W is for Water

“It’s in the water”…. The popular expression goes, when a group of ladies in the same office, town, group, etc become pregnant. It’s only a joke… “As if” you could get pregnant (or get any other type of biological condition/situation  from water)… Or is it?
For those of you who are confident in our municipal water supply being safe, I would say, “yes” you are probably right, it is safe for the average person, it is safer than a stagnant pond next to an industrial plant, and it is safer than drinking from an in untreated well on the land where an oil well once stood, but what is in our water may surprise you! I know it did surprise me nearly 10 years ago when I organized a tour for the American Chemical Society’s YCC to tour a waste water treatment plant just outside Los Angeles. What you flush down the toilet does go somewhere to be cleaned and treated and “recycled”, yes EVERYTHING You Flush!
What you may not think about are all the thinks we can’t see… Like pharmaceuticals , estrogen disrupters and toxic chemicals. The pills your grandma flushed down the toilet when she was finished taking them, the paint that got rinsed in the industrial sink, the countless number of medications and supplements that individuals in America take…guess what, if your body doesn’t process and metabolize it…then it gets peed and pooped out…YUP, and FLUSHED down the drain!

After consulting with my dear friend who is a waste water engineer (thanks SH!) she confirmed that waste water treatment plants are not equipped to treat the water for such things as pharmaceutical products (she mentioned that really only in the last couple years did the means exist to measure them in the water!).

Yes, that is what you think it is!

YCC members loading up on the Tram at the Hyperion Water Treatment plant circa 2001

 So when my other friend (thanks EZ!) and I began discussing toxins in our environment and she brought up her concern for the cleanliness of the water and how she believed it  may be linked to kidney disorders (read more here for the article that got her thinking here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/opinion/28kristof.html )

I realized, that I was really taking the water my family drank and bathed in for granted, assuming it was clean and safe and free of harm.

So What is a concerned person to do?

1) Research… if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that educating oneself on the issues is something I firmly believe in….

2) Filter the water you already get from the “municipal source” (ie Do More Research! Thanks to EZ, she was kind enough to share her research with me on the decision she made for their family’s filtration system) Check out this 2009 report of 100 US cities water utilities , Houston ranks at the bottom of the list at 95/100. See more on filtration systems below.

3) Buy Bottled water… it has to be cleaner than the tap RIGHT, especially since it is so much more expensive!? WRONG… Check out the Environmental Working Groups report on bottled water… and see for yourself… filtered tap water comes out on top in the 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard. 

Some advice from my friend who just bought 2 systems for her home:

“For a drinking water system, a 5-stage system with the carbon block filter is best.  Granulated carbon (like the fridge filters) rid of some things, but not many.  It’s important to have parts made in the USA and NSF certified.


Whole house systems are different.  They do not need to be as precise. ”

Here is the system my friend researched and chose for her home:


Personally, we have not committed to buying a sink or whole house system, yet, but have it on our wish list and as we continue to save for it, I will continue researching it!

Do any of you have a water filtration system you love… if so please share the brand below and why you love it so!


About Empowered Advocacy

www.EmpoweredAdvocacy.com Pediatric Patient Advocate
This entry was posted in ABC's, Household chemicals, Medical, Pesticides. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to W is for Water

  1. Diane says:

    Great article.. I know a couple weeks ago I was reading an article about how the two that died from that rare amoeba in the their tapwater that they used in the Netti pots(instead of purified). It really made me question how our water is “safe” for drinking, but that same water sprayed into our nose could kill us?

    Quite a few years back, my husbands office purchased one of those “Recycled” water coolers-basically it collected all the minute moisture in the air and then filtered it. Quickly, the office staff realized they were drinking, sweat, etc other particles that are airborne- no one used the water cooler.

    What type of world do we live in where just water can become dangerous?

    Thanks for making me think!

  2. Casey says:

    I have been freaked out by water for awhile now. A lot of the filters use coconut shell in the filtration process and salicylate-sensitive kids (like yours and mine) react to that too so we can’t win. I have read that spring water is the safest option for sal sensitive kids.

    I asked Santa for reverse osmosis but we are still trying to figure out how to make it a whole house system (and to remove all of the things I want out of the water). The chlorine in the kid’s bathroom is very noticeable when they are taking their Epsom salt baths and it feels pointless to bathe them with ES to help process toxins but use tainted water to do so. Grr.

    I’m interested to know what system you guys decide on. I am thinking we may go with an under the counter unit in the kitchen and separate units in the bathrooms to remove different toxins.

  3. Donna says:

    I am also interested in getting the chlorine out of the bath water but don’t think I could ever convince the hubby for the whole house system. If there is one just for the bath tub the kids use that would be cool, along with a sink system. I heard if you use reverse osmosis you need to add minerals back into your diet, although I doubt we are getting the minerals anyway! Thanks for sharing the information.

  4. Milehimama says:

    We use a Berkey system, which filters out things like arsenic, parasites, and VOCs. I specifically asked them about pharma residue, and they responded that they have not paid for laboratory testing to prove that pharma residue would be removed, however, pharma particles are larger than many of the VOCs and it is the opinion of the engineers that it does indeed remove pharmaceutical residue from the water (they just can’t market it that way yet.)

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