While clean water is common in the Western World, there are still places that suffer from poor sources. There are also issues with other areas of home sanitation, putting the health of millions of people at risk. Improving your home sanitation is essential if you want to improve your health and if you want to protect your family.
In some cases, you will not have to do a lot to make some changes to your home sanitation. However, this will depend on the severity of the problem.
Here’s your complete guide to help improve your home sanitation for better health.
Bacteria Grows in Water in the Western World
If you start looking at home sanitation and the effects on the health online, you will mostly come up with water issues in the developing world. Well, the developed world can also have problems. Bacteria can grow in the water anywhere in the world, and it is up to you to do due diligence on your water supply to make sure it is safe.
There is also the case of flooding in the home. Flooding can be something as simple as an accidental overrun bath, or you may have had rain water run into the home due to a bad storm. If left, any water can become unsanitary and damaging to the health. Blackwater from storms can cause more health problems, but any can create issues if left in the home.
Rather than assume you are safe because you live in a developed world, it is important to consider whether you can improve the sanitation in your home.
Knowing If You Have a Water Problem
How do you know if your water is causing a problem in your home? What are the signs that you need to get someone out to check your plumbing or need to call your water company? Cloudy water could just be a temporary glitch in the water supply, right?
Well, cloudy water is certainly one of the ways to tell your water supply needs to be checked, but it is certainly not the only one. In fact, clear water can be contaminated, and you will need to use other methods to test.
Bacteria in the water will cause health problems. It can go unnoticed for a while, despite the water companies checking regularly. Moreover, it is not even just bacteria. Minerals and chemicals in the water can cause a problem. So, how do you know if you have a water problem?
The smell of rotten eggs from your tap. One of the most precise ways to tell if there is an issue is if you can taste or smell rotten eggs. When the sulfur levels build up in the water, they give off a smell of rotten eggs. Sulphur is a naturally occurring mineral, which can lead to it naturally getting into your water in large amounts. The water company has a legal requirement to make sure the sulfur levels are kept to a minimum, so you can call if you smell the strong scent.
There is an odd taste. Unfortunately, other chemicals and minerals can get into your water naturally. Arsenic, uranium, and even chlorine is possible. They do not tend to have a smell, but you may be able to taste the minerals that have built up. Most of the time the water company will rectify the problem right away due to regular testing of the water.
However, there are times that water is contaminated from local land use practices. Pesticides and fertilizers can make their way into the water from other sources, and the water companies will not always know about them. You will usually get a foul taste from most of the problems and will be able to talk to your water supply to have a test carried out to make sure your water is safe to drink.
There is a cloudy look. Of course, the color of your water will give away if there is contamination and the water is unsanitary. This could be due to minerals, but you can also get cloudy water from other unsanitary contamination. Water runs through farmlands, which can mean some animal waste ends up in the water accidentally. Overflowing sewers and wastewater malfunctions can lead to some contamination.
Sometimes the issue will be with your septic tank. If it is broken, you will need to have this fixed to protect your water supply. When the issue is due to a third party, it is up to them and your water company to deal with the situation. Check on the color of the water before drinking it to make sure it is safe.
You are ill after drinking. Unfortunately, some contaminants leave no scent or taste. They do not affect the coloring of your water, which can cause you to become ill after you have drunk them. The water board has a legal requirement to test for more than 90 contaminants in your water. These include the likes of E. coli and salmonella.
If you are ill after drinking, you will need to prove that it has been your water. Arranging for the water to be tested is the best way to determine if it is a water problem.
A Change in Smell or Taste Is Not Always a Sign of Unsanitary Water
It is worth noting that while a change in smell or taste can be a sign that there is a water problem, it is not always the case. The same applies to a change in the look.
If your water supply has changed or there has been some work on your water supply system, you may see a temporary change to the look and smell of the water. Usually, you will get a warning of work on your water supply. This will be a sign to look out for changes that may just be temporary.
Try running the water for a few minutes before pouring your glass of water. This will give the water time to run the buildup of minerals that may have occurred during the change.
If you are worried at all, then you should call your water supplier and get everything checked. You can also ring to find out if there has been any work recently.
It is Not Just About Your Water
While water is an important part of home sanitation, it is not the only part. You also need to consider your septic tank, your bathroom, and even your kitchen sanitation. Here are top tips for ensuring good sanitation for better health.
Disinfect Your Toilet Regularly. Your toilet will harbor several bacteria and contaminants. You need to clear them out periodically. Use disinfectant once a week as part of your regular cleaning routine. There is no need to get in and scrub, but you should use disinfectant tablets and washes to ensure your toilet cleans with every flush you make.
It is also important to stay on top of emptying any septic tank that you have. An overrunning septic tank will lead to unsanitary water in your ground. Even if you go nowhere near the tank regularly, the water will run through your ground and towards your home. You put your whole family at risk.
If there are any signs of your toilet or septic tank being broken, make sure you fix them as soon as possible. Hire a professional to do the jobs to make sure all issues are fixed fully.
Purify Your Air to Remove Germs. We all spread germs. It is a common part of living, but that does not mean you just have to put up with them. If you leave the germs to multiply in the home, you put your whole family at risk of health problems.
One of the easiest elements of home sanitation is to purify the air. Get a purifier with some eucalyptus oil or other menthol oil. The purifier will help to clear out your sinuses while helping to kill off the bacteria and germs that have accumulated in your home.
The purification process will also improve your mood. You will find your hormones are more in balance and your immune system works better.
Do not also forget to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or a cough. Wash your hands afterward and use tissues as much as possible. This helps to limit the spread of germs, making the rest of your family ill.
Clear Out the Trash Regularly. Do not leave the trash to build up in your home. Clear all your surfaces throughout the day and put everything in a trash can with a lid. When the bin is full, put the trash out. Make sure you have an outside bin if you are not in an apartment with a trash shoot. This will help prevent vermin form opening your trash bags and allowing your trash to spread across your garden.
Separate your recycling and non-recycling trash. This will not just help to prevent contamination and spread of disease, but will also help to protect the environment.
Make sure you have enough trash cans around the house. You will need one in the bathroom for all your waste in there while having one in the kitchen and some in the bedroom. This will help to avoid a buildup of waste in one part of the house and prevents you walking through the house with your waste, leading to bacteria spread.
Create a Good Cleaning Routine. You will need to clean the whole home to help remove the bacteria and germs. This is not just about putting the trash out or washing the toilet. You will need to clean the surfaces, mop and vacuum the floors, and clean out the baths and sinks. Dusting is not enough to help get rid of all the bacteria. Use sanitized water to get rid of all the issues.
Do not allow people to walk through the home with shoes on. Have a rack by the door to place them to help prevent the spread of dirt, grime, and outdoor bacteria through your home. Have a pair of slippers if you are uncomfortable wearing nothing on your feet around the home. This is especially important if you have young children. It keeps the home sanitized easier when they are rolling on the floor and picking anything and everything up.
Deal With Flooding Right Away. Whatever type of flooding you have, you should deal with it right away. It takes just 24-48 hours for bacteria growth to start, even from clean water flooding! However, black water that comes from outside is extremely important to clear up right away.
You will want to throw out anything that you cannot dry out and restore within 48 hours. A flood remediation company will often be helpful for deciding on whether items can be restored or not. Do not forget to have the drywall examined, as bacteria growth often goes missed within here.
Keep Your Cooking Area Sanitary. Many people overlook their kitchen. Well, they clean, but they forget about the contamination of nearby food and items. Before you even think about cooking your meals, move everything out of the way and clean the area. Raw meat and vegetables can carry bacteria or harmful particles that will contaminate nearby items. Get the wine classes, recipes cards, and other countertop items out of the way to avoid this.
Disinfect the countertop before cooking. Something may fall off the chopping board while cooking. If the area has been disinfected, there is a negligible risk of bacteria from the countertop contaminating your food. You can still use it. Likewise, always wash your hands before cooking. Your hands are one of the worst parts of the body for bacteria and germ growth. You do not want to contaminate your food with them.
Wash your hands in between handling diverse types of food. That means when you move from the vegetables to the meat, you should wash your hands. Try to keep the handling of the same types of food together to help limit your need to wash your hands constantly! Chop all your vegetables together and then move to the meat.
Keep the meat and vegetables separate when they are uncooked. You can cause contamination of the several types of foods, putting your and your family’s health at risk.
Make sure any food you prepare is cooked through, especially when it comes to meat. If you are cooking to reheat later, allow the food to completely cool before placing in the fridge to prevent contamination of other food in the fridge. Only reheat the food once to avoid bacteria growth and making your family ill.
Home sanitation is more than just checking on the water quality. You will need to follow cleaning and food handling tips for better health.