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What is in Water? From Chlorine to Fluoride

There’s nothing better than a tall glass of crystal clear water to quench a desperate thirst, but what is in water?

glass of water

Depending on where you live in the UK, various substances are added to make tap water clearer and cleaner, so this article will serve to explain what’s in our water supply and the impact this can have on our bodies.

Lithium

When prescribed in the correct dosage, lithium is a mood-stabilising drug which plays an important role in the treatment of bipolar disorder, as it is thought to modify certain chemicals in the brain. Previous research in Austria and Japan proposes that people who drink water which naturally contains lithium are less likely to take their own lives.

Therefore, as lithium occurs naturally in many Scottish water sources, researchers in Glasgow are looking into whether adding lithium to water could help improve mental health.

 

Chlorine

Contrary to common belief, chlorine isn’t only used to clean swimming pools. A low amount of this disinfectant is added to most water supplies across the UK to kill harmful bacteria such as E.coli. In high quantities, chlorine in water can be harmful, causing eye and skin irritation and breathing difficulties for those who drink it.

Therefore, it’s important chlorine levels are controlled to ensure safe, high quality drinking water.

 

Fluoride

As the only component added to water purely for health reasons, studies have shown that fluoride helps to reduce dental decay and strengthen tooth enamel. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in varying quantities depending on which area you live in, with statistics showing that around a tenth of the UK drinks water containing added fluoride.

 

Aluminium sulphate

For high-quality, clear drinking water, aluminium sulphate is used in the water purification process. The chemicals cause impurities to consolidate into larger particles and settle at the bottom of the container or be filtered out easily. Provided the process of adding aluminium sulphate to the water supply is carefully controlled, it has proven to be exceptionally beneficial in producing crystal clear, clean water.

 

The effect of Hard or Soft Water on your Plumbing

The classification of hard or soft water is dependent upon the acidity of the water as this shows the impurities that the water has picked up during its journey to your taps. Rainwater is naturally soft as it falls to the ground. However, its mineral content increases significantly as it makes its way through the surface and into our water supply. Water becomes hard if it travels through chalk or limestone where it absorbs essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.

While this has significant health benefits, when these minerals make their way out of the water they can cause chaos, binding themselves together to form ‘scale’. These deposits stick to the interior of pipes making it very difficult to remove and causing major clogging in your plumbing.

As it doesn’t contain any dissolved limestone, soft water is much more acidic and can quickly erode metal, in particular lead pipes. Therefore, properties with old plumbing systems should remove any lead pipes, particularly those located in the north or west of the UK where the mains water supplies are typically soft.

 

Drainage Services from ClearFirst Drainage

Here at ClearFirst, our expert team specialise in identifying any damage to your drains and rectifying the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. We clean and repair blocked or collapsed drains, tailoring our services to each individual problem.

With no call out charge, our engineers carry out their duties to a high professional standard at a fast response rate, so you can rest assured knowing that your drains are in safe hands. Don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team today for more information or to organise an appointment.

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