Being born and raised in Memphis, I took our water supply for granted. Over the years, I heard we had wonderful water because it came from artesian wells, whatever that was.
Then, I moved to California. I noticed that when I’d wash dishes, a film would remain on them. I wondered what was being left inside when I drank the water. Moving to Arkansas didn’t prove much better. We still had film on dishes. Then, we moved to Jacksonville, North Carolina. Camp Lejeune, found in Jacksonville, had water contamination problems from 1953 through 1987. Sigh.
Now, I am finally back in Memphis and once again feel safe to order water to drink when I eat out. But, I know everyone is not as fortunate as us, so what can you do?
Some good news is that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has issued a new guide for water filters that remove the more harmful contaminants from water.
One problem is some communities try too hard to keep bacteria out of the local water supply. To do this, some water treatment plants use chlorine or chloramines. However, some studies have shown that these chemicals may be linked to some cancers.
I learned in my traveling that even purchasing bottled water isn’t a good idea all the time. By some estimates, as much as 50 percent of all bottled water comes from local water utilities. And, if the water companies say their water is natural, they still may not tell you want contaminants they test for. It’s not like you can see bacteria in the bottle. With local water, you can always see a report that discloses what, if any, contaminants are found in your water.
If you are concerned about your local water, call the water company and ask for a report. Check out the EWG water filter guide to help you make a good decision. And remember that before you panic too much, know that overall, the U.S. still has some of the safest drinking water in the world.