Can You Drink Your Cabin’s Water?

For some, “cabin life” is a little bit more rugged than for others. Some cabins are more like houses. Some are rickety old shacks in the woods. Some have bathrooms; some outhouses. Some cabins are connected to electricity while others run on generators.

However you define the word “cabin” in your family, there’s one thing that’s consistent:

It doesn’t really matter if the water that comes from your tap is connected on the other end to a city water source or to a well that was dug a century ago, the water you drink with, cook with, and bathe in most certainly contains toxins of some type. Whether it’s treated with chlorine to kill bacteria by the city or if fertilizers have run into your soil and contaminated the water in your well, unless you’ve installed a quality, approved filter, your water has toxins. 

Some Things You Can Do For Your Cabin Water Supply:

Have it Tested:

When a city tests water supplies for homes, there is a level of toxicity that they have determined is tolerable. Interestingly enough, standards of “toxicity” are determined by the EPA and the federal government, and are not a guarantee that your water is healthy. The standards are, instead, arbitrary levels that are ultimately a question of how much poison you are willing to tolerate in your home. Take, for instance, lead. It has been determined that lead is dangerous to individuals at any level, especially small children and pregnant women. So while a city water test may determine that your home falls below these levels, that doesn’t mean your family isn’t ingesting lead. It doesn’t mean your family isn’t being poisoned.

The best way to know the condition of your water is to have it tested by a lab. These tests are relatively inexpensive (and even free if you use a water treatment company who uses water testing as a way to connect with potential customers) and provide you with specific insight as to the condition of your water. For instance, only the lab tests will determine if the bacteria in your water is fecal-based bacteria (an important distinction). So find a testing source and learn your water.

Install a Solution:

As you consider what you should do with your water supply at the cabin, consider installing a filtration system. A simple solution can be sink-mounted and provide you with filtered, treated water that will taste good while it’s also good for you. 

At the very least, it is good to use a separate source of water for drinking and cooking. This will significantly mitigate risks to your health and will make the cabin experience much better for you and your family.

Learn More:

To read about the toxins and threats that could be effecting your water at the cabin, check out this article from Cabin Life magazine. They have brilliantly detailed the risks associated with rural water supplies, especially with wells that are antiquated or in need of repair.

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