We do tend to take our drinking water for granted. Just turn the tap, and there it is. If you’re concerned about the quality of that tap water, you might want to check these guys out for some filter systems. Regardless of your tap water quality, have you ever wondered where drinking water really comes from?
Municipal Water Supply
Most homes in America are connected to city or municipal water supplies. That means that the city controls the supply, and usually treats the water for cleanliness at a central point. Chlorine is typical and some areas still treat their water with fluoride too. The sources for this drinking water varies from place to place. Local rivers, lakes or reservoirs are a common source for city water. Some coastal areas even use ocean water that has been desalinated to remove the salts and minerals.
You may not know precisely where your water is coming from if there are no obvious sources nearby. Water systems can run for many miles, with pipes connecting towns to treatment plants and distant water sources.
Those big water towers you often see in smaller towns? They are just storage tanks, where the water is kept after it’s pumped in from the nearest treatment center. In others words, the towers aren’t really the source of your drinking water, just one stop in the system.
There are about 15 million homes that use well water in the USA. That means water is pumped directly from an underground source on your own property, right into your house with no connections to any city services. Wells can be drilled or dug, and the pump system is typically kept in your basement. Various filtering systems can be in place to make sure the water is clean, using either a mechanical filter or a more sophisticated UV light purifier.
This kind of drinking water source is your personal responsibility though it is free from “treatment” with chlorine and fluorine. Of course, that also means you have to take care of any problems with the water or the system on your own.
You can also have private water sources like this that use river or lake water, rather than tapping a source underground.
When talking about drinking water, it’s not necessarily about household water supplies. Bottled water comes from a variety of sources, much like the piped-in city water. Plants that bottle was can get their supplies from lakes, rivers, reservoirs, or underground aquifers (like a well).
Once at the bottling plant, the water is sometimes treated or filtered (sometimes nothing is done to it), and then the bottles are shipped out to the various retail locations.
Though a much less common option, rainwater can be a reasonable source of drinking water in many parts of the country. When run through a filter system, it can provide a source of drinking water much like a well does, provided the rain is regular enough to keep your barrels or tank reservoir filled up.