cycle, and with the path that water takes to the sea.

After a rainstorm, water rushes down from the land into creeks and streams. At the same time, the land absorbs the water, allowing it to travel down to the level of the groundwater. Eventually, the water in the creeks and streams makes its way to a larger body of water. All sources of fresh water can become a potential source of tap water.

The chemicals in any one water source ultimately determine the ingredients in tap water, at least in the tap water going to local homes and businesses. That fact sheds some light on the question raised in the first paragraph: "What does tap water contain?" As water washes over soil and rocks, it picks-up minerals. Thus the content of tap water reflects the mineral composition of the surrounding rocks and soil.

As water passes over rocks and soil it typically dissolves certain salts in those rocks and in that soil. For that reason, calcium salts, magnesium salts, strontium salts and manganese salts belong on the list of ingredients in tap water. Much tap water also contains a measurable amount of ferrous iron.

The presence in tap water of those salts can cause that tap water to show an appreciable level of "hardness." Most homeowners do not want to have hard water in their tap water. Hard water can cause the formation of a build-up on the inner lining of pipes. In addition, hard water forms a precipitate when combined with soap. Hard water reduces the amount of suds created by soap, when it mixes with water.

Hard water can pose problems for a homeowner, but hard water does not threaten to harm the health of residents in a home with hard water. Other chemicals in the tap water can, however, pose a real danger to those who might drink that tap water. At least 85% of the city water in the United States contains arsenic. Much of that city water also holds a fair amount of lead.

Lead and arsenic are not the only chemicals of concern to those groups that ask, "What does tap water contain?" Residents in a big city should realize that aluminum, benzene, mercury, asbestos and pesticides, all belong on a list with the ingredients in tap water. At the same time that cities send such water into the water system, they also add even more chemicals to the water that will become tap water.

City officials want to kill any micro-organisms in the water that enters the water system. For that reason, most cities add chlorine to the tap water. At the same time, cities usually yield to suggestions from dental professionals regarding the ingredients in tap water. Most cities put fluoride in their tap water.

City dwellers who are aware of the above facts often decide to purchase a water filtration system. They want to enjoy the opportunity to drink clean, pure, great-tasting water. As consumers study the available water filtration systems, a growing number of consumers elect to buy one particular type of system.

Many city dwellers express concern about the answer that they get when they ask, "What does tap water contain?" Those city dwellers then decide to purchase a water purification system that relies on activated carbon filters with ion exchange and micron filtration.

Those city dwellers want to feel confident about the safety of their tap water. A study of the existing water filtration systems has caused those urban dwellers to choose the purification system that they feel to be the safest choice.

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