HOW DO I OBTAIN MY MOST RECENT WATER QUALITY REPORT?
A simple Google search usually works great for helping you obtain a copy of your most recent report. Type in the name of your city and the words "Water Quality Report." These reports are prepared annually and are available around June or July of the following year. If you don't have access to the internet, call the number on your water bill and ask that you’re most recent report be mailed to you.
WHY SHOULD I FILTER MY TAP WATER?
To put it simply, it’s just safest to do it yourself. Our water, even that which passes the standards of the EPA, contains trace amounts of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and endocrine disruptors. Furthermore, when water quality is compromised, the public is informed last, sometimes an entire year after the infraction. The only way you can be sure your water is clean and healthy is to take personal responsibility and use a filtering system of your choice.
WHY SHOULD I INSTALL A WATER SOFTENER?
Hard water leaves harmful mineral deposits in your plumbing, showers, and appliances. Installing a water softener will remove the minerals to preserve your plumbing, while also improving the taste and feel of your water. Southern California has some of the hardest water in the nation; hence many families opt to install water softening systems. Most softening systems use salt to bind with calcium and magnesium and remove the minerals that way. At Drips we sell a salt-free softening system that is proven to be more effective and creates water that is healthier to drink because of the lower sodium content.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS WITH CHLORINE AS A DISINFECTANT IN MY WATER?
Think about a bottle of bleach and ask yourself if you would like to take a sip. Bleach is chlorine-based and one of the most toxic cleaning chemicals that exists. Just how you may bleach to disinfect moldy corners of your shower, the municipal water district uses chlorine to disinfect our water. When chlorine is mixed with water if can form Trihalomethanes (including chloroform) which are highly carcinogenic. Chlorine has been linked to various cancers including kidney, liver and breast cancer.
WHAT ARE CHLORAMINES AND ARE THEY A HEALTH RISK?
Chloramines are formed when chlorine and ammonia bind together. They are used as a disinfectant in the tap water of San Diego County. Little research has been done to prove chloramines are safe to drink. Studies on rodents have linked chloramine to cancer and reproductive toxicity. The Canadian EPA has ruled chloramine as “toxic” and it is banned from use in many European nations.
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH FLUORIDE?
Fluoride is added to our water to help prevent tooth decay, which is a non-waterborne disease. It is a non-essential nutrient and does nothing to help the quality of the water. Fluoridating water is essentially a form of mass medication. Studies have linked fluoride ingestion to lowered intelligence, increased risk of cancer, and male infertility. Furthermore, large scale studies in the U.S. have shown little to no improvement in tooth decay for areas with fluoridated water.
HOW DO I GET FLUORIDE OUT OF MY TAP WATER?
Unfortunately once fluoride is added to water, it’s difficult to remove. Most filters are not capable of removing fluoride. Reverse Osmosis systems take fluoride out of the water. Or you can purchase a specific fluoride filter, usually composed of bone-char material. Whatever method your chose, make sure you know the percentage of fluoride your system removes and how often you need to change the filtering media.
WHAT ARE PPCPs?
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products. These include soaps, makeup, cleaning compounds, and medications such as birth control pills or anti-depressants.
ARE PHARMACEUTICALS REALLY FOUND IN TAP WATER?
Yes. Studies have found traces of pharmaceuticals including anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones in the public water supply for areas throughout the United States, including Southern California. When people take pills, they don’t absorb all of the medication. Wastewater is treated and discharged into lakes and rivers. Eventually it is recycled, treated, and ends up back in your tap. Current water treatment and water recycling plans don’t account for these emerging contaminants.
WHAT ARE EDCs or ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING COMPOUNDS?
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the body’s natural hormones. Hormones control so much of the human body including development, fertility, and behavior. When EDCs alter the endocrine balance, negative side effects can include lower sperm count, infertility, depression, and anxiety. The most common EDCs include BPA and DDT. However, virtually every plastic contains some EDCs. Because they are everywhere in the world today, they are also found having leached into the water supply.
WHAT IS BISPHENOL-A OR BPA AND WHERE IS IT FOUND?
BPA is a chemical used in hard plastics and epoxy resins. It is found is baby bottles, toys, canned foods, paper receipts, and many other common products. It is a known hormone-disrupting chemical which means that it can mimic or block hormones and disrupt the body's normal functions. Research has shown that it can alter brain development in infants and babies even at trace levels, and can cause problems ranging from infertility to heart disease.
HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK EACH DAY?
The easiest way to calculate how much water you need daily is to take your body weight (lbs.) and divide it in half. That new number is how many ounces of water you need to drink daily to stay hydrated. So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking around 75 ounces of water. If you’re outside in the heat or particularly active, then should increase your water consumption to account for these variables.
SHOULD BABIES DRINK WATER?
Until babies reach 6 months old, they need only drink breast milk or formula for hydration. Amazingly it contains all the nutrition AND hydration they require, even on the hottest days. Giving infants water too early can be damaging to their health. It can curb their hunger for nutrient dense breast-milk or in rarer cases cause water intoxication.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FILTERED WATER AND REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER?
“Filtered” water uses a filtering media (such as carbon or bone-char) as physical barrier to catch impurities as they flow through the system. The effectiveness of the filter depends on what it’s made of, the size of the filter, and the amount of contact time water has with the filtering media. Also, certain filters are designed to take out certain impurities. For example, virtually all filters take our chlorine, but few are capable or removing fluoride. Make sure before you invest in a filter that you read up on what it actually removes and how often you will need to replace it.
“Reverse Osmosis” (RO) water, uses membrane technology and applied pressure to separate pure water out from tap water, polluted water, or even sea water. Basically tiny water molecules are allowed to pass through a permeable membrane while everything else remains trapped on the other side. Because RO removes everything except H2O, it strips the water of important minerals like calcium and magnesium. A remineralizing cartridge can add these back into the water before it comes out of your tap.
WHAT DOES "PURIFIED WATER" MEAN?
“Purified” is a term used in colloquial English to imply the water is treated and rendered potable. This does NOT necessarily mean that all the contaminant harmful to humans and animals have been removed. The question you need to ask when you see anything claiming to be purified is: Purified of what? Their standard for “pure” will likely be different than yours.
WHY SHOULD I INSTALL A WHOLE HOME FILTRATION SYSTEM?
A whole home filtration system is the easiest, cheapest, and safest water filtration option for your family. You can rest assured knowing that the water coming out of every tap (sinks, showers, laundry machines, etc.) is clean ready to drink or bathe in. Research shows that more chlorine is absorbed through your skin when you shower than if you were to drink that same water. Whole-home filtration water softeners will significantly reduce wear and tear on your plumbing, and scaling from hardness minerals in your sinks, showers, and baths. Whole home filtration requires no energy, no drains, and little to no maintenance.
WHAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH BOTTLED WATER?
Bottled water is actually held to lower standards than municipal tap water. And often times when tests are done, bottled water does not even meet these lower standards. Furthermore, the plastic that the bottles are made of contains harmful chemicals that leach into the water. Filtering your own water is safer, significantly cheaper, AND much better for the environment. All of the petroleum used to create plastic for water bottles annually is enough to fuel 1 million cars!
HOW MANY PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES ARE ACTUALLY RECYCLED EACH YEAR?
Not many, not even the majority. About 80% of plastic water bottles end up in a landfill. Of the other 20% many of them are actually shipped internationally (not cheap!) to get rid of them. And most water bottles are not actually recycled; they are “down-cycled”. Down-cycling means that the plastic will be converted and reused as a lower grade, single use plastic, and shortly thereafter be thrown into a landfill.
WHAT DO THE PLASTIC RATINGS MEAN?
The plastic ratings (#1-7) are used by recycling facilities to know how/if they can recycle the product. You can find them usually on the side of the bottom of the plastic container. Most facilities recycle some, but not all plastics because each one must be treated in a different way. Plastics are divided by their chemical composition. For example, high density polyethylene is #2 and vinyl is #3. The “safer” plastics (meaning less likely to leach toxic chemicals) are #s 2, 4, and 5.
WHAT'S THE PACIFIC GYRE?
The Pacific Gyre is a floating soup of plastic located in smack-dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. If you can imagine, the oceans currents create a giant and slow-moving whirlpool here that essentially sucks in and traps plastic trash. This dense soup of trash has been growing unknowingly for decades and was discovered in 1997. It has now grown to be twice the size of Texas! In the Pacific Gyre, plastic outnumbers plankton by a ratio of 6:1, and marine animals easily confuse the trash for food. Animals also often get entangled in the plastic. Because the gyre is located in international territory, no nation is stepping up to take responsibility for it. It’s a consequence of our over-consumption and reliance on single-use plastic that we never thought of and can never completely undo.