The Problem with Water | Waternet
Let's consider the three problem areas in water and discuss each one. Then let's talk about ways to deal with these problems objectively and arrive at a solution.
Problem 1 - Bacteria, Pyrogen, Virus
Bacteria is present in virtually all untreated water. Bacteria
is not all bad, but many kinds are deadly. 80% of all disease is
water borne. Cholera, typhoid fever, typhus, diphtheria, dysentery,
flu's - these used to wipe out thousands in the 1800's and early 1900's.
We began using chlorine in the early 1900's to help control these diseases.
Chlorine soon gained in popularity in America about the same time Europeans quit using it.
(They saw the effects of it on the soldiers coming home from World War I that had been gassed by it.)
Chlorine's long-term considerations were greatly outweighed by bacteria's short-term effects. Today,
however, our mentality is - if a little chlorine was good, more must be better.
Pyrogen is nothing more than bacteria which are dead. Have you ever wondered where the bacteria go
after the chlorine kills them? Suppose you were eating supper and a fly landed on your plate.
Your wife reaches over and kills it, but leaves it on the plate. The fly is dead, but nevertheless it still lies there.
Can you consume it now because it is dead? Pyrogens cause sicknesses, low-grade fevers,
intestinal tract disorders and other symptoms.
With virus epidemics each year, you would think medical science would be more aware of the part water
might play. Many water systems get their water from rivers and lakes that receive treated waste water
(some in rather large amounts).
Since they won't allow human waste to be used to fertilize crops for human consumption,
why do they allow it to be dumped into our water supplies? Don't worry, well just add more chlorine.
Remember - a unit cannot be called a purifier unless it removes bacteria and virus.
Problem 2 - Chemicals and Organic Substances
Many chemicals and organic substances are deadly alone, but when combined with another can really become
a serious health threat. One of the most dangerous of the chemicals is one we add to eliminate
problem l - bacteria.
Chlorine is not only dangerous by itself, but when it mixes with other substances can form even more deadly combinations - many of them known cancer causing agents. Chloroform is created when chlorine mixes
with decaying vegetation. Chloroform is a known cancer-causing agent.
With all the discussion of additives in food and the problems many of them cause, one just has to wonder why government hasn't been talking about additives in water, like chlorine.
The truth is that they have no inexpensive way to kill bacteria. Many other chemicals like pesticides,
herbicides, etc, are found in measurable amounts in most municipal water systems.
The problem which needs to be addressed is how to purify the one-half of one percent of water for drinking,
cooking and ices in our home. We certainly can't expect the government to do it. It would literally cost a
fortune to us and them. Many new chemicals are being produced daily along with those already in existence,
and some of these are showing up in our tap water supplies.
This is alarming in some areas of our country. If someone is concerned about their health,
they should never take their drinking water for granted.
Problem 3 - Dissolved Solids
This problem is receiving more and more attention as the days go by. The minerals contained in water are
inorganic minerals. These minerals attach themselves to blood vessel walls, accumulate in organs or joints, contributing to many different types of problems - hardening of the arteries, kidney and gall stones, arthritis,
just to name a few.
It is believed the average European will consume roughly 450 pounds of dissolved solids in his or her lifetime.
The body is able to rid itself of much of this, but always remember that water's job is to cleanse the body.
Many people think these inorganic minerals are useful, but experts now say the body uses the organic minerals
found in fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products much more readily and completely.
The build-up of inorganics and cholesterol in the arteries, coupled with heart disease constitute the
number-one killer of adults in America today.
There are many ways to treat water, and we will discuss the most popular and practical ways.
But which ever method you choose, you will want to keep some criteria in mind.
The unit you own should perform all or most of the following tasks:
01. Leave water free of harmful bacteria, viruses, amoebic cysts, pyrogens and other parasitic organisms.
02. Not breed and release harmful bacteria into the water.
03. Remove off colours, odours, and tastes.
04. Remove sediment.
05. Remove microscopic asbestos fibres.
06. Remove chlorine.
07. Remove chloroform and THM's (cancer-causing agents).
08. Remove organic chemical pollutants.
09. Remove heavy metals.
10. Moderate or remove iron, manganese or hydrogen sulphide.
11. Provide sufficient amounts of water to supply a family's needs in reasonable time.
12. Not consume large amounts of energy.
13. Indicate when maintenance is required or when useful life of the treatment unit is over.
15. Ease of operation.
(These items listed above were given by William D. G. Murry, Important Characteristics to Look for in a
We like Reverse Osmosis because when all factors are combined: Initial price. Water quality produced.
Cost of maintenance. Ease of operation, you have to agree that for drinking water you can't beat it.
There are instances when one or more of the other methods could be used,