Would you drink untreated and unregulated “raw water” on a quest for pure water?

Posted on January 5, 2018

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untreated waterWe are all very familiar with people’s reaction against the established methods for producing food, drinks and everyday use products when they see these as unsafe or dangerous to health. The obvious reaction is to protect ourselves by looking for products that were derived from alternative natural ways and quests for alternative natural chemical-free methods ensue.

People might decide to convert to raw water, i.e. untreated water, due to both concern for the quality of tap water and the perceived benefits that drinking water in a natural state is better for them. They are wary of the potential for contaminants, such as traces of pharmaceuticals, pesticides and elements such as lead from plumbing in municipal water. Some worry about additives such as disinfectants in tap water that are there to kill disease-causing microorganisms and fluoride, which is there because it is effective at reducing tooth decay. They may also fear that contaminants from sewage, soil, industry processes and other urban processes might end in the water being supplied to their homes.

‘Unfiltered Fervor: The Rush to Get Off the Water Grid’

An article published last Sunday in the NY Times entitled ‘Unfiltered Fervor: The Rush to Get Off the Water Grid’ reported on companies that have sprung up in the US market to sell water which is in its “natural” form. These include Live Water, a company in Oregon and Tourmaline Spring from Maine that have emerged in the recent years to deliver untreated water to the public at quite high prices. They also mention an Arizona company called Zero Mass Water which installs systems that allow customers to collect water directly from the atmosphere around their homes.

Mukhande Singh (formaly Christopher Sanborn) who is the founder of Live Water, told the NY Times that tap water was “dead” water. “Tap water? You’re drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them,” he said. “Chloramine, and on top of that they’re putting in fluoride. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it’s a mind-control drug that has no benefit to our dental health.” He is not alone though, the movement against tap water, like the movement against vaccines, has brought together unlikely allies from the far left and the far right. Conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, founder of the right-wing website Infowars, have long argued that fluoride was added to water to make people more docile.

Most of us know that regulations are necessary when dealing with food and drinking water, since it makes sure our food and drink are free from disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli and Vibrio cholerae as well as viruses, parasites and carcinogenic compounds that can be present in untreated water. Stringent safety rules in the first world are the reason diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever caused by untreated water are now uncommon.

However, it seems that, like Singh and Jones, many believe that drinking “living” water that is organically loaded with minerals, bacteria, and other “natural” compounds has health benefits, whereas drinking “dead” water from the tap is the opposite, even though, there is plenty of scientific evidence showing that on the contrary water treatment is necessary to protect our health. For example, studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council – NRDC have found contaminants in bottled water, including coliforms, arsenic and phthalates. In the case of fluoride, there are CDC water fluoridation data and statistics; this US public health report; and a recent paper, showing that fluoride improves dental health, but there are none showing water-based mind control due to fluoride, as suggested by Singh and Jones.

Regulated Contaminents

It is understandable that many people see tap water as unsafe because there are potentially many ways in which tap water sources can be in contact with contaminants, when we consider all the urban and industrial processes that municipal water may be in contact with. However, as shown in the EPA table, there are regulations in place to limit potential contaminants in tap water supplying our homes, schools, hospitals and work places.

The regulated contaminants include microorganisms (Cryptosporidium, Giardia lamblia, Legionella, viruses, E.coli and other coliforms, and cloudiness which also indicates if microorganisms are present), disinfectants and their by-products (bromate, chlorite, haloacetic acids, trihalomethanes, chloramines, chlorine and chlorine dioxide), inorganic chemicals (antimony, arsenic, asbestos, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanide, fluoride, lead, mercury, nitrate, nitrite, selenium, and thallium) and organic chemicals (acrylamide, alachlor, atrazine, benzene, benzoapyrene-PAHs, carbofuran, carbon tetrachloride, chlordane, chlorobenzene, 2,4-D, dalapon, DBCP, dichlorobenzenes, dichloromethane, dichloropropane, plus 33 other organics), as well as radionuclides (alpha and beta particles, radium 226 and 228, and uranium).

Furthermore, natural water can also be contaminated with pollutants from the environment around the source where they originated. If the “natural” “live water” is unregulated, how can you be sure that it does not contain some of the contaminants mentioned above, especially radionuclides that often originate from natural deposits?

I’m sure there are people who would drink untreated unregulated water, which is essentially “raw water” on a quest for pure chemicals-free water. I hope this article will discourage them from doing so. You cannot guarantee that the “pure water” is free from contaminants, unless it has followed stringent regulations and has been tested for contaminants in the same way that tap water has.

ProEconomy Ltd provides a natural water treatment to control microorganisms like Legionella, Pseudomonas and other pathogens in drinking water. Their Orca copper and silver ionisation system is based on ionisation of the naturally-occurring biocidal elements copper and silver. See how it works in this video.

Link to article in the NY Times.

By guest author, Dr Vera Barbosa (Environmental Scientist specialised in water, soil and air pollution) @barbosavl

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