It’s a scorching summer day and you are in need of some water. You don’t feel like walking inside, so you think the garden hose or sprinkler is a great way to quench your thirst. You take a few gulps and then after you might be thinking is it safe to drink from a garden hose? It feels fine so it must be okay.
Well, the answer for the most part is a definite no. More than 80% of garden hoses are not safe to drink from. Why? Garden hoses aren’t manufactured to produce safe drinking water. They can contain mold, bacteria, and some very toxic chemicals. You might be asking, why is it safe to drink from my tap inside then?
The plumbing inside your home is specifically manufactured to produce water that is safe to drink and bathe in. On the other hand, garden hoses are constructed with certain material to serve other purposes like the ability to be as strong and flexible as they can be. This material can cause the water to be harmful to your body, making it unsafe to drink.
However, there are a few safe garden hoses that are manufactured with specific material that will deliver safe drinking water. Below, we will get into specific detail on the risks, tips, and how to avoid this situation.
Should You Actually Drink From Your Water Hose?
As we mentioned above a garden hose contains bacteria, mold, and some extremely toxic chemicals that are harmful to the body. So, no it is not safe to drink from a water hose, except for a few rare cases. Some of these toxic chemicals include:
Why do garden hoses need these toxic chemicals to function? Well, lead, phthalates, and BPA are used in water hoses to secure the plastics. These plastics will then go on to release vinyl chloride which is toxic and dangerous to the body. Bromine and antimony are also toxic and are used in the water hose.
There have been an immense amount of tests done where scientists have found a great amount of lead that exceeds the safety limits for users. Other toxic chemicals like organotin and antimony will affect the liver, kidneys, and cause other organ damage, while also hindering the endocrine system. Phythalates can alter your behavior and slowly impact your brain. Sounds dangerous right?
Some of you who have a vegetable garden will use your garden hose to water or wash your vegetables and then later you will consume them. You may not have thought of this, so let’s get into some ways to help reduce the risk and prevent any harm from happening. But first, we recommend watching this short video which will give you an overview on why drinking from a garden hose is dangerous.
How To Prevent The Risk?
As you now know, drinking from a water hose isn’t safe for you, your children, and your pets. There are ways to prevent this completely and ways to help reduce the risk. Let’s get into them.
- Buy a nonhazardous garden hose. Some hoses like the Flexzilla Garden Hose are lead-free and contain no BPA, Phthalates, or other toxic chemicals, therefore making it a safe garden hose to drink from. Other hoses like the Water Right Garden Hose are made from NSF and FDA certified polyurethane resin for safe drinking water.
- Keep the hose out of the sun. Hot temperatures and sunlight will increase the rate of toxic chemicals into your hose water. Heat will cause the polymers to degrade which leads to unsafe drinking water. You want to store your hose in a cool place to avoid this.
- Let the water run before using it right away. This tip is extremely simple. The worst contamination will come from the water that has been sitting in the hose for a while. You might be thirsty but you should let the water run for a minute or two which will reduce the amount of toxins. Letting the water run will also help prevent your hose from kinking right away.
- Keep an eye on the material. You might have switched to a safer hose but you should still always be aware of certain materials. Brass is commonly used to increase the strength of the couplings which usually contains lead. Therefore, the faucet may be the only hazardous part of your hose so you should let the water run every time before drinking from it. This will help remove the contamination.
- Don’t drink from it. You can always avoid this problem by never drinking from it which will 100% keep you, your pets, and children healthy. If you know now that your kids will be drinking from it, we strongly recommend buying a safe garden hose to drink from. Between a rubber or vinyl hose, we would suggest rubber as they are known to deliver safer drinking water.
Well, now you know that drinking water from your backyard hose isn’t the best idea. However, sometimes we just can’t help it. It might be a hot summer day and your dog and kids or just dying to have a drink. If that’s the case, you should look to buy a nonhazardous garden hose and follow all the above tips to help reduce the risk of contamination. If you have any questions, please leave our team a comment below.