Have you ever wondered what’s actually in your drinking water?
Typical Tap Water Content:
- Fluorine compounds.
- Trihalomethanes (THMs)
- Salts of: arsenic. radium. aluminium. copper. lead. mercury. cadmium. barium.
The US used to have a pretty safe drinking water supply but with more and more chemicals being used in things like farming, landscaping, pest control (to only mention a few situations) our water supply is in jeopardy and already contaminated in many areas. To try to keep our drinking water free of bacteria and other harmful substances additives are sometimes used to kill bacteria and to assist in filtering out harmful substances. Unfortunately many of the things being added to our water with the intent of helping us are the very things that may be creating some serious health problems.
Well water which isn’t exposed to air before entering your home may present problems with radon. When exposed to air, radon evaporates quickly, so the problem with radon in water isn’t drinking it, but inhaling it. If your primary source of water is from a well, you will need to take special precautions when cooking, showering, filling your washing machine and filling your bathtub.
The Drinking Water Book: How to Eliminate Harmful Toxins from your Water by Colin Ingram explores these problems and many more.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates at least twenty thousand cases of cancer in the United States each year are caused by radon inhalation. p. 13
Additionally people may improperly dispose of all sorts of medications by flushing them down toilets or rinsing them down sinks along with household toxins found in cleaning supplies–all of which get into our water supply and may or may not get filtered back out of our water.
If you live in a city, you may want to request a copy of your utility’s test report. This report should tell you if there are any pollutants above government limits. (Be leery of any pollutants listed whether above government limits or not.) If the utility’s report shows any type of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) have your water tested for their presence. Even if radon isn’t listed on the utility report, you should inquire at your local health department to find out if high concentrations of radon have been detected in your area. If so, have your home tested for airborne radon. It’s possible that you may have other types of pollutants in your tap water in amounts too low to test or because the tests performed didn’t cover those pollutants. If you choose to test your water, it can either be done professionally or by an inexpensive self testing kit.
If your water source is from a well or a spring, it’s recommended that you get a test for bacteria at least once a year and preferably during the rainy season. Test for pollutants at least every two years and consider using a whole house water purification system if your test is positive for any type of volatile organic chemicals. Just like city folks, you should find out about any reports in your area of high concentrations of radon and if there are these areas around you, you too should test your home for airborne radon.
Both city and country dwellers should us an alternative to drinking straight tap water. Here are a few alternatives to drinking straight tap water:
- Bottled Water– Bottled water is fairly inexpensive but not without it’s own set of problems. For instance, there aren’t a lot of laws about bottled water and just because it’s bottled doesn’t mean it has been filtered. For example, I once bought a bottle of water and then read the side of it. It said it was from “The Municipality of …” If you ever see that, on a bottle of water, it’s probably just bottled tap water from another city. This would be the worst type of bottled water. If the water has actually been filtered it is a better alternative to straight tap water. Also, the plastic bottle itself can contribute to health issues unless it says it’s “BPA free.” All plastics (dishes, reusable water bottles, etc) should be BPA free for maximum protection of your health. Disposable plastics never degrade and therefore contribute to the pollution of the planet.
- Carbon Filters– are a good choice for filtering tap water that you intend to drink or cook with. This filtration systems can be attached directly to your sink or faucet easily and fairly inexpensively. Using a filtering pitcher such as a Brita is also a good thing. (Check to make sure it’s now available in BPA free.) Carbon filtering is one of the oldest and most reliable ways to filter water.
- Distilled Water– the practice of drinking only distilled water is hotly debated. Advocates claim that by drinking distilled water you will purify your body and be in glowing health. Opponents of this practice claim that by drinking only distilled water you deny your body essential minerals. If you choose to use this method be sure to eat many different types of organic fruits and vegetables. You will need the minerals and vitamins found in natural foods.
- Boiled Water– Boil water in a stainless steel, glass, or porcelin pot for about 10 minutes for maximum safety. There has been a link made between naturally occurring aluminum in water with Alzheimer’s. Many people prefer to avoid using aluminum pots and pans due to the possible link with Alzheimer’s. The best think to do is boil water in a nonaluminum pot. If you will be storing water for drinking or cooking, you should store it in a glass container.
Don’t Drink the Water (Without Reading This Book): The Essential Guide to Our Contaminated Drinking Water and What You Can Do About It by Lono Kahuna Kupua A’O is another excellent book which explores all of the above issues and more.
In this book Kahuna Kupua A’O also explores drinking water from a health perspective and from a spiritual perspective. In particular I was impressed with his comments about dehydration which is a huge contributor to various ailments and diseases. Humans instinctively do not like the smell and taste of water that has been altered by chlorination and chemicals and often won’t drink it. This may or may not be a conscious decision. People may learn to avoid drinking water due to this instinct to avoid contaminated water and may only drink it if they are thirsty and can’t find an alternative drink. People who do this are usually already dehydrated–a process that begins from the inside out. Some health problems that can develop from chronic dehydration are: heart disease, asthma, ulcers, gastro-intestinal illnesses, high blood pressure, and arthritis. He goes on to say that he believes many other diagnosis that patients receive are actually misdiagnosed cases of dehydration.
We all must have water to survive and I hope this post has given you information to drink water more safely.
Do you filter your tap water? What do you do to help ensure your water supply is safe? Did you know about all the additives in our drinking water?