Globally, more than 946 million people still use the bathroom outside. Unfortunately, these same people also use that “toilet” water for all of the other functions in life — bathing, cooking, drinking. Here in the United States and other first world countries, water comes out of a tap as clean and drinkable and we wash our waste — excrement or otherwise — into sewer systems so that other people and our water sources are not exposed to it. But, have you ever given much thought to where the water flowing from your tap comes from?

Water Cycle

Before we can begin to understand the specifics of the public water system that allows drinkable water to flow through your plumbing system and end up in your glass, we need to take a step back and review the Earth’s water sources. All water on earth is connected in some way, rain falls and runs through rivers and lakes that travel out to the oceans. Water does a continual cycle of precipitation, evaporation, and condensation. During this process, water molecules change form into gas or vapor and then reform into droplets. Some water is not evaporated back up into the sky, forming clouds, but is instead absorbed into the earth. This is where we get the two main sources of water — groundwater and surface water. Groundwater is stored in Earth’s underwater “veins” called aquifers and must be drilled into to access by people. Surface water consists of our lakes, streams, and rivers.

From Nature to Tap

To get water to your faucets, you will use one of two systems, a private well or a public water system. If you have a private well on your property, it will access an aquifer directly and your home will pump water from the ground. Public water systems divert water from a natural source, typically a surface water source, or will treat sewage water to recycle, or both. Water is collected from its source and then treated in a series of steps including disinfection removal of solids. Once water is legally clean, it is pumped into the public potable (drinking) system and into your home’s plumbing system. All of the “dirty” water from homes travels back to the water treatment plant via sewer lines and the process begins again.

If you are following a single drop of water in these adventures, you may begin thinking “wow, water is exposed to a lot and goes through quite the process to make it into my cup!” You may also start to realize that the drop you drink from your tap today is not a far cry from the water that is found in third world countries. While it may have been treated and processed, it has been exposed to the world! Is it really potable?

At AquaThin, we know the importance of clean drinking water and the difference between legally clean and actual clean water. With our in-home water filtration systems, we supply safe, clean drinking water to New Jersey homes, and all over the world. When you purchase a water filtration system for your family, you are helping us provide safe, clean water to third world countries. Shop our water filtration systems to start drinking actual clean water today!