There are few things more perfect in this world than a cup of cool, crisp water. Although it might seem like something that is widely available and unremarkable in most aspects, the truth is clean water isn’t always easy to come by. From heavy metal and plastic pollution to bacteria, pesticides, and toxins, waterways in the U.S. are laden with well … lots of things that are bad for you. U.S. tap water is known as being some of the safest in the world, but there are still many threats to our water supply.
Water quality reports indicate that 45 percent of U.S. streams, 47 percent of lakes, and 32 percent of bays are polluted. In 2016, a study from Harvard found dangerous levels of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), two industrial chemicals that have been tied to cancer, hormone disruption, and other health problems, in the drinking water of over six million Americans across 33 states. Most of us still remember the massive 10,000-gallon chemical spill that occurred in 2014 inWest Virginia’s Elk River, which left 300,000 people without water. Not to mention the devastating impact that lead pollution has had in the community of Flint, Michigan. And, according to the Water Quality Project, over 73 different kinds of pesticides have been found in U.S. groundwater that eventually ends up in our drinking water – unless it is adequately filtered.
With all of this in mind, you might be a little uneasy about that water pouring from your tap, but before you go for a plastic water bottle (which spells a whole host of other environmental concerns), there are many products that can help. The first step in identifying pollutants in your water is having a test done. All municipal water systems are required by law to publish water quality test results annually, you can also request to have a private test of your water done to check for common pollutants. (It’s also important to note that only around 18 percent of bottled waters disclose quality reports that include contaminant testing results.) Some people choose to install high-tech water filtrations in their homes to reduce pollutants, but if you’re looking for an easy, on-the-go solution to get filtered water, there are many products you can turn to.
Whether you’re looking to get a little piece of mind from your home’s water or are an avid camper who is looking to have fresh water while in the wilderness, here are a few options that might work for you. It’s critical to note that if you’re experiencing serious water pollution, it’s always best to consult a professional – but if you’re just looking to reduce pollutants for water on-the-go, try these products.