How To Improve Drinking Water in the Home and at School

Whether they're in the classroom or at the kitchen table, it's important for children to have quality drinking water at home and at school.

man handing drinking water to child
While there are many ways to improve your home's drinking water, there are also options you can explore to keep your students and staff happy and hydrated at school.
Let's dive in!

Why Is It Important For Kids to Stay Hydrated?

To start, let's talk about why it's important for kids to stay hydrated. And how much water children need in a day to learn, grow and play.
The amount of water kids need in a day depends on a variety of factors. But children should typically drink the number of eight-ounce cups of water equal to their age, with a maximum of 64 ounces of water for children over the age of eight. These amounts do not include other beverages they may consume such as milk and juice.
And just like adults, there are other things to consider when giving your children water. Activity levels and the weather also impact the amount of water needed.
Since we now know a little bit more about how much water children need, let's discuss some of the things you can do to improve drinking water at home and at school.

How Can You Improve Drinking Water At Home?

During these unprecedented times, we're spending more time at home than ever before. And we're using more of our home's water supply for cooking and drinking.
With consumption levels so high, it's necessary to make sure that your home's water is free of any contaminants. Including lead, iron, magnesium, arsenic, nitrates and bacteria to name a few.
So what can you do to ensure you have cleaner, safer water for your family?

Start With Home Water Testing

Maintaining your family's health and well-being starts with home water testing.
In total, the EPA sets standards for more than 90 contaminants in drinking water. Many contaminants are odorless and colorless, making them hard to detect. So what types of contaminants does a professional water test find?
Let's discuss some of the most common water contaminants and how they can affect your health.


Entering the water supply through bedrock, or an industrial byproduct, is arsenic. Low-level and long-term exposure via drinking water results in an increased risk of cancer and other serious health problems.


Next on the list is chlorine. The smell or taste of chlorine is often associated with swimming pools. But in drinking water, it is unappealing. This contaminant is known to dry out skin and hair. While municipalities use chlorine to disinfect water supplies, it should be filtered out before consumption. In order to eliminate harmful or annoying side effects.


Also known as hexavalent chromium, chromium-6 is a highly toxic contaminant released into groundwater after certain industrial activities. Like chrome plating, leather dying, wood preservation or stainless steel manufacturing. Because it is highly toxic, drinking more than 0.02 ppb (parts per billion) may cause cancer or other negative health effects. This contaminant often goes unnoticed, even when it is present in large amounts. However, chromium-6 impacts two out of every three Americans.

Coliform Bacteria

Three groups containing 16 species are included in this contaminant category. These three groups include total coliform, fecal coliform and E. coli. Bacterial contamination occurs due to septic system failure or agricultural runoff. And symptoms of infections can vary widely. Some include digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue and fever. But others include severe conditions such as anemia and kidney failure.


Although lead is a well-known contaminant, most people assume it is not in their water. Lead seeps into water supplies from pipes. And from solder and fixtures which are used extensively across the United States. No level of exposure to lead is safe. Especially for children, who can suffer harmful and possibly chronic effects. These effects range from stomach pain to brain damage.


When rain soaks into the ground, running through sand, soil and rock, magnesium enters the water supply. The presence of this contaminant creates hard water. Though hard water is not a direct threat to health, it causes other complications. Like buildup in pipes, shortened lifespans for appliances and increased soap and detergent usage. Additionally, magnesium causes dry skin, dull hair and spotted dishes.


A major ingredient in most fertilizers is nitrates. Because nitrates are essential for food, flowers and green lawns. Although nitrates naturally occur in soil, the overuse of fertilizer causes contamination. Nitrates spread across lawns and fields and move quickly through soil, growing more concentrated in groundwater. This creates a potential health risk for everyone, especially infants and pregnant women.


Because it is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, radon is a difficult contaminant to find. It exists due to the radioactive decay of uranium. Which is a common element in bedrock. And radon is also known to cause cancer. Radon gas dissolves into groundwater and is released into the air when a faucet is turned on.

Hydrogen Sulfide

Last on our list is hydrogen sulfide. Produced by reducing sulfur bacteria, hydrogen sulfide is sometimes found in groundwater. It is a smelly and colorless gas. And it causes hot water to smell like rotten eggs. Sulfur in water can have a laxative effect. Because of this, exposure may increase rates of diarrhea and dehydration. Especially in infants and young children. But it can also stain plumbing fixtures, toilets and sinks. All while tarnishing silver and copper housewares.
Now that we've covered some of the most commonly found water contaminants, we'll talk about how you can significantly reduce them and the impact they have on your home's drinking water.

Invest In Better Drinking Water Systems For Your Home

There are a couple of ways you can protect your home's water. But in order to significantly reduce potentially harmful contaminants in your drinking water, the best option is a reverse osmosis system.

Reverse Osmosis

So what does a Culligan® Reverse Osmosis System with a Total Defense Filter do? And how does it reduce harmful contaminants?
When thinking about the RO filtration process, it's helpful to break it down into four specific steps.
In most cases, reverse osmosis systems have pre-filtration, reverse osmosis, drainage and storage stages.
First, pressurized water moves through a particle filter. This removes impurities like salt, sand and sediment.
Next, the water passes through an activated carbon filter. Which traps and removes minerals and contaminants such as chlorine, mercury, copper and pesticides. This completes the pre-filtration stage.
After that, pressurized water forces its way through the semipermeable membrane. So that the smallest impurities become trapped and only water passes through. This is the reverse osmosis stage.
Finally, the discharge stage. In this stage, removed contaminants get flushed away. While the treated water moves to a storage tank.
Before the treated water reaches a faucet, it undergoes a final activated-carbon filtration. Therefore ensuring safer, better water for household use.

What Contaminants Does a Culligan Reverse Osmosis System with Total Defense Reduce?

Most noteworthy, reverse osmosis significantly reduces the presence of lead in water. But a reverse osmosis system also reduces mercury, chromium-6, turbidity, chlorine, cysts and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
A Culligan Reverse Osmosis System with Total Defense Filter reduces over 90 other contaminants.
In addition, Culligan's drinking water system is certified to reduce every EPA-regulated contaminant. Which is more than 100 in total. Compared to other household water filters, its filtration power is unmatched.
And out of the 27 most common water problems and contaminants, a Culligan Reverse Osmosis System with Total Defense Filter removes 26.
Such as chlorine, chloramines, bad taste/odor, barium, cadmium, calcium, copper, cryptosporidium, fluoride, giardia, hexavalent chromium, iron, lead, magnesium, mercury, MTBE (gas), nitrate, nitrite, arsenic, radium 226/228, sediment, sodium, TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), TTHM (trihalomethanes), trivalent chromium, turbidity and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

What Are the Benefits of a Culligan Reverse Osmosis System?

Many different filtration methods are available today. And it can be difficult to decide what's best for your home. Popular options include refrigerator filters, faucet filters and pitcher filters. While all of these can help with the taste and smell of water, few will reduce the hardest to detect contaminants.
So not only does a reverse osmosis filtration system remove contaminants that others may miss, it also provides you and your family with a laundry list of benefits.
By investing in a reverse osmosis system you can:
  • Ensure the removal of dissolved organic and inorganic compounds in your home's water.
  • Remove and reduce common contaminants like sodium, chloride, fluoride and nitrates.
  • Eliminate foul smells and tastes caused by chlorine and sulfur.
  • Reduce the level of pesticides and other chemicals that are harmful to your health.
  • Enjoy cooking with better, cleaner water for all of your family's favorite meals.
  • Provide your family with great tasting water that does not cause scale buildup in plumbing and appliances or stains in bathtubs, sinks and dishes.
In the next portion of the blog, we will learn about what schools can do to set their students up for success.

How Can You Improve Drinking Water in Schools?

In addition to the contaminants that can plague your home's drinking water, educational facilities can experience their own issues.
While things look different now, on a typical day, kids spend between 6 hours and 30 minutes to 7 hours and 15 minutes in school. Because children spend so much of their time in the classroom, they're also consuming much of their daily drinking water at school.
So why does that matter and what informed choices can you make as a decision maker at your school?
Well, the EPA estimates that 8,000 schools and day cares are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This means that roughly 98,000 public schools and 500,000 child care facilities may or may not be testing their water for contaminants.
One of the most talked-about contaminants in our schools is lead. And currently, there aren't any federal laws that require drinking water testing inside of schools or childcare facilities. Unless they own and operate their own public water system, they do not have to comply with the SDWA. However, this doesn't mean that local schools and childcare facilities aren't testing their water.
If you're concerned about the drinking water in your own school or childcare facility, contact your local Culligan water expert to learn more about how a customized solution can help.

Commercial Water Systems From Culligan

We've already discussed how Culligan water can improve your home's drinking water, now let's go over how a customized system can better the water quality at your school or institution.
With a Culligan water system you can:
  • Enhance campus experience for students, visitors, staff, and administrators. Everyone at your institution will benefit from cleaner, safer drinking water.
  • Improve facility ROI by reducing maintenance, operating costs and labor.
  • Protect expensive equipment and operations by extending the lifespan of large capital investments (boilers, cooling towers, chillers, water heaters).
  • Improve operational efficiency and campus sustainability. Treated water helps reduce water waste and increase system efficiency.
Your educational facility depends on better and great-tasting water to support the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
In addition, quality water is also a necessity throughout most institutions for the proper functioning labs, high-capital-investment equipment, heating and cooling systems and so much more.
From the swimming pool to the cafeteria, there are many applications for advanced water treatment options to improve your facility's water quality.

Water Treatment Solutions For Better Drinking Water At School

At Culligan water, our experienced engineers can create a custom solution to meet your facility's unique water needs.
If you're interested in learning more about large-scale water treatment options for your school, contact your local Culligan water expert for more information.


In conclusion, whether your students are learning virtually or in-person, Culligan water has the solutions to help you keep them happy and hydrated for the rest of the school year and beyond!