The Potential Hazards in Tap Water

Staying hydrated is very important, but have you ever thought about the quality of water that you are drinking? While South Africa has safer tap water than many countries, it might still have small but deadly pollutants including viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, and chemicals. These pollutants have the potential to make you sick, from mild infections such as gastrointestinal disturbances and diarrhoea to life-threatening illnesses like cancer, organ damage, and neurological infections. So, how pure is your tap water? Let us look at some of the potential hazards of tap water, and explore why purified water from MANZI Water might be the better choice for optimal health.

Water Quality Standards in South Africa

The Department of Water and Sanitation is responsible for overseeing the nation’s water resources. This body established the national water quality standards, as outlined in the South African National Standards (SANS) 241:2015. This document specifies the permissible limits for different physical, chemical, and microbiological properties in drinking water. Moreover, through the Blue Drop Certification Programme, the Department of Water and Sanitation performs audits on water quality nationwide, motivating municipalities to excel in managing drinking water quality.

Common Tap Water Pollutants

South Africa generally has advanced treatment infrastructure for tap water. But the water can carry trace amounts of pollutants due to geographic differences and concerns with the treatment facility’s operations. Among the contaminants include the following:

Microbial pollutants

Inadequately managed sanitation, septic system leakage, or contaminated wells in rural areas where indigenous communities live can lead to the entry of bacteria such as E.coli, viruses such as hepatitis A, and parasites such as giardia. These can cause short-term issues like vomiting and diarrhoea or severe long-term health concerns.

Agricultural run-off

Pesticides and herbicides connected to farming may get into tap water, particularly in locations where agriculture is intensive. These may affect hormones, the nervous system, and potentially increase cancer risk.

Industrial contaminants

Chemicals such as arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals can infiltrate water supplies due to faulty industrial waste management. Such pollutants can cause organ damage, neurological disorders, and some specific cancers.

By-products of disinfection

By-products of disinfection can chemically react with natural organic matter in the water to create disinfection by-products, like trihalomethanes. Prolonged exposure of human beings to these chemicals has an increased risk of developing cancers, especially bladder cancer.

Emerging pollutants

Trace amounts of pharmaceuticals, personal care items, and hormones might be detectable in some water supplies due to inadequate disposal or incomplete treatment removal. The health implications of low-level exposure to these pollutants, including hormone disruption and antibiotic resistance, are still under investigation.

Purified Water vs. Tap Water

Unlike tap water which may contain contaminants, purified water is treated to remove contaminants. Purification is the process of removing contaminants and other non-useful substances from tap water. Water may be purified using reverse osmosis or ozone treatment. Reverse osmosis involves the use of pressure to push water molecules through a semi-permeable membrane. This is critical due to the fact that dissolved solids, organic compounds, and other pollutants are completely eradicated and lead to purified and clean water.

Ozone treatment on the other hand involves using a powerful oxidant (ozone) to eliminate bacteria and viruses. The main reason why ozone is preferable to disinfectants like chlorine is that the use of ozone is less harmful to the environment.

Purified Water from MANZI Water

At MANZI Water, we value pure, healthy hydration. We purify our water via a multi-step purification process, capable of extracting impurities, minerals, and contaminants. Our equipment removes impurities, minerals, and other pollutants found in water sources and, therefore, makes water safe and healthy. MANZI Water undergoes rigorous testing and is certified by international and local health authorities. Visit our website or any of our various outlets all over the country to order your purified water and avoid the inherent risks of tap water.