I remember when bottled water first started showing up everywhere in the ’90s. I think the reason I have such strong memories of when it became a “thing” is because of my dad’s reaction, which was somewhere between disbelief and revulsion.
He must have repeated a particular story from when he was a boy a million times. He says he’d play ball outside with his friends all day long and, whenever he got thirsty, he’d just run inside and drink straight from the kitchen tap. My grandmother used to scold him about that, but it meant never having to spend money on costly bottled water.
When my dad was growing up nobody seemed to give drinking tap water a second thought. Nowadays, though, that’s really changed; people everywhere seem a bit wary of drinking tap water, straight from the faucet or otherwise.
In my line of work, a question I get asked often is, “Is tap water in Sacramento safe to drink?” My answer is that, well, it depends. Generally speaking, Sacramento tap water is safe to drink, but there is more to it than that if you are looking for the cleanest, freshest, healthiest water for your family. If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, and are unsure if it’s safe to drink, I’m going to fill you in on how to find out. And, of course, what to do if it isn’t.
Is Tap Water in Sacramento Safe to Drink? What’s in Your Home’s Water…
I generally recommend to all of my clients that they test their tap water if they are at all concerned about how safe it is to drink. Home test kits are easily available and they aren’t particularly expensive, but they don’t produce as accurate of results as lab testing does.
There are also some contaminants known to be present in Sacramento tap water which every homeowner should be aware of.
There are also some contaminants known to be present in Sacramento tap water which every homeowner should be aware of. The most common contaminants in our California water supply, and their potentially adverse health effects, are:
- Bacteria: Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD) puts out an annual water report stating that Sacramento’s water meets all federal and state standards for drinking water, but that it still does contain low levels of bacterial contaminants. While most people with healthy immune systems won’t be affected by the low levels of bacteria present in the water, those with compromised immune systems could be adversely affected. In fact, the SSWD does caution aging adults, people undergoing cancer treatment, and infants, against drinking tap water.
- Fluoride: Sacramento’s water is fluoridated. And while we know that fluoridated water can effectively protect tooth enamel and prevent cavities, there are growing concerns about fluoride. While no evidence suggests that low amounts of fluoride have negative effects on adults, a recent study shows that fluoride can indeed be neurotoxic to children and developing fetuses, and may result in impaired cognitive development.
- Chlorine: Chlorine is another substance that is added to our drinking water here in Sacramento that you may be interested in filtering out. As a known carcinogen, not only has chlorine been linked to cancer, it may also be implicated in heart disease.
- Pesticides: We are so lucky to live in such a rich agricultural area here in Sacramento, but unfortunately there are some downsides as well. Agricultural runoff is a big problem here and these toxic chemicals are affecting aquatic life in the area. While the country does work to ensure that pesticides are kept within “safe amounts” in our drinking water, many are not convinced that drinking any amount of pesticides is without consequences.
- Lead: The corrosion of lead pipes often leads to this harmful metallic element leaching into our drinking water. Even small amounts of lead can be toxic to humans—especially children and pregnant women. Lead toxicity has been linked to behavioral and nervous system disorders in children and infants.
The Benefits of Water Filters
Now that you know what substances are known to be present in Sacramento’s drinking water, you may be wondering if tap water is safe to drink, even if officials tell us it is. If this is the case, installing a water filter may be the right choice for your home. If you already have one, check to make sure it’s not just filtering your water for taste, but for safety and health as well. After all, it’s pretty safe to say that the above contaminants have not necessarily been proven to do harm, but probably aren’t doing any favors for the health of your family.
If you already have one, check to make sure it’s not just filtering your water for taste, but for safety and health as well.
So, what kind of water filtration system should you have get? I recommend having a water conditioning and filtration system installed. These are, by far, the most effective option for effectively removing the above contaminants from your water while softening it at the same time. Of course, keep in mind that the exact model of filtration system you need will depend on the levels of contaminants in your water.
That’s why, at Bell Brothers, we offer free water quality testing so that our plumbing professionals can determine the filtration system that best suits your home and family’s needs. Once we’ve chosen a conditioning and filtration system together, we’d be happy to install it to make sure it is running optimally.
For me, water is one of those things that I’d rather not take my chances with—especially now that I know what kind of hazardous substances can be present in our Sacramento and Northern California drinking water. The funny thing is, my kids seem to have inherited the habit of drinking straight from the tap, just like my dad used to do. But now that I’ve installed a water conditioning and filtration system in my family’s home, I can rest assured that drinking straight from the tap is, in fact, safe.
At Bell Brothers, our trained HVAC professionals would be delighted to test the safety of your water and help you install a water conditioning and filtration system to keep you and your family healthy and hydrated. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Wondering how to finance new plumbing—or even a furnace or window upgrade? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.
Image courtesy olesiabilkei