There's a pathway to disease in your home right now -- an open door that lets germs flow into your food and drink and then directly into your body.

And if you get sick from this hidden source of disease, you probably won't even realize where it came from.

It's your own faucet, which is almost certainly overflowing with drugs, chemicals, metals and germs.

U.S. drinking water is so dirty that nothing I read about it surprises me anymore -- not even a new study that finds ordinary tap water could contain the nasty germs that cause Legionnaire's disease.

That's a horrific condition that's like the worst case of pneumonia you've ever had: fever, chills, cough, pain and more. It's debilitating and even deadly.

And according to the new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the bacteria responsible Legionnaire's for this horrific disease could be lurking in the drinking water in as much as a third of all U.S. homes.

Obviously, what's in the water isn't enough to make you sick in most cases. If it were, a third of the country would be at death's door by now.

But if your or someone in your home is sick already, suffering from a weakened immune system or just susceptible to illness, this is a real concern.

And it's hardly the only problem with your drinking water.

U.S. treatment facilities can't keep up with everything turning up in the water -- including drugs (legal ones, such as antibiotics, as well as illicit ones such as cocaine), metals (aluminum, lead, mercury and more), bacteria and more.

To help make up for the shortcomings of those treatment plants, they dump chlorine into the water -- but the chlorine itself is toxic, and in some places they use so much of it that a glass of "drinking" water smells like it came out of a swimming pool.

Drink only filtered water -- and don't settle for the ones that attach to a pitcher or your faucet.

There are just two systems that can filter out everything: reverse osmosis and water distillation. A reverse-osmosis filter attaches beneath your sink or outside your home, while a distiller sits on your countertop.

Either one will set you back a few hundred bucks. Consider it money well spent.