“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!).
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!