As Canadians, we are lucky. Our country takes air and water quality quite seriously. For instance, Environment and Climate Change Canada is an organization set up to continuously monitor the quality of water in all the provinces, both urban and rural, with the help of local partners.
But even so, the risk of water contamination from a variety of sources always remains a reality. From storm runoff to acid rain, human and animal waste to chemical by-products, the water we use to drink, bathe in, clean with, and swim in has an uphill battle to stay pure in the face of so many potential contaminants.
In this post, learn about what goes into keeping your water safe and pure and how to ensure you never have to worry about water quality.
How Water Purity is Defined and Measured
Scientists, biologists, and chemists know something most of us don't realize, which is that water is designed to be capable of cleaning itself. This happens with the help of two essential partners: sunlight and aquatic living organisms.
The living organisms transform sunlight into energy, which produces oxygen. Oxygen is a natural cleaner that helps break down organic matter present in the water. As this cycle continues, the water is continually cleaned and purified by the very cycle of life happening within it.
But this natural purification process cannot cope with the ever-increasing levels of toxins being introduced into our water supply today, many of which do not break down readily or at all over time.
This is why more Canadians are becoming concerned about having a backup water purification system for their personal use.
Waterborne Disease You Want to Avoid
When toxins and contaminants get introduced into the water supply, they don't always produce a tangible effect. So you may never realize you are using water that contains pathogens linked to serious waterborne diseases.
Here are just a handful of the known diseases linked to consuming or using contaminated water:
Zoonotic (from animal to human host) diseases
While modern medicine has been developed to treat most known waterborne pathogens, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other monitoring agencies are continually tracking and monitoring waterborne diseases to facilitate earlier detection and create treatment approaches. In other words, there is always something new to be discovered about what may lurk in our water supplies.
How to Ensure Your Personal Water Supply is Pure
Here in Canada, unlike in many other nations, we have amazingly rich supplies of water. But even some of our purest waters are now under heavy pressure to keep their contents clean. As such, it is no longer safe to assume you can drink from a stream or lake and never have to worry about waterborne pathogens.
Happily, there is a way to ensure you can drink freely and deeply from your home water supply and never have a moment's worry about contamination.
You can achieve this by using an ultraviolet (U.V.) water purification system. There are so many great benefits of using a UV purification system. Here are some of our favourites:
UV comes from sunlight and is completely natural—using UV to purify your water doesn't waste any water as a result of processing.
Using UV replaces the need to add chlorine to purify the water. Chlorine does work as a purifier, but unfortunately it is now known to interact with other waterborne compounds to produce cancer-triggering by-products.
UV is a planet-friendly purification agent that has been in use for more than 100 years. Today, some of North America's largest cities (for example, New York) use UV as their main city water purification system.
UV is proven to destroy 99.99 percent of waterborne micro-organisms—no other purifier scores higher. It is one of only four water disinfection systems approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
UV (unlike chlorine and other additive-based purifiers) contains no odour or flavour that will dilute or overpower the natural taste of water itself.
UV purification is incredibly quick, reliable, and energy efficient. Even running 24/7, the energy it takes is equivalent to burning a single 60-watt lightbulb.
UV purification is a low-maintenance option, requiring only the annual replacement of the UV bulb and a routine inspection and cleaning every 2–3 years. You never have to deal with handling any additives or chemicals or disposing of dirty worn-out parts.
How to Use a UV Water Purification System
It is important to size the UV system you buy to the water use requirements of your household. Also, some users decide to install their UV system to work with just one tap in the house, while others install their system to work with every tap in the household, indoors and outdoors (this is the safest option, since you never have to worry you just took a sip of potentially unsafe water from another tap).
Your UV system will work best when partnered with a pre-treatment 5-micron sediment filter. This should be installed upstream of your UV system to be sure no large particles get through. Larger particles are sometimes capable of blocking or deflecting UV light, which can mean less-pure water for your household.
For households with hard water (lots of mineral and sediment deposits), it may be beneficial to install a water softener as well. This, too, should be installed upstream from your UV system.
Contact Gravenhurst Plumbing for Help
Here at Gravenhurst Plumbing, we take community water quality very seriously. After all, our families are drinking the local water too! If you need help selecting, sizing, and installing a UV water purification system at home, call on us for help. You can reach us by phone at 877.885.3403 (Canada) or 705.687.3402 or online at www.gravenhurstplumbing.com.