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Clean Water and Healthy Living: The Complete Guide

 We all know that water is essential for life. But we don’t often stop to think about everything that this fact entails. Water is everywhere, within us, and around us. It is one of the basic ingredients of everyday existence. Water is troublesome, however, as it acts as a powerful solvent on nearly every substance on the planet, meaning that it could be carrying around trace elements of anything in our physical world. In this article we will cover some basics of water chemistry, consider some of the risks posed by waterborne contaminants, and present some of the ways that we can work to improve the quality of the water in our lives.


The Importance of Clean Water for Health and Well-Being

There are a few basic necessities for carbon-based life forms like us: caloric intake, sunlight, and water. Water is involved in every important bodily and cellular process, and without it, none of our physical systems would exist in the first place, let alone be able to function well. Without water, we die, so it is of the utmost importance that whatever water we are putting into our bodies be as clean and pure as possible, because any contaminants in the water will become intertwined with our cellular make-up when we drink that water, corrupting many healthy biological functions, and doing a wide range of potential harms.


Statistics on Global Water Quality and Access Issues

Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, access to clean drinking water is a sporadic occurrence, or is entirely unavailable. According to the World Health Organization, at least 1.7 billion people used a drinking water source that was contaminated with human waste in 2022. Human and animal fecal matter poses some of the gravest waterborne safety concerns, and often leads to illness and death. In the same year, around 73% of the world’s population had access to a safely-managed drinking water service.[1] That number is far higher than it has ever been in human history, but there are still many people left without access to safe, potable water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning.


Health Benefits of Clean Water

From having more energy, to avoiding toxins, heavy metals, and microorganisms in your body, clean water is one of the single most important health considerations for any living thing, human, animal, or plant. Water is one of the primary tools that our physical systems use in processes of cell growth, repair, regeneration, and apoptosis. When alien contaminants get mixed up in that process, the results can be devastating, as in the case of lead and other heavy metals, or it can lead to milder symptoms, but either way, such contaminants should be removed.


Practical Tips for Maintaining Clean Water at Home

One of the best things you can do to ensure you are getting high quality water in your house is to educate yourself on the current state of your water. You can’t fix a problem you don’t understand, so educate yourself on your regional water conditions. A quick Google search will yield the most recent federally-mandated annual water quality report for your city or municipality. For more robust testing, you can ship a sample of your water to a laboratory for exhaustive lab testing. The more you know about the starting conditions of your water, the better your chances of effectively filtering the water become.

Regularly Clean Faucets and Aerators

Your water comes into contact with many surfaces before you drink it, most recently your pipes, faucets, and aerators (small mesh screens on some faucet heads). To ensure that your delivery system isn’t imparting bad elements into your water, take the time to routinely remove limescale, organic crud, or anything else that may be caked onto your faucets. White vinegar is a simple and effective cleanser that will even get rid of unsightly calcium deposits.


Use Water Filters and Change Them as Recommended

One of the most important things you can do to improve your water quality at home is to invest in a water filtration system. After determining what is in your water that shouldn’t be there, you will be in a better position to determine what type of filter system will suit your needs. Regardless of the specifics, however,  there are a few basic elements that any filtration system needs. First comes sediment filters. There is a quality range of sediment filters available on the market, from depth-gradient polypropylene filters to pleated polyester. They differ in construction, but their purpose is to remove physical particulates from water.


Sediment filters get out the big stuff, but most of the really damaging elements are unseen, and in dissolved form. That’s where activated carbon enters, as it does an excellent job of stripping out chlorine and other dissolved chemicals in water, through a process called “adsorption.” The chemically active carbon, which is made from ground-up coconut husk charcoal, chemically attracts free-floating contaminants, binding them to itself, and taking them out of the water.


Avoid Pouring Chemicals Down Drains

An easy way to avoid exacerbating any problems in your water is to properly dispose of all chemicals and automotive fluids at a waste treatment plant, rather than pouring them into your sink, or even into the storm drain. Paint, solvents, dyes, glues, lacquers, nail polish, and certain harsh cleaning supplies all may be harmful to breathe or be around, and can get into your water and piping if you don’t dispose of it properly.


Check for and Fix Leaks Promptly

A leak is a huge problem in and of itself, as water damages wood very quickly, and can even do damage to serious damage to the structural integrity of your home or apartment if left unchecked. Leaks also allow contaminants to get into the water stream, so it’s imperative to keep an eye on your plumbing, and ensure you stay drip-free.


Store Water in Clean, Covered Containers

If you store water in the fridge or on the countertop for drinking throughout the day, be sure to only use clean containers, and keep them covered. Sitting water will stagnate, and exposure to the open air speeds up that process. Use a covered carafe or pitcher, and make sure to wash it at least once a week.


How to Choose the Right Water Filter for Your Home

If you are considering bringing water filtration into your home, then as we stated above, you need to start by educating yourself about the water in your home and region. After getting a sense of what’s there, speak to a local plumber or water dealer about the best options for your situation. Most everyone will benefit from sediment and carbon filters, and in cases of high TDS, an ultrafilter or reverse osmosis system may be called for as well. Just remember that there  is no one “right way to do it;” there are rather a variety of tools that you can choose from to get the water you want to drink.



Water is a source of anxiety and concern for many people around the world, as it is so precious, yet can contain so many hidden dangers. Even for those fortunate enough to live in an area with good water treatment infrastructure, things can go wrong, and contaminants can get into our water supply in unexpected ways. The most important thing to do is educate yourself about the risks, and the solutions on hand to combat them.

[1] World Health Organization, “Drinking-Water.” WHO, Sept. 13, 2023. Accessed May 16, 2024.

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