What Is Potable Water?

Access to clean, safe drinking water is a basic human right that many people worldwide lack. According to the World Health Organization, more than 2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and over 4.2 billion are without access to safely managed sanitation services. This lack of access means that millions of people worldwide live with an increased risk of infectious diseases from consuming contaminated water every day.

However, the need for better drinking water isn’t only a global issue. In America, some of our own communities are also plagued with unsafe water supplies. Contamination from aging infrastructure, industrial activities, and agricultural runoff can reduce the quality of what should be clean and safe H2O, which makes it unpotable.

But what exactly is potable water, and how do we ensure access to it? To protect your health and well-being, here’s everything you need to know about potable water, what affects its quality, and how it can be kept safe for consumption by all members of society.

What Is Potable Water, Exactly?

Potability is the measure of a water’s suitability for drinking. In essence, potable water is considered safe for consumption, while nonpotable water is too low-quality or contaminated and should not be used for drinking.

As such, potability takes various parameters into account, such as what pollutants may be present in the water, what concentration they are found at, and what effect they may have on humans if consumed. Potable water should contain none or very low levels of toxic substances, including bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, pesticides, hazardous chemicals, and other contaminants.

How Is Potability Measured?

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for what qualifies as safe drinking water. The EPA’s regulations determine what level of different contaminants a potable water source can have to remain drinkable. To ensure these standards are met, regular testing must be conducted to accurately assess the quality of a water source.

However, it can be difficult to monitor and maintain the potability of water supplies across the entire country. Even in recent years, cities across the US have faced issues with their drinking water being polluted by various contaminants. While the government is responsible for ensuring the safety of public water supplies, additional at-home treatments such as filtered jugs or whole-home filtration systems are recommended to guarantee cleaner, more potable water.

What Can Lower Water Potability?

While it may seem strange to mistrust the water from your taps, water in your home may be vulnerable to many types of contamination and impurities. No matter where you live, countless factors can lower the quality of what should be potable water, including:

  • Poorly maintained or outdated infrastructure, such as pipes and storage tanks
  • Pollution from industry and agricultural runoff
  • Natural disasters, such as floods or hurricanes, can introduce contaminants into the water supply
  • Excessive mineral deposits caused by hard water
  • Bacterial growth due to temperature changes or other environmental conditions

And unfortunately, these issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Water potability cannot be taken for granted and can even change from one day to the next.

How to Ensure High-Quality Potable Water

Potability is essential to enjoying clean, safe drinking water. To ensure high-quality potable water for all members of society, it’s important that we prioritize the maintenance of water infrastructure, maintain regular testing, and strictly regulate what pollutants can enter public drinking water sources. This helps to identify any contaminants that may be present in potable water and ensure corrective action is taken when needed.

But these large-scale steps are often the purview of government agencies outside your control. And when disaster strikes, you can’t always be sure that local wells or municipal systems meet your personal safety standards. So what can you do? On a smaller scale, you can protect your home’s specific water supply with a water filtration system.

Benefits of Whole-Home Water Filtration

Installing a whole-home water filtration system can be an ideal solution for ensuring access to potable water of the highest possible quality. This type of system filters all incoming water, so everything from what’s coming out of your kitchen taps to what’s in your shower or bathtub is clean and safe. Additionally, a whole-home water filtration system helps eliminate any unpleasant odors, tastes, or colors that may be present in your water supply.

Whole-home filtration also safeguards if the water in your area becomes compromised due to disasters like flooding, sewage overflow, agricultural runoff, or other common issues. It only takes one incident to cause lasting damage to the water table, but in-home filtration provides you with extra peace of mind about water safety.

Enjoy Clean, Safe H2O with The Science of Water

Ultimately, access to clean drinking water should be a basic necessity for all families worldwide. But with so many threats to potable water, it’s tough to be sure that the water in your home is of peak purity. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of water quality and do what you can to ensure that your family is drinking clean, safe water.

At The Science of Water, we assess and install water filtration systems to meet your unique needs. Using filtration technology backed by NASA and the EPA, our advanced water systems purify your water supply to the highest standard. Whatever you’re looking for in a water filtration system, we can help you enjoy tap water in your home that’s clear of contaminants and safe to drink.

We even offer free water quality testing and consultations. When you need answers about the safety of your local water supply, our technicians can assess your situation for waterborne threats and recommend the perfect filtration system to suit your needs and budget.

Don’t settle for dirty tap water that tastes terrible and risks your health. Get your water tested today to protect your household with pure, clean water that can be relied on. For more information about The Science of Water or to book your free water test in Gainesville, just get in touch with our team today!