Most of us don’t think about the water we drink. We turn on a tap, fill a glass, and drink. But how much water do you really need to drink every day? Is the water you're been drinking all along safe? Oh bottled water; is it safer? What can you do if your tap water suddenly became contaminated? Let us find out how much you know about the drinking water in your own home.
How much water do you need?
Over 50% of your body weight is made up of water. Without water, you cannot basically maintain a normal body temperature, lubricate your joints, or get rid of waste through urination, sweating, and bowel movements. Inadequate drinking of water can lead to dehydration, which can cause muscle weakness and cramping, a lack of coordination, and an increased risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. In fact, water is so important that a person cannot last for more than five days without it.
So how much water do you really need? I mean the amount of water to replace those fluids you lose daily through urination, sweating, even exhaling. It you should be borne in mind that the adequate in-take for water increases:
#In a hot weather
#In instances of vigorous physical activity, such as exercise or gym
#During illness, especially in cases of fever, vomiting, diarrhea or coughing
You often hear that you need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board recommended that women actually need 91 ounces of water daily, and men need 125 ounces.
It is a good idea to track how much water you drink for a few days just to get a feel for the amount needed. You can get enough water as well by consuming fluids like soup and soft drinks, along with lots of fruits and vegetables, which contain fluids. Keep in mind that if you’re going to do something strenuous, like sports or physical exercises, you'll need extra water before, during, and after.
Is tap water safe?
You need to stay hydrated--that’s clear; but is the tap water in your home safe? It is considered generally safe if it comes from a public water system in your society, such as one run by the water treatment plant here in Maiduguri. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to monitor all public water systems and sets enforceable health standards regarding the contaminants in drinking water. But I have a question here: does our EPAs play such a role?
What are the contaminants in water?
Water can be contaminated in several ways. It can contain microorganisms like bacteria and parasites that get into the water from human or animal fecal matter. It can contain chemicals from industrial waste or from spraying crops. Nitrates used in fertilizers can enter the water with run-off from the land. Various minerals such as lead or mercury can enter the water supply channel, sometimes from natural deposits underground, or more often from improper disposal.
Ideally EPAs are suppose to set minimum testing schedules for specific pollutants to make sure that all levels remain safe, even though some people may be more vulnerable than others to potential harm caused by water contaminants. People who are most prone to this are:
#People undergoing chemotherapy
#People with HIV/AIDS
#Patients undergoing transplants
#Children and infants
#Pregnant women and their fetuses