It is said that the answer is “yes”. Why? Because rivers and streams are naturally safe for consumption. They are clean, fresh, and most importantly, free of disease. I’m not a doctor or an expert but this sounds pretty good to me:
So what is to be done if you are told that your water is not safe to drink? First, ask yourself “what is wrong with drinking it?”. The reason is obvious: contaminants are always bad for your health. Second, if your answer is “no”, take a deep breath – calm your body down – and try to relax. We all have to live with the results of our actions.
In many areas of the US and Canada, there are laws stating that local municipalities are required to test local waters for safety purposes. This information is readily available on the websites of the different water treatment authorities. Another good resource is your local book store. Many of these stores have books on home water filtration systems.
If your local municipality is testing for regulated contaminants, you may want to join them. They can send you a regularly updated paper listing their findings. If you live in a rural area, this might not be a problem. However, you may need to consider bottled water. Even here, though, you should be aware that the quality is questionable at best.
Some people think that if you’re not in an urban area, the answer is “no”, too. It’s true that some cities and towns have ordinances stating that you can’t drink unfiltered water directly from the stream. They claim that it is not healthy or safe to do so. However, that oft-heard argument is a bit overstated. Actually, most stream water is safe enough to drink.
But it is important to realize that many of the chemicals and parasites mentioned are naturally occurring. Therefore, their chances of entering your body are very low. At the same time, we know that they are bad for us, so eliminating them is a good thing. Plus, we would never want to ingest chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, or any other chemical compound. We already know that many are bad for us.
So, yes, it is safe to drink water from a stream. It might taste weird, but it is probably safer than bottled water. Plus, there isn’t any chance that you’re ingesting pathogenic bacteria or parasites.
In short, you have no reason to worry if you’re drinking stream water. Of course, there are still risks involved, such as disease, especially when you take antibiotics. Still, compared to other sources, it is not that bad. In fact, the benefits of having pure water from a stream far outweigh any potential downsides.
If you are concerned about purity, you need to be more careful than normal. The best way to do this is to get a filter system for your kitchen sink. That way, you can be assured that the water coming out of your faucet is the cleanest you can get. There are a number of different types of filters, from simple point-of-use units to advanced filters designed to remove particles from the water. Some attach to the spout of the faucet, and some are installed into your kitchen sink.
Depending on where you live, you may not even have to worry about that. Others, however, such as those in the northeast or southwest of the United States, need to have that assurance. Even though cities like Washington, DC, are known for being pristine, you still don’t know what you are getting into when you tap into a city’s water. Just think about it for a minute. How often do you get water from a stream that isn’t treated?
It’s definitely true that if you want to be absolutely sure, you should always use an inline filter system. If you are serviced by a treatment facility, then you will know exactly what you are drinking. If you don’t, there’s no need to be alarmed. All you need to know is what contaminants you’re getting. Knowing this makes it safe to drink water from a stream.
What are you waiting for? Start checking out your pipes right now. You’ll soon know whether or not they are clean enough to drink. Once you start to see what is in the water that you and your family are drinking, you will wonder why you never thought of it before. It’s time to start taking responsibility for your health, today.