Tap Water: Is it killing us?

By Peter Kuehn - Spectacular Water Systems

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It's amazing how much we take for granted. We turn on the kitchen tap and out pours clean and plentiful water. Well, maybe the plentiful part needs some rethinking, as many cities have begun campaigns to conserve our water supplies. And maybe the clean part needs some re-evaluation as well. Yes, compared to what's available in third world countries, we do have outstanding water. On the other hand, should we be content with the standards set by our governments? Consider the Toronto water report of 1990 which stated: "…the current study provides evidence of the daily presence of dozens of chemicals in treated water drawn from Lake Ontario." Many of our major cities take their water from sources that contain some sort of chemical pollution. Today's water filtration systems were not designed to handle or remove these chemicals, but rather focus on cleaning our water of biological contaminants. To do this, they add a chemical - chlorine - designed to kill organic material. Our bodies, however are also organic material; and the scientific evidence is quite clear that chlorine is a cancer causing agent. Many of the other chemicals that pass by the filtration plants, into our home and into our bodies, are also known or suspected carcinogens. Some researchers are especially concerned because of the compounded effects of mixing these different chemicals together are almost totally unknown. Although these poisons may be in low levels, the long term effects of being exposed to them is not clear. Many toxins accumulate in our body. The list of bad chemicals in our water and their dire health effects is too long to list here. The reality is, we should not be content with present water standards. Our water is poisoned with various chemicals depending on where you live, and the real question is: How can we improve the quality of our drinking water both in the short and the long term? In other words, let's make a positive change.

What to Do?
The short term solutions present some problems of their own. If we can't drink the tap water because it is slowly poisoning us then we are left with only a few options. We could (a) buy bottled water. (b) buy a water filter, or (c) move to a place where the water is cleaner (if one exists).

Bottled water is the most expensive way to go yet many people have taken this route even in these hard economic times. Unfortunately this approach, while convenient, is not the best. Bottled waters may be no better than tap water. Furthermore, there are presently no government regulations concerning the quality of bottled or tap water. Words like "SPRING WATER", "NATURAL", and "PURE" are meaningless because of this lack of regulation. A U.S. study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that 75 per cent of bottled water was merely tap water that had been treated in some fashion! And after these treatments the consumer is still subject to after-packaging contamination through bacteria growth or polymer leaching from the water containers.

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