The Importance of Knowing Your Local Water Quality

Posted on August 4, 2020
Water Treatment Plant

Why does your local water quality matter if you’re going to filter it anyway? In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets and enforces health standards to remove contaminants in public drinking water. Those standards help ensure clean water is delivered to your homes. Yet, accidents happen, and water pollutants from both natural and human activities can often slip through cracks, crevices, and porous spaces of water pipes, aquifers, water catchments, and storage reservoirs. Aging infrastructure and open reservoirs are the biggest issues for water after it has been filtered by a municipality or water company.

Why Should You Learn About Your Local Water Quality?

It’s important to understand all that can be lurking in your drinking water. Pesticides and fertilizer used in landscaping, farming, and green spaces all over the country can often run off into groundwater and affect your local water quality. Sewage can also wind up in groundwater as well, putting the surrounding community at risk of contracting dangerous illnesses like hepatitis and bacteria like E. coli. Other potential contaminants include arsenic, lead, fluoride, salt, nitrates, and other non-sewage related bacteria.[1]

Local Government’s Role in Water Treatment

State and federal regulations help protect water resources, but it is up to the local governments to fill in the gaps and implement those regulations. Municipalities tailor their water treatment processes to the surrounding topography, climate, and infrastructure.[2]

There are two main types of water treatment processes in the United States. Those processes include surface water treatment and groundwater treatment. Surface water treatment is the most common kind of water treatment process. It involves collecting water from above-ground sources like local waterways or snowmelt basins. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once surface water is delivered to water treatment plants, it is sent through four stages of treatment:

Stages of Water Treatment

Image Courtesy of EPA

Stage 1: Coagulation and Flocculation

  • Positively charged chemicals are added to the water. Those positively charged chemicals bind to dirt and other dissolved particles in the water to form larger particles, called floc.  

Stage 2: Sedimentation

  • During the sedimentation phase, floc that was formed in stage one settles to the bottom of the water supply.

Stage 3: Filtration

  • Once the floc has settled to the bottom of a water supply, the clean water will pass through filters to remove dissolved particles, such as dust, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals.

Stage 4: Disinfection

  • After the water has been filtered, a disinfectant like chlorine, chloramine, or ozone is added. Those disinfectants kill any remaining parasites, bacteria, and viruses, and help protect the water from germs when it is piped to homes and businesses.

Some communities in the United States use groundwater, which can occur in pore spaces in some sedimentary rocks and in cracks and fissures in solid rock. Typically, surface water requires more treatment and filtration than groundwater because lakes, rivers, and streams contain more sediment and pollutants and are more likely to be contaminated than groundwater. In some parts of the world, even wastewater that flows down the drain is filtered and treated until it’s as safe to drink as surface water and groundwater.[3]

EPA water treatment regulations also require local municipalities in the United States to take samples of water, chemical conditions, and sediment. These processes allow researchers to pinpoint any changes in your water supply and prevent future pollution problems.[4] Despite these preventative measures, contaminants still manage to get in your drinking water. “92 percent of the water everyday meets all the EPA requirements for safe drinking water,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told Newsweek. That means 209 million glasses of water per day, or 2.3 billion gallons of water per day, in the United States, is unsafe to drink.[5]

Water Quality’s Impact on a Water Filtration System

The water quality in different areas of the country can vary from zip code to zip code, and even within the same neighborhood. A water filtration system provides a “last line of defense” for those who want to make sure their water is safe. Advanced water filtration technology helps with lead reduction and can remove harmful toxins as well.

It’s important to know what’s in your local water supply, as the water filtration system required to clean the water will vary depending on your location. For instance, certain compounds, like E. coli bacteria, can be treated with UV or LED sanitation, which kills microorganisms by destroying the nucleic acid, disrupting its DNA, and preventing reproduction.[6] Other contaminants, including sodium, chloride, copper, chromium, and lead can be removed by reverse osmosis (RO), a water purification process that uses a semi-permeable membrane (synthetic lining) to filter out unwanted molecules and large particles.[7]  Curious about what’s in your local water supply? Check out this Local Water Experts page to help determine what unique treatment your local water might require.

Water Solutions Tailored to Your Local Water Supply

No two municipalities are alike, and neither are their water sources. That’s why Quench’s water experts analyze your local water supply and offer a customized filtered water dispenser to ensure your business’s drinking water is clean and great-tasting.Quench office water systems use advanced filtration and sanitization technologies at the point-of-use such as carbon filtration, reverse osmosis, UV, and antimicrobial surface protection to remove sediment, reduce lead and other chemical contaminants, and get rid of off-tastes and odors.

If you want to take your water purification to the next level, Quench offers machines with RO filtration. The Quench Q5 and Quench Q7 filtered water dispensers produce quenchWATER+, our highest quality water filtered through our proprietary five-filter water filtration system. Quench’s state-of-the-art RO filtration process creates the cleanest filtered drinking water—but also removes naturally occurring minerals. So, we created the FDA- and NSF-certified Mineral+ filter to add minerals and electrolytes back into the water, producing a revitalizing, refreshing, and hydrating alkaline water with a smooth mouthfeel. It turns a regular filtered water cooler into a tasty treat.

Don’t know what’s lurking in your business’ tap water? Leave that to us. Call a Quench Water Expert at 1-888-554-2782 or take this quiz to see which water filtration system is right for you.

Culligan Provides Communities in Need with Safe Drinking Water

Quench is proud to be part of Culligan Water, a company committed to providing clean water to communities that need it most. Not every community is lucky enough to have easy access to filtered drinking water. In fact, approximately 3.5 million people die each year due to inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. Culligan has a vision that together we can provide clean, safe drinking water to every person in the world.

Culligan International and CDANA (Culligan Dealers of North America) are working together to make a difference in areas where clean, filtered drinking water is a high priority to ensure proper nutrition, sanitation, and health. Join Culligan Cares to help individuals, families and communities in need of clean, safe water. Click to learn more.


[1] https://homeguides.sfgate.com/main-ingredient-fertilizer-plants-67253.html

[2] https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/local_government_has_an_important_role_for_water_quality_protection

[3] https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160105-why-we-will-all-one-day-drink-recycled-wastewater

[4] https://www.envirotech-online.com/news/water-wastewater/9/breaking-news/why-is-water-quality-monitoring-important/34104

[5] https://www.newsweek.com/millions-americans-drink-water-could-be-dangerous-1438023

[6] https://water-research.net/Waterlibrary/privatewell/UVradiation.pdf

[7] https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/pfas-toxic-chemical-millions-peoples-drinking-water

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