It is rare for a person to stop and think about the water he/she is drinking. Normally, a person turns on a tap, fills a glass of water and finishes by drinking the water.
People don’t think about how safe the water that they’re drinking is because of many reasons. Maybe they’ve been drinking water from that source for a long time and haven’t noticed any negative effects they can associate with that water source. Or maybe they boil the water and presume that after boiling it’s safe enough to drink.
It’s clear that our need for water isn’t going anywhere. In the United States, all drinking water that leaves a treatment plant must meet strict safety standards before being dispatched. This does not mean that the water is free from all contamination. It just means that the level of contamination in the water is too low to be deemed a health risk.
Accidents can happen, and in those cases, suppliers have 24 hours to inform customers of any violation of standards. This means that if there’s an accident, you could be drinking contaminated water for at least 20 hours before you are informed.
There’s also the issue of water being transported by pipes. While the water may be safe when it leaves the treatment plant, it can pick up contaminants from the pipes that transport it around. Boiling water may solve the issue to a degree, but it isn’t a magical solution that renders all contaminants powerless.
Bottled water is another story altogether. Bottled water is perceived as safer than boiled water because manufacturers don’t want to risk any lawsuits and as such will take extra special care to make sure their product is safe. Plastic bottles are bad for the environment, however, you do feel much safer drinking bottled water versus boiled water because bottled water doesn’t have any contaminants. Boiling water kills a lot of bacteria, however, it doesn’t remove dissolved chemicals or particulates.
Is it good to boil water for drinking?
A city may send out an advisory to boil water in case tap water is no longer safe or sanitary to drink. They do this because boiling water does kill many harmful bacteria and organisms.
However, other pollutants such as lead aren’t removed as easily. Water from a tap might appear clean, however, it has the potential to contain harmful bacteria and viruses. It can pick these up from rivers, reservoirs and plenty of other places. There are many different bacteria that can thrive in water. Consumption of certain kinds of bacteria can cause issues with a person’s digestion as well as symptoms such as cramping and diarrhea.
Boiling water is a very efficient way of purifying water. Most organisms do not have the ability to survive in temperatures in excess of 212 degrees Fahrenheit which incidentally is water boiling point. It is also known that most organisms will not survive for longer than 30 minutes in water which is at a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Disadvantages of drinking boiled water
Drinking boiled water may seem like it has no downsides, but the reality is that there are certain disadvantages when it comes to drinking boiled water. Let us have a look at some of them.
- Boiling water can only remove bacteria and some organisms present in water. It cannot fully purify water because boiling water does nothing to toxic waste and chemicals which might reside in the water.
- When you boil water, you use fuel. It might not seem like a lot of fuel is used but if you keep boiling water every time you want to purify water, the costs can add up.
- Toxic waste which isn’t vaporized when you boil water can become concentrated in water when water is boiled. This is because when you boil water, some water is transformed into steam. This steam usually escapes unless you have set up equipment to capture the steam. When this happens, you are left with less water than when you started and the same amount of toxic waste. The ratio of toxic waste to water is changed as there is less water and the same amount of toxic waste remaining.
- When you boil water, you are left with less water because some of the water is lost as water vapor.
- If you aren’t careful and drink boiled water too soon or too fast after boiling, you can scald your lips and mouth and may even cause minor burn injuries.
- Hot water can injure or hurt the intestinal linings. It has even been observed to cause sleep disturbances.
What does boiling water remove
There are plenty of contaminants in water. Some of them are easily visible while others are practically invisible. Stones, insects, organic and inorganic residue are some visible contaminants in water.
The contaminants to watch out for are the ones that cannot be seen. Contaminants such as Cysts, microbes, viruses and other toxic elements cannot be observed without using special equipment. They are tiny and dissolve quite easily in water.
Boiling water nullifies almost all of these invisible contaminants. Certain toxins such as fluoride, arsenic and lead are commonly found dissolved in water around the world. These toxins resist high temperatures quite easily which results in boiling having no effect on them.
If you boil water with these toxins in the water, their concentration actually increases. This is because boiling water causes some water to be lost in the form of water vapor or steam. When the amount of toxins are unaffected, and the amount of water is reduced, you are left with an increased concentration of toxins.
Bottled water does look like the more attractive option when thinking about all the potential dangers that come with boiling water. When you drink bottled water, you can rest easy knowing that there aren’t any harmful chemicals in the water you’re drinking because the manufacturer doesn’t want to risk any lawsuits. There is no right or wrong choice and the choice is entirely yours to make.