All About Agua: Water Safety for Homeowners


All About Agua: Water Safety for HomeownersYou hear a lot about water conservation lately, but what about water quality? Where does a household's water even come from, how is it maintained, and how can you know if it's safe for you and your family? Here's what you need to know about the water in your home, and what might indicate a problem

Sources of household water: Most households in the U.S. rely on a public water supply, which either comes from underground sources known as groundwater or surface water sources like rivers, lakes, and streams. These community water sources are managed and maintained by the city, and each household pays for how much water they use. In more rural areas, a household may get its water from a well, cistern, or another fresh-water source like a pond or stream.

Septic tank versus a sewer system: If your household utilizes a public water supply, then that supplier is also responsible for processing waste and contaminated water at a water treatment facility. If your home cannot access a community water system, then you will probably use a septic tank to process your household waste. Septic tanks and off-the-grid water sources can be cost-efficient for a homeowner, but problems can be both costly and hazardous. As cities grow and expand their local water and sewer services, some homeowners are choosing to connect their septic tanks to the community sewer system. If you do rely on a septic tank, be sure you keep it well maintained and call a professional as soon as you notice a problem.

What you need to know: According to the Centers for Disease Control, "the United States is fortunate to have one of the safest public drinking water supplies in the world." Community water systems must meet certain safety and quality criteria that are set forth and regulated by both federal and state laws. In addition, every public water system must share regular reports with consumers. At the Environmental Protection Agency website you can find the annual Consumer Confidence Report for your local water system, which should also be shared with you by the supplier.

Making decisions about what's safe to drink: Although there are regulations that determine what levels of certain contaminants are acceptable for local water systems, some water quality groups believe that they do not go far enough, and that "legal does not necessarily equal safe." The Environmental Working Group offers consumers a national Tap Water Database, where you can learn more about the contaminants in your local drinking water, including those that are not currently regulated by law. If you decide that your local water supply is not what you would like it to be, EWG also has a guide to filtration, so you can find a solution that works for your family.

For any insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.

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