You’re right to be concerned about the safety of your drinking water, especially when it comes to your kids. You’ve seen reports of contaminated water in the headlines and heard about the potential for older homes to have trace amounts of lead in their tap water.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water contaminants can cause reproductive problems, neurological disorders, and gastrointestinal issues. And the risk for these conditions is higher for infants, young children, and people with sensitive immune systems such as those who are pregnant or elderly.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your home’s drinking water clean and safe from contaminants.

Have your home’s plumbing system inspected

Approximately 70% of surveyed homeowners say that a home inspection helped them avoid potential issues. Home inspections aren’t limited to the time you move in, either.

Your plumbing system should actually be inspected at least once every two years. If you’re one of the 48 million people who receive their drinking water from private or household wells, you may need to have your system inspected more frequently.

Older homes often have plumbing systems that are made from outdated materials like lead, copper, galvanized steel, and polybutylene. Consider that in Florida, condos are required to undergo an inspection every 40 years for structural issues. An inspection every two years for your plumbing can identify these materials so you know whether your system needs to be replaced.

Don’t flush household products down the drain

Certain household products should never be flushed down the drain because of their potential to clog your main sewer line or contaminate the drinking water. The plumbing system in your house is made up of two separate subsystems, one that brings freshwater in and another that takes wastewater out.

When there’s a clog in your subsystem that takes the wastewater out, wastewater can back up into your home or even out into your yard. If you suspect there might be a clog in your main sewer line, take a look at your lawn.

One of the common signs that there’s a clog in your main sewer line is that the lawn looks greener or water-logged along the sewer line. Of course, to provide your lawn with an inch of water you need over a half a gallon per square foot, but if you haven’t watered your lawn in a while and you see puddles in your lawn that weren’t caused by rain, you might have a plumbing issue.

Never flush medications, paint, old cleaning products, or old perfumes/colognes down the drain to avoid contaminating your drinking water. Avoid flushing moist towelettes, bacon grease, cooking oil, pasta, eggshells, and coffee grounds to avoid clogged sewer lines.

Filter your water

Many families nowadays filter their water at home using another line of defense against contaminants that could be passed through the local utility. There are different filters to choose from including:

  • Pitcher water filters
  • Charcoal stick water filters
  • Reverse osmosis filtration systems
  • Water distillation filters
  • Solid block carbon filters
  • Under counter multi-stage filters

Each filtration system has its own pros and cons. Ultimately, how you decide to filter your water depends on your personal water preferences, your style, and your budget.

You’re right to be concerned about the quality of your drinking water. By following the tips above, you can feel more secure pouring yourself and your kids a glass.