Almost 20 years ago, we moved from a community that has just about the finest water in the state, to a smaller community with a water system based on a system of wells. One of the first questions new residents have in our town is always "why does the water smell so bad?" The answer is that our well water contains large amounts of hydrogen sulfide, which produces that unforgettable "rotten egg" smell in water, along with excessive amounts of manganese, and in parts of our community, iron. Our water management officials have worked to comply with state-ordered changes in our water supply, but in the meantime, we took care of the problem with a Kinetico Water Purification System. The only flaw is that our older system uses salt as a softening agent, and we have no reverse osmosis system to mitigate it.
Therefore, in our household, since sodium intake is of concern, both to us and to our cats, we use bottled water for drinking. I buy the large bottles labeled "drinking," which have a few minerals added for taste, and use it exclusively in our cats' two automatic watering systems.
Do You Know the Content in Your Cat's Water?
Every year we receive a document from our local water management board, giving us the latests tests of our water, and comparing the various mineral ingredients with state standards. I don't know if this is a state law, because I don't recall receiving similar communications in other communities where we've lived. However, each year I appreciate receiving it and read it in great detail.
I encourage you to do the same. If you live in a city or incorporated town, go to your local city (or town) hall, and ask for the "water quality department." They all go by different names, but you should end up at the agency that oversees the water quality in your community. If you live in an unincorporated area, visit or call your county government offices, and ask for the same department. Once you have reached the proper source, ask them for any written material they have on the quality of your water. It is my understanding that all agencies must comply with either state or federal regulations governing water quality, and will have these reports available for public review.
My report gives acceptable state standards for each mineral or other potential contaminents in water (such as bacteria), then shows the local percentage. This makes it easy for me to compare. If you have questions about anything in your own report, ask your local officials to explain. If you are still concerned about the quality of your water, consider installing either a whole-house system, or at the least, a sink system for your kitchen. If you have a water dispenser in your refrigerator, there are also small filtering units that can be attached to the water inlet. BestFilters.com has a list of recommended filters, both whole-house and "local," and seems to have no commercial connection to any of them.
If all else fails, you might want to consider using bottled water for drinking, and for your cats. The important thing is that they have a readily accessible source for fresh, clean water at all times. Let's drink to that!
If you found this article useful, you might want to enroll in my free email class, The Role of Food in Your Cat's Health.