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Is Shower Water Safe To Drink? (Explained)

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When bathing, we sometimes gargle shower water or drink it. Maybe after exercising, you might get exhausted and thirsty, go into the shower, and accidentally drink from it.

We’ve all had a taste of the shower water at different times, consciously or unconsciously. But, as a general rule, is it safe to drink shower water?

Shower water is not safe to drink, especially when you’re not sure of the water’s health. Water pipes in our homes are mostly made of plastic or copper; they get worn, leaving impurities in your water. In addition, shower water is mostly warm/hot, which makes it very unhealthy to drink because this hot water contains contaminants.

How Clean Is Shower Water?

shower water

The shower water is not 100% clean. But, it’s as pure as the water that runs throughout your home. You can always determine its cleanliness by its water hardness quality; if it’s hard or soft or has excess chemicals.

Shower water most likely contains contaminants either chemically or naturally. Shower water filters can help in making it clean. Shower water comes from the same water supply as others in your house.

The only reasons the shower water might not be as clean as the rest can be the plumbing work or mold growth. Mold growth is promoted because showers tend to stay damp most of the time.

Is Shower Water Contaminated?

shower water

 Shower water is contaminated. The water contains some harmful chemicals to our internal and external organs. You can find contaminants such as volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), trihalomethanes (THM’s), and others in the shower water. A certain amount of consumption of the substances is risky.

Water is essential to life, but it can be dangerous too.

As earlier said, water can never be 100% pure, but that won’t kill you. However, you should constantly try to treat your water to don’t endanger your health.

The VOCs and THM’s chemicals are the two major and most dangerous contaminants in shower water. Other chemicals like hardness minerals containing dissolved calcium or magnesium are less of a pollutant because they positively affect our health.

While the two significant contaminants mentioned can be harmful to the heart, lungs, and other body organs, hardness minerals are good.

In modern houses, a toilet is fixed in the bathroom, allowing all viruses and bacteria to spread through the whole room.

It would be best to only drink from your kitchen tap or the tap that releases water for drinking and cooking.

Shower water is very vulnerable to contamination. Avoid it. If you don’t want your shower water to get contaminated, be cautious of these few things, namely;

  • Water pipes
  • Water storage tank
  • Showerhead
  • Filter system

#1. Water Pipe

You’re worried if your shower water is contaminated? When was the last time you changed your pipes?

Most old pipes are made from Lead, and Lead is a toxic contaminant to children and pregnant women.

Due to lead poisoning, lead pipes are being replaced, and it’s been more than three decades now.

You should check if your lead pipes still supply you with water and consider replacing them.

If the lines are changed, and you are concerned about lead poisoning, you should do lead testing.

#2. Water Storage Tank

The tanks and pipes are the main things to consider regarding the safe water supply.

Depending on your location, you might be using a community water supply or water stored in a tank.

Most times, we channel the water into a tank for storage. If the cover of your water storage tank is not covered, the water can get contaminated in many ways.

Sometimes, even though it’s closed, some impurities or bacteria will form over time, contaminating the water.

You might also decide to treat the water, but the bacteria will remain when you treat it incorrectly.

#3. Showerhead

It will help if you are always cautious of showerheads. First, you should check if the showerhead is clean. 

Consequently, if it has stains or dirt on its surface, you should not drink water from it. Those stains mean the water is hard and contains impurities.

Although hard water is not bad for drinking, taking too much or making it a habit is bad. It would be best to get a good showerhead or replace the old one.

#4. Filter system

A filtering system is another essential option to consider. Always check to ensure that you’re using a good filtering system in your home.

Lately, many households have begun to use the filter system to purify the water supply in their homes.

The filters can either be fixed on kitchen taps or other taps. Avoid drinking the one from the shower.

Do Showers Have Chlorine?

water shower

Shower water has chlorine. Chlorine is the common chemical used to purify water; it kills all bacteria and microbes inside the water. Before water gets to your house, chlorine is added to it. So the chlorine is still in the water when it gets to your home, including your shower water.

There is a good amount of chlorine in the water that runs through the pipe in your home.

So your shower water is also chlorinated, which means it’s dangerous to drink and bath.

After the various stages of purification at the treatment plant, chemicals like chlorine are added to the water.

It remains in the water to kill all bacteria and microbes in the water channels carrying the water to your house.

This chemical is sure good at killing bacteria and other microbes. And it is also harmful to us when the chlorine is not dissolved correctly before use.

If you have chlorine in your water, you can use a granulated activated carbon filter (GAC).

Chlorine causes skin irritation, asthma, and other diseases when you drink it or inhale it. You should get a good shower filter to help purify your water before using it.

Two water lines take water to the kitchen and the bathroom in most houses.

The one that leads to the kitchen or releases drinkable water is adequately filtered, which leaves the shower water unfiltered, containing chlorine.

Can Drinking Shower Water Make You Sick?

shower water

Drinking shower water can make you sick, though in sporadic cases. Shower water making you sick revolves around chlorine-treated water.

Drinking shower water without filtering it is unhealthy. Bladder, rectal and kidney cancer are some of the dangerous sicknesses you can get from shower water, especially the ones having chlorine in it.

Taking a little bit of the water while bathing is ok, but drinking a lot is very wrong. Drinking from the shower can either be for a gargle or through brushing your teeth.

Through any means, it’s not so advisable. Also, drinking this water can be a form of a lifesaver when you are too lazy to get purified water. 

But before drinking it, make sure to allow the water to run for some time and flush away some toxic substances.

To void getting sick, I don’t advise you to drink this water for a long time.

Based on researches, the trihalomethanes (THMs) from chemically treated shower water are associated with birth problems like congenital disabilities or spontaneous abortions.

Most of the harmful effects of these chemicals in shower water are mostly from inhaling or bathing. That’s why it’s advisable you make sure your shower water is clean.

When you shower in hot water, there are some chemicals you are likely to inhale. This inhaled chemical is more harmful than when you drink the water. Why is this?.

With good science research done, heated water releases an average or more percentage of dissolved chemicals. So while using the shower, you are likely to inhale these chemicals.

 I’m not trying to scare you from using the shower. I’m just educating you so you’ll be aware.

Getting sick is not fully assured, but avoid drinking water from the shower. It will gradually become a bad habit.

Since the shower water is primarily hard, a water softener reduces its hardness. Unfortunately, this softener is not good because it contains sodium which is hazardous to your health.

#Summary

There is nothing wrong with drinking from the shower, but the risks are more significant in most cases.

Make sure you are updated with news concerning the water supply in your city; when your water starts having a foul taste, switch immediately.

It’s better to consider not drinking from the shower than risking your health by drinking shower water.

Sources:

https://www.who.int/teams/environment-climate/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatile_organic_compound

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_poisoning

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microorganism

https://www.who.int/water_sanitation

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