Dangers of Unclean Pipes
According to Bend-It, a provider of pipe bending services, the water supply in the U.S. is one of the cleanest and healthiest in the entire world, even among the more developed nations. This means that, in general, consumers of that water supply can have confidence that the local water filtration plant has eliminated most of the harmful bacteria from the water, and has piped healthy water to homes in the area. However, this the cleanliness of the water from your own faucet is not necessarily a guarantee that every consumer is drinking delicious-tasting water, free from all health hazards. Your own pipes may be causing the water in your home to be less clean than you’d like.
Private Water Supplies
Obviously not all American citizens are connected to a suburban water supply which has been treated and filtered to remove harmful agents, resulting in a safe, potable product. Water supplies, like private wells, are at a much greater risk for containing contaminants because they often lack that water filtration process necessary to flush out toxins before being forwarded to a residence for use in hygiene and drinking.
A great many contaminants can be passed into well water from chemicals and minerals, animal feeding operations, pesticides leaching into the ground, landfills and garbage dumps, and a whole host of other sources. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are present in groundwater, as are nitrates from sewage systems, fertilizers and pesticides, industrial wastes, and even heavy metals in the rocks and soil, all of which can find their way into the water table and into private wells.
Piping Within Homes
Main water supplies distributed throughout a local neighborhood are usually very reliable in terms of being healthy and free of contaminants. The weak link in water distribution may come right at the residence itself however, in the form of the installed plumbing system. Over time, pipes can become corroded and some of the internal surfaces can pass metallic debris into the system for eventual consumption.
Especially in older homes, some galvanized pipes can cause lead from the interior walls to be released into the water system, and to be passed into drinking water. This release into the plumbing system is especially possible during times of high water pressure going through pipes, and during incidents of water hammer, when the water supply is suddenly turned on or off. Running your water will not really eliminate the dangers of lead being passed into water, so in order to feel more safe about what you drink, it would be a good idea to have water filtration systems installed on spigots dispensing drinking water.
According to Bend-It (www.benditinc.com), the presence of contaminants in water from the tap, if not detected by residents can be consumed and can lead to a wide variety of health issues. Gastrointestinal problems and damage to the reproductive system can result from this contamination, as well as various neurological disorders. Those residents who are most susceptible to the impurities in water are infants, young children and elderly people, pregnant women, and those whose immune systems have been otherwise degraded.
Any homeowner or business owner suspecting that their plumbing system has been compromised or that the water supply itself is less than pure should contact the local health agency to have it tested. If a testing cannot be promptly arranged, contact a qualified plumber to conduct an analysis of the water supply to verify that it is suitable for household purposes.