Drinking water from the bathroom sink might seem like an innocent act. But, did you ever question whether taking a sip of water from the tap in the bathroom is safe? We researched how your health can be impacted by existing plumbing, the average quality of bathroom water, and potential hazards lurking in the tap. Learn more about the differences between your bathroom and kitchen sink water supply and how to protect your health.
If you live in a building with newer plumbing, it is not terribly unsafe to drink water from the bathroom sink. However, it is not advisable to drink water from the tap in the bathroom often. The water from the bathroom sink may be treated but can still contain bacteria, contaminants, and debris from the reservoir or buildup on pipes. Take into account whether you have a personal filtration system added to your water supply and local water treatment plants' quality before taking a sip.
When you are thirsty in the middle of the night or brushing your teeth, you may be tempted to drink water from the bathroom sink. But, you might be in for a surprise when consuming water from this source, so read on to learn more.
Water From The Bathroom & Your Health
Drinking from the bathroom tap is a fond childhood memory for some. It is a common act of people awakened in the middle of the night who feel too tired to travel to the kitchen for a drink. However, if you take a sip of water from the bathroom sink to parch your thirst, you might be getting more than you bargained for.
Grabbing some water from the bathroom sink is okay if you don't do it often and choose cold water over hot. But, it is not a healthy practice for the following reasons.
- The water in your bathroom sink may be treated, but it is ideal for washing hands and brushing teeth, not consumption.
- Buildings with older pipes may leech contaminants from buildup, lead, dust, debris, and deterioration over time.
- Some bathrooms have plumbing setups that have it, so the toilet and sink share common water pipes.
- The kitchen tap is a safer choice for drinking water. The water reservoir in bathrooms may sit idle longer until it is ready to be used, allowing bacteria and unsavory elements to establish themselves and enter the water supply.
What Are The Risks?
Armed with this knowledge, you may want to install reverse osmosis filters and frequently test your water in both the kitchen and bathroom to identify any issues. Older homes have a greater chance of exposing anyone who drinks the water to health hazards because of aging plumbing.
Although municipal water services ensure water is fit to drink and use without fear of getting sick, avoid regularly drinking from the bathroom sink. There is a risk of contamination from bacteria in the reservoir or tank, especially the hot water. Bacteria, dust, debris, and various contaminants may be waiting in pipes and plumbing. Consider installing an under-the-counter or countertop reverse osmosis filter to treat your water and further purify it if you are worried about exposure.
Does Tap Water And Toilet Water Come From The Same Place?
It might be nerve-racking to think about, but the water that flows out of the tap and fills the toilet bowl comes from the same place. But, before you panic, even if the plumbing for a bathroom sink and toilet are connected to the same place, there are safeguards.
Typically, the water that travels to the toilet goes through a tank and is above the water line to prevent cross-contamination. The water that exits the bathroom tap must travel a different route through the included plumbing connected to the fixture.
Is It Safe To Drink Water That Smells Like Sulfur?
If your water smells like sulfur, it is most likely still safe to drink, despite the unsettling aroma. However, there are moments where a sulfuric smell coming from your water is a sign to be wary of health hazards. Bacteria-based waste products could cause the sulfur smell in water or too much hydrogen sulfide from well water or groundwater sources. Take caution because you may notice a more pungent smell of sulfur when you use hot water. Plus, hydrogen sulfide can corrode pipes, causing debris to enter the water supply and shorten plumbing's lifespan.
When in doubt, conduct a test on your water to see how much of what particular elements are lurking. Water with a high amount of hydrogen sulfide can cause diarrhea, bitter-tasting water, dehydration, and clog pipes with slime that also promote bacterial growth.
Is Shower Water Safe To Drink?
Drinking water from the shower might seem harmless, but dirty showerheads and buildup in pipes can expose you to lead, Legionnaires disease, spores, and bacteria. Limit drinking or swallowing any water from the shower and stick to drinking from the kitchen tap instead. If you are concerned, consider adding a reverse osmosis filtration system to your plumbing to reduce and remove harmful contaminants.
Even hot water coming out of the showerhead is not safe. Showerheads with a buildup of grime, mildew, bacteria, and limescale can leech harmful elements via the water droplets. Additionally, the pipes that carry the water to the shower may release bacteria, lead from solder, and other unknown or known agents into the water. Caution should especially be taken in older buildings with plumbing that has been in use for ages.
Is There Bacteria In Hot Tap Water?
Even though the hot water coming out of the tap can come out with steam at a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria could still be lurking. The water that comes out of the hot side of your tap is often sitting in a reservoir, ready to be heated up whenever you need it. Because water can be sitting for long periods and experience fluctuating temperatures, this scenario makes it easy for bacteria and viruses to set up shop and proliferate.
Legionella is a common bacteria found in water heaters that can cause severe pneumonia-like symptoms. Testing water, changing filters and pipes may be necessary to reduce health risks.
Can Pets Get Sick From Drinking Toilet Water?
It might seem harmless letting your dog or cat drink from the toilet, but it could lead to health problems. Even if you clean your toilet regularly, the water in the toilet may contain hidden bacteria that could create gastrointestinal distress in animals.
Since the toilet is a receptacle for human waste, the water may be tainted with E.coli, Giardia, and cleaning chemicals that can make pets sick. Protect your furry family members by closing off bathroom access and lowering the lid on the toilet so they cannot easily drink from the toilet.
We hoped that you learned solid reasons to pass up drinking water from the bathroom tap and potential health risks. Do explore the possibilities of further purifying your water supply with a filter. Drinking water from the bathroom sink now and then might not be lethal, but repeatedly doing so can expose you and your loved ones to health problems.
Before you go, check out the following articles related to bathroom fixtures.