Is Shower Water Safe to Drink? Read This and Think Again!

Gulping some shower water while gargling isn’t rare. And that doesn’t have any serious effect on your health. But the situation changes when you get habituated to drinking shower water. 

So, is shower water safe to drink? No, shower water isn’t safe to drink because it can contain lead, impurities, bacteria, or other contaminants. Unless your life is at risk, you shouldn’t drink water from the shower or the bathroom faucet.

I will go deeper into the reasons why you shouldn’t do this. Read them carefully and be aware of the risks. Let’s begin.

Why Shouldn’t You Drink Shower Water? Detailed Explanation

Remember, not all the reasons may apply to your case. But it is better to be careful than repent. Check out the complexities that can occur if you drink shower water.

Risk 1: It Can Cause Lead Poisoning

If your home was built decades ago, chances are the plumbing system of the home has lead pipes. When water is exposed to lead, it can contain harmful elements to human health. Drinking lead-contaminated water for a long time can cause lead poisoning.

As it is a slow process, you might not be concerned until it is too late. Lead poisoning can cause respiratory problems, hypertension, skin irritation, and other problems. Blood pressure can also rise due to it.

Why Shouldn’t You Drink Shower Water Detailed Explanation

How to Deal With the Risk?

You have a few things to do if there are lead pipes in your home.

  • First of all, buy lead filters and install them into the showerheads. It will prevent lead-contaminated water from coming out.
  • If it is financially viable, you can consider replacing the plumbing pipes. Install copper pipes to prevent contamination in water.

Risk 2: Old Shower Heads or Faucets Can Contain Bacteria or Mold

As the water flows through the showerheads or faucets, molds grow around the heads. This happens over time, so your showerhead will have more bacteria or mold if it is a few years old.

Even if you clean the outside of the showerhead or faucet, bacteria or molds may remain on the inside. If you drink water from the shower, you are at risk of having diarrhea, nausea, or other bacterial diseases.

The risk increases when you have an unfiltered water supply. If you live in urban areas where the water supply is regulated by the EPA, you are comparatively safer. But if you live outside the town, you should never drink water from an old shower head or bathroom faucet.

How to Deal With the Risk?

You can take the following steps to deal with bacteria or mold.

  • If the shower head is removable, you need to disassemble it and clean it thoroughly. Make sure there are no stains on the head.
  • Using external filters can be an easy option if you can’t clean the shower head. Just buy filters and attach them to the outside of the showerheads. These filters will prevent bacteria or mold from coming into your water.

Risk 3: Water Softeners Make the Water Unsafe

This is a risk for people living in hard water areas. Water is considered hard when minerals like magnesium or calcium are present in it at a high percentage. Hard water isn’t suitable for drinking, bathing, or washing clothes. Water softeners are used to turn hard water into soft water.

These softeners are commonly salt-based. They have sodium to eliminate magnesium or calcium from hard water and make it soft. Though the water becomes usable for bathing or washing, it is unsafe for drinking. 

The amount of sodium ions increases in such water. If it goes over 20 mg/L, it can be risky to drink for people on a low-sodium diet, says the Environmental Protection Agency. 

How to Deal With The Risk?

  • The first option is not to use water softeners at all. It might make cleaning clothes a bit difficult.
  • Another way is to use water softeners that don’t have salt or sodium. That way, the water gets soft, but there will be no risk of sodium intake. Still, I suggest not drinking from the shower.

Risk 3: Contaminants Can Come from the Water Heater

Hot water is considered to be germ-free in the general sense. But that isn’t the case with hot water coming from your water heater. When water is heated and cooled, it becomes a suitable ground for bacteria growth. 

Water heater temperature set points and usage patterns can influence the growth of Legionella pneumophila.

If the main water supply line before the water heater isn’t monitored, various contaminants can enter the tank. And they will flow through the showerheads. So, drinking warm or cold water from a line that is connected to the heater can be outright dangerous. 

How to Deal With the Risk?

  • The only way to avoid the risk of drinking contaminated water from heaters is not to drink from showerheads or faucets.
  • You may use a filter on the showerheads, but still, you shouldn’t drink that water.

Risk 5: Uncovered Water Tanks Can Be Highly Polluted

If you have a storage tank for water in your house, it should be protected against outdoor elements. Dirt and debris can enter the tank if it isn’t properly covered. Even rainwater storage can also contain a lot of contaminants. 

Over time, these storage tanks get too dirty. If you don’t clean the tanks periodically, the water inside the tank becomes too risky to drink.

How to Deal With the Risk?

  • You must ensure proper coverage of water tanks. 
  • If the tanks are outside, make sure rainwater or other elements can’t enter the tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check answers to some commonly asked questions about drinking shower water.

Q: Can I drink boiled shower water?

A: Though boiling can kill bacteria in water, other contaminants like dirt or chemical contaminants can remain there. So, you shouldn’t drink it.

Q: Can drinking shower water make you sick?

A: Of course. Bacterial attacks will happen quickly, and you may suffer from diarrhea, nausea, or other problems. Slower attacks include lead poisoning.

Q: Can you die from drinking shower water?

A: Shower water may not be deadly. But if you drink regularly, you can suffer from various diseases. And improper treatment can sometimes lead to death.

Final Thoughts

As shower water and kitchen water are mostly supplied from the same source, many think they can drink shower water. But is shower water safe to drink?

Not at all. In fact, drinking shower water can be harmful to health and cause serious consequences. From lead poisoning to bacterial diseases, shower water can make you suffer a lot. So, the best practice is to avoid shower water for drinking.


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