Readers ask, we answer: Should you drink from a hose?

Janice asks:

“Is it OK to drink out of a garden hose?”

Hi, Janice. It may be tempting to turn the spigot and take a sip, but drinking water from a hose isn’t a good idea. Garden hoses can contain a host of chemicals that can be harmful to children and adults.

As a garden hose sits between uses, the water inside collects bacteria and chemicals from the hose’s plastic tubing. In addition, the brass ring at the opening can contain even more contaminates. This contamination is worsened if the hose has been sitting in the sun for extended periods of time.

Lead is also a big concern. Some hoses leach unsafe levels of lead into water, according to a 2016 study by the Ann Arbor Ecology Center. Not only can lead exposure increase your risk of cavities, it's also potentially fatal. Linked to severe mental and physical developmental issues, lead is especially harmful for children under 6.

So forget about the hose. Bring a bottle of water with you into the yard, or just head back into the house for a glass from the tap.

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