If you live in Austin, Texas, or the surrounding metropolitan area, you’re probably drinking city water. This water comes from reservoirs created by dams on the Colorado River.
When this water conservation project was first started, there was an abundance of water flowing into and out of these reservoirs. Now, there is less rainfall yet more consumption of this water.
The surrounding land area of the Colorado River Basin has also become more urban increasing the area covered with concrete and asphalt. The run-off water that travels over this concrete and asphalt picks up all of the pollutants that have been deposited on these surfaces. This means that more harmful pollutants are being washed into these reservoirs every time it rains.
City Water Treatment Plants
City water treatment plants are only as good as the government standards they must comply with. There is also the fact that certain chemicals are put into city water to prevent bacteria from multiplying. Other chemicals such as fluoride are also added to this water.
The Principle of Clean Lakes
The vast majority of lakes are kept clean as they are a part of an overall drainage system. In such a system, water is always moving due to evaporation from the ocean that moves thousands of miles inland and falls as rain. This rainfall then collects in streams and flows into lakes to drain out back to the ocean. An example of this is the chain of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Slow Moving Water Creates a Greater Risk
The levels of both Lake Powell and Lake Mead have been declining for several decades. Both are now stated to be at 40% of their full capacity.
More pollutants will begin to collect in a lake if the flow of water through the lake, however small, is decreased. Therefore, the idea of slowing the output of water from the reservoirs along the Colorado River to refill them will have negative consequences on the quality of the water that they contain.
The National Park Service Guidelines for Lake Powell
The National Park System has issued safety guidelines for the water in Lake Powell. These guidelines go beyond stating that you should not drink the water. Their recommendations basically advise you to wash any part of your body that has come into contact with the water in Lake Powell before doing anything else.
Do Not Be Afraid, Be Informed
The vast majority of people in the United States are drinking city water without experiencing any harmful effects. What you want to decide is what you feel is your personal level of safe drinking for you and your family.
If you decide you should be concerned about the quality of your drinking water, you can take positive steps to put your mind at ease.
Find what you feel is the best information available on the subject of safe drinking water. Then, make the best decision you can based upon that information that will allow you to feel comfortable if you choose to invest in a home water filtration system.