DRINKING FILTERED WATER – IELTS Academic Reading Passage

A The body is made up mainly of water. This means that the quality of water that we drink every day has an important effect on our health. Filtered water is healthier than tap water and some bottled water. This is because it is free of contaminants, that is, of substances that make it dirty or harmful. Substances that settle on the bottom of a glass of tap water and microorganisms that carry diseases (known as bacteria or germs) are examples of contaminants. Filtered water is also free of poisonous metals and chemicals that are common in tap water and even in some bottled water brands.

B The authorities know that normal tap water is full of contaminants and they use chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine in order to disinfect it. But such chemicals are hardly safe. Indeed, their use in water is associated with many different conditions and they are particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women. For example, consuming bromine for a long time may result in low blood pressure, which may then bring about poisoning of the brain, heart, kidneys and liver. Filtered water is typically free of such water disinfectant chemicals.

C Filtered water is also free of metals, such as mercury and lead. Mercury has ended up in our drinking water mainly because the dental mixtures used by dentists have not been disposed of safely for a long time. Scientists believe there is a connection between mercury in the water and many allergies and cancers as well as disorders, such as ADD, OCD, autism and depression.

D Lead, on the other hand, typically finds its way to our drinking water due to pipe leaks. Of course, modern pipes are not made of lead but pipes in old houses usually are. Lead is a well-known carcinogen and is associated with pregnancy problems and birth defects. This is another reason why children and pregnant women must drink filtered water.

E The benefits of water are well known. We all know, for example, that it helps to detoxify the body, So, the purer the water we drink, the easier it is for the body to rid itself of toxins. The result of drinking filtered water is that the body does not have to use as much of its energy on detoxification as it would when drinking unfiltered water. This means that drinking filtered water is good for our health in general. That is because the body can perform all of its functions much more easily and this results in improved metabolism, better weight management, improved joint lubrication as well as efficient skin hydration.

F There are many different ways to filter water and each type of filter targets different contaminants. For example, activated carbon water filters are very good at taking chlorine out. Ozone water filters, on the other hand, are particularly effective at removing germs.

G For this reason, it is very important to know exactly what is in the water that we drink so that we can decide what type of water filter to use. A Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) should be useful for this purpose. This is a certificate that is issued by public water suppliers every year, listing the contaminants present in the water. If you know what these contaminants are, then it is easier to decide which type of water filter to get.

Questions 14-20
The text has seven paragraphs, A-G.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

14. a short summary of the main points of the text
15. a variety of methods used for water filtration
16. making it easier for the body to get rid of dangerous chemicals
17. finding out which contaminants your water filter should target
18. allergies caused by dangerous metals
19. a dangerous metal found in the plumbing of old buildings
20. chemicals of cleaning products that destroy bacteria

Questions 21-26
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text? For questions 21-26, write:

TRUE                        if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE                      if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN           if there is no information on this

21. The type of water you consume on a regular basis has a great impact on your overall health and wellness.
22. Filtered water typically contains water disinfectant chemicals.
23. Exposure to disinfectant chemicals is linked with poisoning of the vital organs.
24. Drinking tap water helps minimise your exposure to harmful elements.
25. People wearing artificial teeth are more likely to be contaminated.
26. People who are depressed often suffer from dehydration.

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