Water is often an underrated factor for health. Many health professionals admit that a variety of diseases and health problems can be avoided or lessened simply by making sure you are well hydrated. Just any water, however, will not do. Only clean water that is free of pathogens and contaminants will improve health. Contaminated water can cause severe health problems or even death.

Avoid Lead Exposure

Many people consider contaminated water to only be a problem in third world countries. While much of the water in industrialized nations is safe, it is not always totally clean. Lead is one of the most common contaminants in water, and it is commonly found in tap water. This often comes from old pipes that slowly leech lead into water as they corrode. The government considers certain levels of lead safe, but in reality, no lead at all is ideal.

Control Fluoride

Old research indicated that fluoride is good for teeth. This is why many toothpastes, mouthwashes and dental cleanings involve fluoride. Years ago, fluoride was considered so beneficial that the government decided it was best to add it to drinking water to be sure people got enough. This is still done in most cities today. There is an ongoing argument that while fluoride does have some benefits for teeth it may be harmful if ingested in larger quantities.

Avoid Chemical Contamination

It is possible for tap water to become contaminated with various chemicals. While city water sources are generally secure, nothing is perfect. Chemicals can leech into municipal water sources in a wide variety of ways. These sources are tested often for any contamination, but there is always the chance some of it will sneak through without being detected. The only sure way to control this contamination is to control the purity of the water at home.

Problems with Well Water

Many homeowners outside city limits rely on well water for their home. Well water can vary dramatically in its level of contamination. Sometimes well water is cleaner than that from municipal sources, but often it is much dirtier. Well water should be tested when the well is put in and should be periodically tested afterward by a company like Water Systems Council to be sure of safe levels of minerals or chemicals. Wells often need extra filtration steps installed in the home to make the water clean and drinkable.

Keeping Pathogens at Bay

Water is a vector for a variety of harmful pathogens and parasites. These dangers are completely invisible in the water, but they can cause serious and sometimes fatal digestive diseases. Cryptosporidium is the name of a common parasite that is still found in the drinking water in the US.

There are many ways to avoid the dangers of contaminated drinking water. Most problems can be eliminated with a good in-home filtration system. If a home's water source is contaminated even after standard filtration, then bottled water can be used for drinking. The tap water can then be reserved for other uses like laundry and bathing. By being aware of what invisible dangers might lurk in drinking water, diseases and health problems can be avoided.

Author's Bio: 

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.