How Safe Is Our Tap Water


Should we be concerned about giving it to our dogs? 

I must admit I’ve never been all that concerned about our drinking water, I guess we all just take it for granted it’s safe here in the UK. 
But just recently I’ve really questioned our drinking water supply issues that have been unfolding and to further my concerns, whilst I write this blog there has been the awful outbreak of contamination in South Devon (UK) with the lethal Cryptosporidium, a water born parasite. 

This is a parasite that is present in human and other animal’s poo

The Symptoms are…..

  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Dehydration
  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Lack of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

I’ve been digging deeper, researching for my health. Looking into what I’m actually consuming and what I could improve on and need to improve. I found you don’t need to dig all that deep to reveal the worrying finds.

Bottled water to me has always seemed to be a clever marketing thing and something personally I’ve never bought into but since my findings, I am leaning more towards it or at least filtering it myself. 

What does this have to do with dogs I hear you say,.

Over the last few years, I’ve noted more & more dog folk using water purifiers or filter jugs for not only themselves but also sharing with their pets too. I must admit I always thought this to be a bit “woo woo” and over the top. Since my findings, it’s gone off like a light bulb in my head, that what we’ve trusted for decades in our UK drinking water, maybe we shouldn’t always believe what is fed to us. 

I recently read an article regarding Poly and Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances, PAFS for short, these are toxic chemicals that we come into contact within our everyday living, what’s shocking is where they hide.  But most worryingly we consume them in vast quantities within our drinking water, something we do every day without a second thought.  They have been given the nickname “the forever chemicals” because they never break down, they are persistent. They not only survive for a very long time before breaking, they have the worrying ability to accumulate in living organisms, meaning that even at low levels of exposure they can gradually build up over time to a point where they become harmful.

So, what are they?
They’re a large group of synthetic chemical compounds with grease- and water-repelling properties. Around the world, companies use PFAS to manufacture a range of consumer products. These include non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, dental floss, carpets and food packaging. They’re also used to make industrial products such as firefighting foams (Zanolli). They were first made in the 1940’s


Are they harmful?

Studies link exposure to a variety of health problems. These range from those affecting pregnancy, fertility, sexual development and menopause; to immune problems including ulcerative colitis and reduced response to tetanus vaccination. Kidney, liver and testicular cancers have also been linked to PFAS. So have high cholesterol and thyroid disease (Salvidge). It’s estimated there are around 4,700 -8000 different PFAS world wide 
Our bodies absorb PFAS in every aspect of living and not just through drinking tap water.
From the plastic food wrapping it is thought they leach into the foods contained to the plastic water bottles, we carry with us.  The list is endless. 
Hugely damaging to our environment and undoubtedly to our health and all living creatures. 
Is it any wonder we have so many unknown illnesses like never before and so many dogs with endless health issues such as skin allergies and gut problems? 


This is global

Cambridgeshire Water admits it had to turn off a water supply when it found the aquifer had 4 times the legal maximum limits of a PFAS chemical. Worryingly, it did not inform residents at the time of their exposure. Nor did the utility tell them how long the exposure lasted.
In England and Wales they are only required to risk assess for 2 and in Scotland it’s only 1. 
Concerningly these risk assessments do not happen routinely. 

The UK governing body (The drinking water inspectorate) sets a limit of 10 nanograms per 1 Litre of water, but remember they are only permitted to test for 2 PFAS and there are up to 8,000 different ones. 

We also need to be aware of other contaminants

  • Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic. 
  • Pollutants such as pesticides, and herbicides.
  • Nitrates runoff from farmland. 
  • Microorganisms, Bactria, viruses and parasites 



Time to make that switch

Using a water filtration jug can lessen these contaminates. The filter systems that use activated carbon filters. They absorb many contaminants and can be extremely effective. Always make sure to replace these filters regularly.

The next form is something called reversed osmosis 
With the reverse osmosis proccess, water is forced at a high pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane consists of minuscule-sized pores and, whilst PFAS can vary in size, they are almost always far larger than these membrane pores, which stops them in their tracks

Since scratching the surface with my little bit of research, I’ve invested in my first-ever filter jug for myself to use &  to give & share with my dogs.

And yes I understand water filtration won’t remove all of it but it will undoubtedly remove some and that’s got to be better than not using one. It can remove up to 90%.

I have chosen the filter jug developed by a company called Phox.

They use a coconut shell-activated carbon filter. I love this company for its ethics and innovation.

Contaminants, skin & gut issues

If you have a sensitive dog that suffers from skin or gut issues or both then I would always recommend giving them filtered water only. Their bodies can collect contaminates just like our bodies and store them, circulating toxins within the bloodstream. 
I highly recommend you start a detox using Dorwest Milk Thistle and a good water filter Jug.

For those that use the chemical route for  Flea & Tick chemicals

Please resist and look into natural less damaging for you’re dog and our environment.

Why, because these have also been found to pollute our streams and rivers
Worryingly A study by Wild New Forest and the Freshwater Habitats Trust showed high levels of imidacloprid, found in spot-on treatments, at four locations.
Researchers said one of the sites, Dibden Bottom, had levels of imidacloprid at nearly double the internationally agreed toxicity threshold for aquatic invertebrates. This is an area used by dog owners who’s dogs like to swim in the waters. 

Imidacloprid is a highly toxic pesticide that is banned for use in outdoor agriculture but continues to be widely used in pet flea treatments, typically applied to the back of the pet’s neck – known as spot-ons.

Absolutely bonkers to read it’s banned from agriculture, yet still dished out “legally” for our pets to be treated with. 
I’ve repeated many times to dog owners this highly toxic chemical for flea treatments is also absorbed by owners and their children and other family members within the same household. This has been well documented with women using HRT, so why would this be any different?

Food for thought……

We all need to do our bit however small.




Recent Posts

Is Bone Broth good for dogs?

Giving your dog bone broth has huge health benefits. Bone broth for dogs can not only help to support their gut & joints but will aid in supporting their overall immunity.From puppies to the elderly, it will benefit them incredibly.Bone

Read More »
Help, my dog has flea's. How do I get rid of them?

Help, my dog has fleas!

I think most of us dog parents know only too well how these parasites such as fleas are becoming harder to keep at bay.   I feel many are missing a trick here, because we need to look at our dogs

Read More »

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Fill in the form below to sign up to the Nellies Nibbles newsletter

Share this post with your friends