Yes, but not in our water supply!
In English we use of the suffix “–cide” to denote something that kills or destroys something that we don’t want, such as germicide or bactericide. In agriculture there are some invasive species of plants (“weeds”) that could compromise the quality of the crop, and so farmers carefully select herbicides which are deemed harmless to people, but target the undesirable plant. Insecticides kill insect invaders, and fungicides handle the remainder. All of these subclasses fall under the general heading of Pesticide, because they control “pests” of all types.
Many farms are opting for non-chemical answers to deal with the invaders. For example, some crops, such as tomatoes, are commonly grown in greenhouses where the exposure is much more limited.
People still like field-tomatoes however. When an enemy of the tomato plant, like the aphid, comes a ’calling, farmers may break out a bag of refrigerated “ladybugs”, and sprinkle them around the field. Aphids are among the ladybug’s favorite food, so the problem is eliminated completely without employing modern chemistry. When the aphids are gone, the ladybugs die or move on and make more of the insect world’s cutest beetle.
Besides…the farmers get to charge more for “organic” tomatoes… even if the neighboring farm uses pesticides and the wind happened to blow it across the organic farm. The point is, even if humans can largely tolerate the herbicides and pesticides, it only takes a few seconds to wash your produce, so do that anyway.
Beyond the Farm
Pesticides and fertilizers are much more economical to use if you apply them only where they’re needed and in the minimum amount specified. To that end farmers use berms (earthen mounds) to contain liquids; they use low-profile spray systems that don’t spread materials where they are not wanted; and they keep an eye on the weather so they don’t spray when a wind could carry it away, or when heavy rains could wash it into a nearby stream or river.
Even with all of their care, some of these chemicals do eventually escape into the wider environment. Usually it’s in low enough doses that it does no harm. Sometimes it ends up in the water table, ponds, or lakes that are used by towns, villages, and cities for the drinking water supply.
Generally speaking, this is not something you need to worry about. The American Chemical Society (ACS) reported in 2013 that conventional water treatment, although not designed to remove pesticides from water, did it with 89% efficiency, and more advanced sewage treatment plant systems were 97% efficient. To put that in perspective we’re not talking about parts per thousand, parts per million, or even parts per billion. With that level of efficiency we’re talking less than one part per trillion (1x10^12).
The caution here is that they were talking about the removal of normal house & garden pesticides by municipal water treatment systems. If there were to be major effluent leaks and storm water overloads, they might not be as effective. There is a greater threat when you draw your own water from a pond, lake, or even your own well, since you are vulnerable to the actions of your neighbors.
Municipal water can be affected during storms, or by accidental spills; your well can be affected by a neighbor who has a leaky fuel oil tank; whose tile field is in a state of disrepair; who pours his used Motor Oil into the ditch after changing it from his car. This is where your household shower water filter comes into its own.
It protects you in case of an overload on the municipal water system; it protects you in case you have a horrible neighbor. Remember, conventional chlorine and odor filters do not eliminate much more than the chlorine itself, and usually, not even all of that! They were certainly not designed to cope with any of the other nastiness that might exist in your water.
Doing It Right
AquaBliss is proud to provide a multi-stage filter which eliminates 100% of the chlorine, the dissolved toxic metal ions, the undesirable microbes, and the unwanted chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers. The 10-12,000 gallon lifetime of our shower filter cartridges means you could have up to 700 showers (8 minutes each) while being protected from waterborne health threats. Really…where else can you find such an economical way to rid yourself of that worry?
If you live in an area with less than perfect water (as most of us do), please feel free to look over our exceptional selection of high quality filtration products. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Just click here to go directly to our online contact form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Whether you’re interested in high quality fixed or handheld shower heads, shower filters, or bidets, we’re here to help you make your water better!