Ingredients in tap water

Water is an indispensable part of our lives and even then we take it for granted. The growing lack of drinkable water in many parts of the world alarms the rest but no necessary actions are taken for the same. It comes under out notice only when the supply gets interrupted. In Germany, 3-5 litres of water is used per person every day for drinking and cooking, 46 litres of water is used further for personal hygiene, such a large quantity to neglect. Besides, all of us want the impeccable quality of water to drink, cook, and even for shower. Tap water is supposed to be the best-supplied water in Germany, however, this is not the case, and it carries innumerable ingredients and germs to pose great health hazards. Constituents

Why should we filter drinking water before using it?

In Germany, drinking water sourced from taps is officially considered as the best-monitored beverage and follows strict legal controls to ensure quality. However, the yardstick on which this quality is measured is in itself questionable. The water is purified according to the German Drinking Water Ordinance which defines limit values for pollutant concentrations for about 50 pollutants; this includes chemical, microbiological, and radiological pollutant values. However, if we start to count the number of pollutants, it will go beyond 2 lacs.

Pathogens, drug residues, hormones, pollutants, and other chemicals are not even taken into account and are neglected in Drinking Water Ordinance. Thus, impurities are always there in drinking water which affects its quality. Initially, the water is processed and treated for these 50 impurities but on its way from waterworks to home, it happens to get dissolved with impurities present in pipelines, making it impure again. This makes filtration a necessity if you are quality conscious.

German Drinking Water Ordinance is Inadequately Applied

The Federal Environment Agency claims that all their drinking water is up to the mark as they strictly adhere to limit values in Drinking Water Ordinance. This ordinance has the provision for limit values of pollutants whose temporary and lasting effects are already researched on the human body. Also, the Drinking Water Ordinance excludes innumerable ingredients, which are not even tested for side effects. Pollutants like microplastics and pesticides, hormone-like substances and drug residues, etc. are left out ingredients. Statutory limits for drug residues or microplastics are not defined yet and are these pollutes are not filtered explicitly by waterworks. Moreover, these ingredients and their side effects, individually and in combination with other substances at a certain concentration are known and still no necessary step is taken.

Improper public drinking water treatment

Every citizen has the right to get quality drinking water.
Water supplies must ensure an adequate supply of quality water to all. However, when it comes to the water treatment process several factors barge in, i.e., cost aspect of treatment, technical possibilities, overall requirement, health compatibility, and surely political aspect. Dependency upon obsolete treatment procedure makes it less effective to result in contaminated water supply. Also, 50% of drinking water suppliers working on a smaller scale often neglect the limit values to exceed it for faecal germs thus leaving the contamination within it.

As the rule of thumb, tap water should be hygienic to use, should not affect human health or the environment anyhow, and should be free of impurities and pollutants. Therefore, the Drinking Water Ordinance has issued a list of best-known ingredients with their limit values. These values are frequently updated upon the addition of new ingredients and new information about the negative effects of present pollutants. Hence, waterworks have to remain updated for all this at high technical costs, resulting in high prices.

Inappropriate Monitoring

Outdated technical support results in unfair analysis to make the situation alarming. The Drinking Water Ordinance follows 100 years old smear method for germ detection.
However, it is discovered that only 0.1 – 1% of the bacteria can form colonies present in drinking water. On the contrary, modern-day methods have shown that the germ proliferation rate in tap water is exceptionally higher than assumed. Methods used for high-resolution analysis like flow cytometry have shown this.

According to a study in Munich, an approximately 8,000 and 200,000 germs per ml are flushed through the city’s drinking water supply into buildings. With this, flows a combination of bacteria, pseudomonas, and organisms such as amoebae, pathogens like legionella, and innumerable pollutants. Besides, it contains dissolved organic components and nutrients like nitrates, phosphates, or dissolved organic components, which contribute to affecting pipe networks of buildings adversely.

Its A Long Way- From waterworks to the faucet

Most of us have this delusion that water from waterworks is safe, as ensured by The Drinking Water Ordinance. However, even if all the limit values turn towards green, innumerable impurities would be lurking from behind to run towards consumer’s tap water. Besides, almost all the cities and especially their piping network are growing old, this aging, decaying drinking water network is unable to work efficiently. The building that needs renovation or are old enough, and often get hunted by these germs for proliferation. The aged the building, the more are the chances that pipeline networks would become the main source of contamination, thus affecting the quality of drinking water. Be it due to the accumulation of contaminants or fast-growing rate of germs, Sedentary pipelines, smashed seal, galvanized lead pipes and old copper pipes are more likely to cause health hazards. Thus, it causes absolute damage to the purpose of water treatment, the process, and the time taken.

Do not rely on a Black Box

Most of us rely on black boxes for drinking water, and rather than approaching it with real knowledge we go with the principle of hope. Everyone wants to ensure clean and safe water for drinking, cooking, and even for a shower for himself and his family. You can get optimum drinking water with a little effort. Apart from bottled water, tap water is the only option to use, what if we manage to withdraw quality water from the point of extraction? Alb filters are appropriate for this purpose and can be installed on the tap, as an under-sink solution, or in the shower cubicle to control the flow of pollutants and pathogens. This ensures access to fresh, safe, and clean water.

Impact of pollutants and bacteria from tap water

Water is an essential life-saving beverage as our body contains 70% water. On an average, a normal human being is advised to drink 8 litres of water on a daily basis and 60,000 to 100,000 litres during his lifetime, one can do without food for days but surviving without water or any other liquid is hardly possible for even a few days. Water is essential for the smooth functioning of the body of all organisms, from brain functioning, cardiovascular system, digestion, nutrient transport, metabolism to even building up of cell structure. Therefore, a minute particle of pollutants in water can harm this functioning and can leave a negative impact on the body.

Despite the water treatment process the tap water goes through, the presence of pathogens, microorganisms, drug residues, heavy metals like copper and nitrates, hormone-like substances, microplastics, pesticides, or herbicides, and plasticizers, etc. can’t be neglected. The more the pollutant, the more the risk!

To calculate the risk, around 150,000 active cells of pathogens and microorganisms can be found in one millilitre of water. Upon finding favorable conditions such as temperature above 20 degrees or low flow, or stagnation, these germs can multiply at a quick pace, thus resulting in a dire emergency. Now, those who are having a healthy immune system can fight with these pollutants while children or aged people with a weak immune system are at high risk of catching severe diseases. 

Pathogens like legionellae are silent guests who enter our body through respiration to trigger severe pneumonia named legionellosis. In Germany, more than 3, 00,000 people get infected and approx. 3000 people die due to legionellae every year.