Like any first world country, the UK has safer water than most countries in the world. But that does not mean it is flawless, and new data has revealed the best and the worst places to turn on the tap.
For this reason, many people might want to buy water ionisers to enhance the quality of the water they use to drink, making sure it is neither too acidic or too alkaline.
A new survey published by Homecure Plumbers has revealed the areas of England and Wales with the best and worst water across a range of indicators.
When water is alkaline, this is usually because it is hard as a result of excessive calcium. Hard water causes the build up of white limescale in kettles, pipes and shower heads, making it unpleasant to taste and no fun to bathe with either.
The survey showed this was most common in the south and east, naming Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex.
Hard water is most common in these areas because it tends to come from chalk-bearing aquifers containing a lot of calcium, instead of reservoirs fed by streams and rivers running down from upland areas, which is where northern and western regions get most of their water from.
Other problems are more widely dispersed. For instance, turbidity – cloudiness caused by deposits such as algae, plankton, silt and clay – is found most in the East of England, the north and in Bristol. High rates of aluminium are found in the north-east and south-west, while the areas with high nitrate levels broadly correspond with those suffering from hard water.
All this shows that the water people drink is usually a long way from perfect, so it cannot always be safe just to fill up from a tap and drink it straight away.