Although we take it for granted, it has been less than a century since indoor plumbing became the norm in the United States. We expect to turn on the faucet and get fresh, clean water, or jump into a hot shower or bath without concern, and we have no trouble keeping our dishes and laundry clean with modern appliances. All it takes is a plumbing disaster make you truly appreciate the importance of a well-functioning home plumbing system.
To put the importance of a sanitary plumbing system into perspective, the UN estimates that 1.5 million children die each year due to a lack of sanitation, and 10 percent of disease around the world could be eliminated with improved sanitary conditions.
Safe, Clean Water: Health Concerns in the Bay Area
We are provided with water that is required to meet governmental standards for purity. These standards do not mean that your water is toxin-free – far from it. NBC Bay Area reports California’s Water Resources Control Board shows that 700,000 Californians are currently being exposed to contaminated water, notably the toxin Chromium-6.
Water filtration systems can help you and your family have water that is much cleaner than what is provided by your city water utility. Lead, bacteria, chromium-6, copper, atrazine (an herbicide), arsenic, and other unhealthy toxins and metals can be filtered from your water with one of the variety of advanced home water filtration systems now available. Sanitary and plumbing system matters are important factors in a healthy home.
Why Plumbing Maintenance Is Critical
Americans are fortunate to have access to plentiful city water and a sewage disposal system, but there are several factors involved in keeping a plumbing system functioning as it should. There are several issues that should be evaluated in your existing home plumbing system:
- Cross-contamination from the back-up of wastewater: Per city and state building codes, a physical separation (air gap) must exist between a connection for system features such as a water softener drain line into a home and a sewer. Without this gap, there can a cross connection that results in the waste water potentially backing up into a home water supply.
- Hidden leaks: Your plumbing system can develop a minor leak, which over time will grow and become a greater risk. As the pipes are hidden under floors and in walls, a minor leak can be present and undetected until a disaster occurs, leading to serious damage.
- Mold: Leaking water creates an environment in which dangerous molds flourish. Mold growing in hidden areas of your home can lead to respiratory problems and other dangerous health conditions, from mild to severe.
- Lead and toxins: Lead exposure is extremely dangerous. Today, lead pipes, fixtures and fittings are no longer produced, but older homes and aging city water systems often contain lead pipes or solder, as was the case in Flint, Michigan. It is important to have your home plumbing system inspected to identify lead levels in your drinking water. Lead-containing solder was outlawed through legislation in water systems in 1986, but many older homes still contain this metal.
- Your hot water heater. Your water heater has a limited lifespan. Tank hot water heaters are built to last in the range of eight to fifteen years, after which the system becomes corroded and stops producing as it should and is more likely to leak. Overheating due to a system failure can lead to a ruptured tank and a flooded home. Options such as a smart tankless hot water heater are far safer for your home, and provide unlimited, on-demand hot water without using energy to keep a tank of water hot while not in use.
Maintaining a Sanitary Plumbing System
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bay Area is happy to answer any questions you may have and will assist you with a full inspection of your plumbing system, and help you choose upgrades to your home plumbing system that will keep your home and family safe and healthy.