It’s one of those perfect summer days. The sun is shining bright and high overhead. A few small puffy clouds float by while a few birds chirp from the trees, watching the children below play hide-and-seek in the neighborhood.
One of the kids runs past a garden hose and thinks of how refreshing a quick swig of water will be, so he pauses to grab a drink. As the metallic taste takes over his tastebuds, he quickly spits it out.
What’s something you can count on in the summer? The heat! And heat makes people thirsty. Drinking straight from the garden hose used to be a rite of passage as a kid. But did you know just how harmful and toxic that water is? The saying “ignorance is bliss” does not pertain here. In this case, ignorance can make you sick.
What Are Garden Hoses Made Of?
Typically, garden hoses consist of plastic, rubber, or polyurethane. But according to studies conducted by the Ecology Center, an alarming amount of garden hoses have tested positive for lead, tin, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, bromine, chlorine, and BPA.
These particular metals and chemicals are linked to a number of health problems, including birth defects, premature births, obesity, infertility, cancer, liver toxicity, and many more.
Hoses Aren’t Covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
First established in 1974 and most recently amended in 1996, the SDWA allows the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide drinking water standards for over 90 contaminants.
The water used in garden hoses is the same water used in your home. However, the pipes that carry water to the sinks and faucets inside your house are regulated by the SDWA and, therefore, designed to eliminate contamination.
Garden hoses are not part of this same regulation. The water may come from the same source, but by the time it leaves the safety of your inside pipes and travels through the hard plastic of your garden hose, that water is now full of toxins and contaminants. This makes the water coming from your outdoor hose unsafe for drinking and even unsafe to use for watering your fruits and vegetables.
Ways to Make Garden Hose Water Safer
While it is next to impossible to rid your garden hose of all chemicals and toxins, there are a few ways to make using the water from your hose a little bit safer.
Read the Labels
Some hoses are definitely better than others. For example, you should avoid hoses with a California Prop 65 warning at all costs.
Instead, choose a natural rubber hose. These hoses are naturally flexible, so they don’t have to use extra chemicals to provide elasticity. Look for ‘drinking water safe’ and ‘lead-free’ labels. We still wouldn’t recommend drinking from these hoses, but they are much safer overall.
Check Hose Fittings and Connectors
Don’t forget about the hose fittings and connectors. Most of them are made from brass, which is an unregulated metal that can contain lead. Try and switch those out for ones made from aluminum, stainless steel, or nickel. Check for ‘lead-free couplings’ on these labels.
Run the Water Before Using
There is likely old water sitting in your hose right this very minute, left from the last time you used it to fill up the kiddie pool or hook up the sprinkler. But the longer water sits in the hose, the more time there is for toxins to permeate the water. Run the water from your garden hose for a few minutes before using to allow any highly contaminated water to be flushed out.
Store Your Hose Out of the Sun
Sunlight and warm temperatures can speed up the degradation of polymers in your hose and cause chemicals to leach into the water. By storing your garden hose in a dark, cool place, you can decrease and slow down this process.
Invest in a Home Water Filtration System
Here at The Science of Water, we are passionate about providing your home with pure, clean drinking water. We specialize in Puronics whole-home water filtration systems to improve water quality through every sink and tap.
Not sure why this level of filtration is important? There are actually multiple benefits to installing whole-home water treatment and filtration systems:
- They are eco-friendly and cost-effective. The reverse osmosis used in the Puronics water system produces water of the highest quality, so you can stop wasting money on bottled water. Use a refillable glass bottle and enjoy the cleanest, most refreshing water from your own home!
- With electric bills already higher in the summer, your wallet will be glad to hear that our whole house filtration systems use green technology. This means you have access to the purest, cleanest drinking water without the use of electricity.
- Are you tired of thinking your dishes are clean, only to see water spots on them? Are you frustrated when you pull your clean clothes out of the laundry, yet they still have an odd smell? These symptoms often occur due to the accumulation of hard water buildup. Install one of our filtrations systems today to bring yourself peace of mind that you can see, smell, and taste.
The Science of Water offers a wide range of Puronics water treatment and filtration systems, so you can confidently find one that works best for you and your home. Plus, many of our water softeners use SilverShield® HYgene® filters. These filters are adapted from the same NASA technology that astronauts use to purify their water in space.
Want to learn more? Visit our website and request your free water test today. Once we’ve received the results of your test, our Puronics experts will be able to determine which of our systems is most efficient and effective for your home.
Long Story Short: Never Drink from a Garden Hose
So, is it safe to drink from a garden hose? Unfortunately not. Remember, garden hoses are not regulated by any federal agencies. So even if you improve the water quality from your hose by reading all the labels, buying the safest hose, running old water out before using it, and storing it in the darkest, coldest place you can find, you still shouldn’t drink water from your garden hose.
If you’re thirsty, put down the garden hose and go inside to drink a refreshing glass of water from your Puronics whole-home water filtration system. Your body and your tastebuds will thank you.
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