What is drinking water?
Drinking water according to the “Australian Drinking Water Guidelines”: “Ideally, drinking water should be, clear, colorless, and well aerated with no unpalatable taste or odors. It should contain no suspended matter, harmful chemical substances or pathogenic micro-organisms”. We may not be in Australia, but we can all agree that this is the standards that drinking water should be held to.
Despite these simple guidelines our water supplies come to us at the point of consumption with many undesirable qualities.
Just some of these include:
Chlorine – Used for the treatment of water supplies to eliminate many waterborne diseases.
Bacteria – Despite initial treatments some unwelcome forms of bacteria can still propagate between initial treatment facilities & the domestic or commercial water source.
Organic chemicals – Many of these originate from pesticides, weed killers, commercial & domestic waste.
Nitrate – Normally traced to the use of fertilizers & or sewage contamination. Nitrate reacts with other chemicals & forms Nitrite within the digestive tract. It can then go on to form carcinogens which at excessive levels can cause Blue baby syndrome.
Lead – This heavy metal finds its way into our drinking water supplies between initial treatment & point of usage from old pipes or lead solder used in joining new piping systems. Lead contaminated water poses a serious health risk to all ages, including learning difficulties, behavioral problems, mental & physical retardation, hypertension, strokes & heart disease. Lead poisoning can take years before the effects can be detected but often the damage is already done.
Aluminum – There are clear links between Aluminum & Alzheimer’s Disease. Aluminum also raises the acidity of water allowing it to absorb greater levels of lead, cadmium, copper & other heavy metals from piping systems.
Mercury – More likely to effect people that use a natural water source it can cause ulcers, skin irritations, dental problems, internal bleeding, liver & kidney damage.
Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – Originating from cast iron or mild steel pipelines which have been treated with asphalt or bitumen coating to prevent corrosion & are believed to be carcinogenic.
Fluoride – Added to many of Australia’s water sources to reduce tooth cavities. The addition of fluoride to municipal water is banned in many nations & it is debated as being in contradiction of the Geneva Convention, as being mass medication without prescription. Linked to many long-term health defects. In high doses is lethal.
Cadmium – Like lead accumulates in the body over a long period & may cause stomach cramps, kidney & liver damage.
Trihalomethanes – Strong poisonous compounds formed by organic chemicals reacting with chlorine treated drinking water. Responsible for around 10 percent of rectal & bladder cancers according to The American Journal of Public Health.