Did You Know Not All Tap Water Is Kosher?
Is your tap water Kosher?
Now, we know what you may be thinking… how can my tap water not be Kosher?! Depending on where you are in the world, there is a chance that it might not be, and surprisingly, New York City is one of those places!
For anyone who may be unfamiliar, Kosher food is food prepared in accordance with Jewish Dietary Laws, and many Jewish individuals in the world adhere to these guidelines. These include never eating meat and dairy together and that fish must have fins and removable scales, making shellfish non-kosher.
So When is Water Not Kosher?
New York City’s tap water contains tiny shrimp called copepods. While this can certainly make you want to swear off NYC’s tap water forever, these microscopic crustaceans are not actually harmful at all, and are instead used to clear the water of mosquito larvae. They are also so tiny that they are usually invisible to the naked eye but can sometimes be seen in water as small white specks.
While their addition may lead to cleaner water, the presence of copepods means that New York City’s unfiltered tap water is technically non-kosher. Residents, restaurants, bakeries, operated under Orthodox Jewish law have been advised to filter NYC tap water to ensure that it is kosher and copepod-free.
There are over eleven thousand copepod species, and they can be found across many of the world’s different water sources. Filtering your tap water is the only sure-fire way to ensure they don’t make it into your glass.
How Can I Make Sure My Water is Kosher?
You’re probably wondering how you can provide Kosher water if you observe Orthodox Jewish law – or if simply the thought of drinking shrimp with your water makes you feel icky!
Luckily, this part is simple – use a Kosher-certified filtration system like ZeroWater.
Our 5-Stage Filter removes copepods plus virtually all other total dissolved solids (TDS) and contaminants in your water – see for yourself!
What Other Contaminants Can be Found in Tap Water?
After learning about the copepod situation in New York City, naturally you start to wonder what else is in my tap water?
These are five contaminants that everyone should be aware of.
1. Heavy Metals
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates water in the United States and requires Federal and State governments to abide by a set of standards which determine how much, if any, of a contaminant is acceptable in drinking water sources.
Heavy metals like arsenic, antimony, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, selenium and many more can find their way into the water supply and cause issues for those who consume them in high levels. There are many causes for heavy metal contamination, including groundwater movement and surface water seepage and run-off.
The Flint, Michigan water crisis illuminated the serious issues that arise when lead is consumed by humans. Lead is exceptionally toxic to humans and should never be consumed. However, it found its way into Flint’s water supply by the water from the river reacting with the distribution system's service pipes and solder causing corrosion.
Another heavy metal that gained significant attention when it found its way into water supply is chromium. The movie “Erin Brockovich” with Julia Roberts showcased the small town of Hinkley, CA and the trauma they experienced due to the cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium (chromium 6) in their drinking water.
2. Artificial chemicals like PFOA/PFOS/PFAS
Unfortunately, artificial chemicals can sometimes find themselves into water supplies. These man-made compounds belong to a group of chemicals called polyfluoroalkyl substances and they are harmful for humans and pets to ingest. Found in Teflon and lining of fast-food wrappers/containers, they prove exceptionally difficult to control and are not currently regulated.
We talk more about the concerns around PFOA/PFOS/PFAS here.
Most people immediately think of chlorine as a disinfectant that keeps pools clean, but did you know it is commonly added to drinking water supplies to keep them clean as well?
Even though diluted chlorine is non-toxic, it can have negative effects in the long term like asthma on top of its generally unpleasant taste and smell.
Found in most toothpaste, many state and local governments add small levels of fluoride to the water supply due to its properties that help prevent cavities. However, consuming large levels of fluoride in drinking water can cause bone issues.
5. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
TDS refers to the levels of dissolved ions in your water, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and nitrates. Naturally filtered through bedrock and soil, these ions are safe at lower levels. However, problems begin when TDS increase beyond what would accumulate naturally.
So, how do you find out the level of TDS in your drinking water? You can use a TDS meter, like this one that comes with each ZeroWater 5-stage filtration device. The meter shows the number of solid particles per one million water particles (ppm). The chart below explains the recommended contaminant level plus how long a water filter will last given the TDS reading.
At higher levels, water is characterized as “hard” and not only can it taste bitter, it can actually increase the corrosive ability of the water.
On top of alleviating any concern for contamination, filtering your water ensures you are getting the purest tasting H20 out there. ZeroWater’s 5-Stage Filtration Pitchers and Dispensers are the gold standard for water filtration and they can meet your unique needs, whether your concerns are for Kosher-certified water or hard water that tastes bitter.
See for yourself how the purest tasting water out there can enhance your daily life.