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What’s the age of your water?

Two developments in the late 1800s laid the groundwork for the drinking water infrastructure in America today. First, indoor plumbing, including fresh running water, became common. Second, people started moving from rural to urban areas. In response, in cities across the country, local governments built infrastructure to carry water from its source to private homes and businesses. Officials built these massive public projects with an ever-growing urban population in mind. Now, more than a century later, things have changed.

Shrinking cities

Today some American cities, particularly in the Northeast and the Rust Belt, are losing residents. Urban experts call these “shrinking cities,” and it’s easy to understand why. For instance, both Detroit and St. Louis have lost over 60 percent of their population since 1950.

Fewer people, smaller tax base

Reduced population is causing problems for urban water systems in a couple of different ways. For starters, infrastructure across the country is in dire need of repair and improved maintenance. But in places where fewer residents are contributing to the local tax base, money is not available to invest in water infrastructure projects.

Water age

Additionally, in a recent City Lab article, water experts explain that “water age, or time water spends in pipes from treatment to consumption” is increasing in shrinking cities. With fewer people to service, water is staying in the old systems longer. Instead of flushing through the system, it remains stagnant in the pipes.

The problem with high water age

The more time water spends in aging infrastructure, the more susceptible it becomes to microbial growth, pathogens, bacteria and corrosion from the pipes. The people most vulnerable to high water age are children, the elderly and those weakened by illness. Further, as far back as 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency determined, “Water age is a major factor in water quality deterioration within the distribution system.”

To provide the safest, cleanest and best tasting water for you and your family, the Coway Aquamega filters water at the last point before consumption—right at the kitchen tap. The filtration system is easy to install at your kitchen sink and provides an unlimited supply of purified, refreshing water. It also reduces common water contaminants, including lead, mercury and water-bourne cysts by up to 99 percent.