This is an excellent question. What we put in our bodies is extremely important, and the water we drink is no exception to this. Yet tap water, more often than not, is the subject of controversy and concern. From foul odors to bad taste and mineral deposits, it’s no challenge to be able to tell that there’s more than just dihydrogen monoxide coming out of our pipes. But how do you know exactly what else is in there? The best way to learn what’s in tap water is to understand the processing it goes through on the way from nature to your tap. Read on to learn this process in more detail and really start to get to know what’s in your water!

Initial Screening

In Texas, most drinking water comes from various aquifers as ground water. These, along with river water, are the two most common places we get our drinking water from and, in both cases, the water undergoes a strictly regulated cleaning process before it makes its way into the tap pipes. In the first step in this process the raw river or ground water passes through a series of screens made of metal bars. These collect large organic matter like plants and animals as well as any trash in the water.


In the next step, certain chemicals called flocculates are added to the water to allow suspended dirt particles to settle out. This chemistry, along with a rapid spinning movement, causes almost all of the murkiness in the water to settle to the bottom, while the now clear water moves on to the next step.


The water is now clean, but it may still harbor dangerous bacteria or viruses. While several disinfection methods such as boiling have been used in the past, these days chlorination has proven to be the most efficient and cost-effective means of neutralizing harmful pathogens. As a result, nearly every public water system in the U.S. uses chlorine as the exclusive disinfectant.

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, however, then you’d know that chlorination is not all good. As it neutralizes bacteria, it produces chemical by-products that have been shown to be surprisingly dangerous in recent years, and even skin contact with these chemicals can be harmful. You can rad about this in our previous blog post.

So, as you can see, no matter where it started from, water undergoes some pretty in-depth processing before it gets to your tap. But this processing isn’t perfect. Several minerals, like those that make water “hard” slip by, and many of the added chemicals may do almost as much harm as they do good.

Keep these things in mind as you decide which home filtration or water softening systems you might need for your own home; sometimes spending a little extra to add one last layer of water screening of your own can make all the difference. If you would like more information about water filtration and water softening or conditioning systems, visit Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.