I Didn’t Know That: Lead in Pipes and Other Facts About Water

Water in a glassAbout 60% of the adult human body is water. However, we constantly lose this, usually through sweat and urine. Although opinions differ about how much water we should consume daily, the recommended intake is eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Drinking water has many health benefits. Apart from preventing dehydration, water helps improve brain function, relieve constipation, prevent hangovers, and help with weight loss.

As important as water is, however, it’s surprising that a number of people still don’t have ready access to clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organization, 423 million people worldwide get their water from unprotected wells and springs. In the United States, a majority of Americans get their tap water from public water systems.

Protecting Your Water

The problem with some plumbing systems, especially older ones, is that contaminants can mix with the water. Some old pipes still contain lead. Consumption of lead can affect health negatively and lead to such conditions as behavioral problems and learning disabilities in children. Children six years old and below are most at risk because their brains are still developing. Although not all pipes contain lead, it can still get through the pipes if these are not treated with protective barrier materials.

To get safe tap water, water treatment has to meet certain standards such as the use of protective barrier materials and have non-metallic potable water materials. According to industry professional Zebron, barrier materials used for public water systems must meet the NSF/ANSI 61.

Did You Know That…?

Apart from those mentioned above, here are some other facts about drinking water:

  • Only 1% of the world’s water is drinkable. Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable while the other 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers.
  • In 2010, the United Nations declared that access to safe and clean drinking water is a human right
  • Humans can live for a month without food but only a week without water
  • Over 89 billion liters of bottled water are sold each year
  • The United Nations declared March 22 as World Water Day

The need for safe and clean drinking water is undeniable; yet far too many people still don’t have access to it. We all must do our part, so everyone can access this basic right.