For those of us who reside in houses with a working faucet, it’s hard to imagine living in a world where water isn’t readily available; water is an extremely integral, and convenient, part of our lives. However, because of water-borne illness, water has the power to do both good and bad. This is largely dependent on its level of sanitation.
Why It’s Important to Drink Water
Like the earth itself, our bodies are mostly made of water; that is why drinking a lot of it is integral to good health. According to Web MD, the benefits of water include fluid balance, calorie control, energized muscles, better skin appearance, and normal bowel and kidney function. Drinking adequate water also helps prevent dehydration, which reduces bloating, water retention, and pressure on the heart.
The Dangers of Unclean Water
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, drinking water that is contaminated or polluted can lead to vomiting and diarrhea (which ultimately can lead to dehydration and even death in severe cases); rashes on the skin; cancers (such as leukemia, which can happen after drinking contaminated water over a number of years); reproductive problems or infertility; and developmental problems in children. Water-borne illnesses, such as botulism, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, and hepatitis A, can also occur.
Per Exhibit Health, other dangers of unclean water may include lower IQs in children (particularly if the water contains lead); arsenic poisoning if the water comes from wells; and e-coli infection (which can be deadly).
On a global level, contaminated water is a particularly dangerous problem. According to the Voice of America, the World Health Organization reports that 3.4 million people die as a result of water-borne illness each year. These numbers are high enough to make water-borne disease the leading cause of death around the world. Most people who succumb to these types of diseases are young children. They often die as a result of illnesses caused by water contaminated by raw sewage and containing bacteria such as e-coli.
Not only can contaminated water be dangerous to people and pets who drink it, but it can also be dangerous to those who swim or bathe in it. Contaminated water can be harmful to plants as well.
The Benefits of Drinking Clean Water
Obviously, drinking water that is not contaminated or polluted can help avoid the conditions named above. But filtering your water even if it comes from a kitchen faucet can result in added benefits.
According to the organization All About Water, the perks of filtering faucet water include better taste; removal of chlorine and extraneous bacteria; removal of lead; monetary savings (as filters are much more affordable and environmentally friendly than bottled water); a reduction in the risk of rectal cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer; a reduction in the risk of gastrointestinal diseases; removal of toxins; retention of mineral deposits and a balance of PH; and stronger immune systems in children.
Not only does filtering water before drinking it offer all of the above benefits, but filtering water used to clean fruits and vegetables, make dinner, mop the floor, clean the counters, wash the windows, and similar activities can have a very positive impact on your health as well.