There once was a time when drinking from a garden hose was the best way to quench your thirst. A spigot was the next best option for any group of kids.
However, we’ve discovered that this likely wasn’t the best idea. No matter how dry your mouth is, you should choose a safer way to hydrate.
Today, we’ll examine why you should avoid drinking from the hose.
Let’s get started!
We All Did It, Drinking from a Garden Water Hose
Slurping from a garden hose was a right of passage for many kids growing up. Kids spent most of the day outdoors, and parents didn’t want them tracking dirt in the house. As a result, these lawn care accessories became the neighborhood fountain.
However, this generation was the same generation that rarely wore seat belts or helmets. It was a different time when ignorance was bliss. We have access to more information and can use it to make better decisions.
While there are some safe for drinking, that’s not the standard. Potable versions are substantially more expensive than standard versions. In most cases, it’s not worth the added cost since you’re using these items to take care of your grass, wash a vehicle, or many other situations.
Drinking from a water hose can have negative health consequences. While you may have used this method for decades and never experienced any issues, it only takes one bad incident before you’ll never do it again.
Pro Tip: If you live the RV life and don’t have a garden, you’ll still need a hose on hand. Find out just How Many Hoses Should an RVer Carry?
#1 Some Water Hoses Are Made for Gardens, Not Drinking
While garden hoses may look and function the same, there are some significant differences to consider. A typical one can help hydrate your yard or spray down dirty things. But if you plan to fill up your cup from it, you’ll want to ensure it’s rated for it.
The materials aren’t the only difference between these two products. A 25-foot drinking water hose will often cost twice as much as the standard version. But it’s worth every penny if you’re using it to hydrate.
#2 You Could Drink Bacteria with the Hose Water
Bacteria are sneaky and can hide in unsuspecting places, including garden hoses. You may not know it, but bacteria could be growing on the inside of it and finding their way into your drink. The only way to avoid this is to do regular maintenance and cleanings, but very few people do this. When was the last time you cleaned yours?
Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria and other harmful organisms. Save yourself the trouble and fill your glass inside from the tap.
#3 Water Hose Fittings May Contain Lead
Unfortunately, many inexpensive models will utilize brass and other metal fittings that can contain lead. This toxic element can find its way into your drinking water when it comes in contact with these fittings.
The Ecology Center at Ann Arbor tested standard garden hoses. They found that approximately 30% of the models they tested contained lead exceeding standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The only way to avoid this is to ensure get one with high-quality fittings that say lead-free. Don’t forget to check any attachments you use. Most cheap accessories have the same kind of brass.
#4 Unclean Water May Make You Sick
Not all water is safe, and it can cause some serious health effects. The most common symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. You could still get sick even if you’re using a potable drinking hose.
Trust us; this isn’t how you want to spend a few days.
However, untreated water can also cause more serious issues. Some people develop severe skin rashes and issues with their reproductive organs. Young children can experience development problems. The long-term health effects, such as cancer, can also be a severe concern and aren’t worth the risk of drinking from a garden hose.
#5 Drinking Water from the Hose May Contain Toxic Materials
Some hoses are better than others. If you plan to drink from it, you must ensure that manufacturers use food-grade materials during construction. If not, you could end up consuming harmful and dangerous chemicals.
Standard garden models typically use plastic as their primary construction material. This can cause high levels of phthalates to get into the water. These chemicals help increase durability but aren’t something you want to consume.
Other toxins in your hose include bromine, lead, tin, and BPA. These aren’t anything you want to take lightly. They can cause severe and long-term health issues for anyone consuming the H2O.
How to Reduce the Risk When Drinking Water from a Hose
You can do several things if you regularly use your hose for drinking water. First off, you need to choose the right model. These will have a label that indicates they’re made from food-grade materials and are lead-free.
Next, flush and clean it regularly with vinegar solution. Let it run for several seconds before taking a drink. This will help remove any bugs or dirt build-up and keep you safe.
Don’t underestimate the importance of how you store your hose. You want to empty it as much as possible and keep it in a dry place. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight, which can break down the materials and cause harmful chemicals to leach into the liquid inside.
Finally, use a filter attachment to help eliminate any potential impurities. These are relatively inexpensive, but they can provide a layer of security. Just ensure you regularly replace it to enjoy the benefits of clean and safe water.
Pro Tip: Use your garden hose to water these 10 Most Beautiful Spring Flowers (Plus How to Plant Them).
If You’re Thirsty, Upgrade Your Garden Hose
Just because we did something in the past isn’t an excuse to continue to do it today. We have the benefit of science and technology advancements to keep us safe. Just because you and the rest of the neighborhood regularly drank from a water hose in the past doesn’t mean you should do it today.
You never know what’s in the water and how it will affect you. Fill your bottle inside and carry it with you so you can always hydrate safely when needed.
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