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Can You Drink Shower Water? – What You Need to Know!

Can You Drink Shower Water
Written by Jenny Molin
Last Update: March 16, 2023

Can you drink shower water?

The answer is yes because the law dictates that all publicly and privately owned water systems in the US should provide potable water. This means no matter if the supply water comes from your shower or toilet or kitchen, you can drink it without any issues.

But your water supply may have some impurities like bacteria, chemicals, and minerals. In that case, this won’t be a good idea and you will need a filtration system in the house to stay on the safe side.

There are also some other factors to consider when determining if you can drink shower water. Let’s talk about those factors and then we’ll decide what to do in each situation.

Is Shower Water Safe to Drink? – Things You Need to Know Before Drinking

Is shower water safe to drink

  • Your water source

If your shower water comes from the water supply that’s usually drinkable, you are safe to drink it. But if there is another source that you think is polluted, you should think twice before you take a sip.

  • Hot/cold water

Cold water in your shower usually comes from the main line while the heating system provides hot water.

Drinking hot water from the shower is not recommended because a hot water tank can heat up the water to a maximum of 60 degree Celsius, which is not enough to kill microorganisms and other particles that can irritate your respiratory system.

  • Sodium level

Sodium is often used by water treatment plants to reduce water hardness, and the EPA recommends that the sodium level should not exceed 20mg/l because long-term use of high sodium levels can be detrimental to your health.

You can use a specific sodium removal water filter or a water softener filter to tackle this issue.

  • Lead pipes

The use of lead pipes in water supply, particularly in drinking water, has been banned since 1970 because high levels of lead exposure have different harmful effects on children and adults.

If you live in an old house with lead water distribution pipes, you need to replace the lead service line as soon as you can.

  • Shower heads

Since shower heads stay damp almost all the time, this promotes mold growth. However, if you regularly keep your shower heads clean and aren’t sensitive to mold, you can drink shower water.

What Can Happen if You Drink Shower Water?

Unless there’s an emergency, should you take the risk of compromising your health by drinking shower water?

As said before, shower water is usually not potable or safe for consumption, since it may contain contaminants such as bacteria, chemicals, or minerals. These substances are harmful to your health if ingested over time, especially if you have a weakened immune system.

Also, your shower water may contain soap, shampoo, and other products used during bathing, which can cause irritation to your digestive system or skin.

In some cases, shower water may also be contaminated by harmful substances such as lead or bacteria if the plumbing or water supply is compromised.

If you accidentally ingest a small amount of shower water, you may experience mild symptoms such as nausea, stomach upset, or diarrhea.

Other health consequences of drinking contaminated water include cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio.

About the author

Jenny Molin

Interior Design Artist

Hello, I’m Jenny. I’ve been an interior design artist by profession since my B.S. in Interior Design. I’m a minimalist and prefer to save space when choosing fixtures, sinks and fittings. My style tends to make the most out of the least amount of space. The idea behind every interior design project is unique and it reflects personal style, taste and tradition. I’ve learned more when working than I ever did while I was studying in college. I worked in more than 12 hundred households all across the US and got positive feedback. I’ve been working with FaucetsReviewed as one of the founding members and regularly contributing to the site via testing and reviewing various interior fittings and fixtures.

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