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10 Interesting Facts About Water You Didn’t Know

As a Chicago resident, you probably aren’t aware of how much water you use in a single day, a week, or a year. It might surprise you to know how much water you use personally. Here are a few surprising facts about water you never knew:

  1. Though 80% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, only 1% is suitable for drinking.
  2. The average Chicago citizen uses 123 gallons of water a day, or 107,000 per year. This might seem like a lot, but once you add up a 5 minute shower (25-50 gallons), washing your hands, brushing your teeth, cooking, running the dishwasher or a load of laundry, and flushing the toilet (2-7 gallons), it adds up quickly.
  3. Processing ¼ lb. of hamburger takes 1 gallon of water. Even simple tasks like food preparation take more water than you might think!
  4. It is possible to get something called “water intoxication.” If you drink too much water too quickly, it will upset the sodium level in your bloodstream and cause an imbalance of water in your brain. It is most likely to happen during intense athletic activity.
  5. The earth rarely loses or gains matter. This is called a “closed system,” and means that the same water that existed millions of years ago is still on the earth today.
  6. By the time you actually feel thirsty, you have already lost over 1% of your body’s total water amount.
  7. There is no universally accepted amount of water you should drink on a daily basis—some medical experts say 8 glasses, some say half your body weight in ounces (if you weigh 150 lbs., drink 75 oz. per day), and still others say that drinking when you’re thirsty is enough for healthy Americans. The only thing everyone agrees on is that Americans don’t drink enough water.
  8. The Chicago Water Tower is the second-oldest water tower in the United States. The oldest is located in Louisville, Kentucky.
  9. Science knows of 2100 known contaminants in drinking water, including a few poisons. In other words, it’s important to regularly check your drinking water for contamination.
  10. Chicago was established as a water transit hub in 1830. It soon developed into the largest city of the American Midwest. In 1900, the Sanitary District of Chicago reversed the flow of the Chicago River to carry all of the city’s sewage away from Lake Michigan, which was the city’s source of drinking water.

America uses approximately 346,000 million gallons of fresh water daily. For all we use, the average U.S. citizen probably knows very little about it, or even about their own well water or plumbing system. To get your water system checked out (and avoid the 2100 known contaminants), call Johnson Water Conditioning at 630-832-9393.

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