So I get A LOT of questions about water... about what water we drink, if their (the question asker's) water is safe to drink, what water we buy, our water filter, etc. etc. Honestly, I never thought I'd be asked that much, but I'm totally happy that people are paying attention to the water their drinking--- or should be drinking ;)
So I'm obviously going to start with saying that I'm not a water expert! You do what feels best for your body and your family! This is just what we do / try to do here / and how I feel! :)
Drinking Tap Water
I don't recommend drinking tap water. Ever. I'll do it if I'm at a friends house and I'm absolutely SO thirsty that I cannot stand it and that is the only option. But I try to hold out if I can. Even if the state/county/whoever say's that their city water is safe to drink-- I don't believe it. Safe by what standards? And safe how? Safe because its bacteria free? Safe because it's chemical free? Chances are it's deemed "safe" because it has been processed and has killed most bacteria, amoebas, and viruses, but what chemicals are floating in there? What chemicals have been used on the water to treat it and deem it "safe". Just because I don't want bacteria in my water, doesn't mean I want chemicals in it, you know? Tap water is loaded with chemicals that have been proven unsafe for human consumption time and time again. Did you know there are trace amounts of arsenic floating in your tap water? Ugh.
Your Local Tap Water Quality Online
It's pretty easy to find out about the water quality in your area. A quick google search should bring you to your local government site and 'latest' quality report. Keyword: should. When I type in "water quality report west palm beach" it pops right up.... mostly. Right up until 2015. We're more than done with 2016 and there's no report up. And given that the quality can change to extremely contaminated in less than a day, I'd think there would be more more frequent, easily accessible reports, ya know? And again, just because a town states your water "safe" doesn't mean much--- in my eyes. Because for me, even a little bit of chlorine, lead, mercury, fluoride, etc., is too much. I don't want any of that in my (body) system or in my family.
In 2015, 4 out of the 106 water sites in West Palm Beach (WPB) exceeded the action level of lead. Four? Which four? Did this effect me? I don't know because the chart is not very clear. We already have enough REALLY BIG water issues here in South Florida that the state is NOT handling (though it pretends to be). These water issues directly effect our lakes, rivers, canals, and all waterways--- things that can directly affect our drinking water source, so I'm sorry, but there's no way I would trust our city to supply contaminant free and chemical free water. Also about ten years ago we have a feces contamination in our drinking water supply. As far as I remember, this lasted about a few days. Unless you're on top of the news and water reports every single day, there's no way of being sure you're water is clean all the time. Filtering is key to ensure you're not drinking crap (pun intended).
Testing Your Local Tap Water
Want to test you own water? It's pretty easy! And cheap (or free). You can buy a test kit online for pretty cheap-- almost all test for bacteria and chemicals. And I've noticed that most Home Depot centers (if not all), offer a free water test kit right by the entry/exit. It's super easy to do it. The water test kit said that our water is not safe to drink (though the city says it is). But again, I don't trust the city.
Why We Don't Boil &Cook With Tap Water
We cook a lot over here. You guys know this. I think most people don't give a second thought to filling up a pot with sink water to boil. I would totally not recommend this! Yes, boiling water is great to kill bacteria and other live microscopic critters in the water, but what happens when you boil chemicals? Do they go away? No, these substances just change. And we can assume they're not any safer in their boiled state. So yes, we even use filter water to cook with and to soak grains with. With the exception of outdoor watering, if it goes around our food, we filter it! If the Flint Michigan water crisis didn't teach people that they can't be too careful with the water supply, then I don't know what will. It's a big deal. Water is our life force-- and it needs to be clean to keep us healthy. Don't mess around with it!
I prefer not to offer suggestions for what bottled water is better or worse, since I haven't done a lot of research on it. Honestly, I'd suggest staying away from bottled water as often as you can. Bottled water is (almost exclusively) packaged in plastic. Plastic leaks into your water, liquids, food and is bad for your body and health. Avoiding plastic is good idea, for yourself and the earth. Does that mean we avoid it completely? Unfortunately no. Even Marlowe can taste and chlorine in restaurant water at this point. It's yuckkkyyyy. We do try to fill our own water bottle as often as we can to travel with, but this isn't always an option. So of course, from time to time, we do end up buying plastic water bottles. Its part of life sometimes. But again, stay away from them as often as you can. Buy your own glass water bottle and fill it at home as often as you can.
Buying A Water Filter
After a bit of research, we finally invested in a pretty large water filter. You can buy systems that go through your entire house, but that is a very expensive investment option. For us, we decided buying a smaller unit for our drinking water was and is just fine. While fridge filters and smaller handheld options are OK, they're not great. We used two smaller handheld/pitcher type filters for the longest time (on top of the filter we had in our fridge), but they just don't filter out everything. Most of them (if any) do not filter out fluoride. Most filters rarely have the ability of filtering out all lead and mercury as well. When buying a filter, do research! Ask around, read reviews, and read all info put out there by the company. We chose a filter that is supposed to filter out EVERYTHING. Like, you can take it camping and filter out stream water or if you're really S.O.L. you can even filter pool water to drink! Thats crazy, right?! It has an optional fluoride filter, which we chose to purchase because the safer the better, right? :) Right. We like our water filter A LOT. The difference in the water quality is HUGE. And its also super convenient because it makes water access a lot easier for the kiddo--- and easier access means more water intake--- which is great for all of us! :)
Alright guys! I think thats it. If you guys have any more questions at all (I can't think of any), then please ask away!
-you can easily look up the water quality for your town with a quick google search.
-you can easily test your water at home with a cheap water test kit.
-find a water filter that's best for your family, we bought this one this year and LOVE IT.
-glass water bottles are your friend.
happy clean water drinking!