Water, water everywhere – but do we dare drink a drop?

Water, water everywhere – but do we dare drink a drop?

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Second to air, water is the most important substance to all life on earth. Most of us accept that water is essential to optimum health but when it comes to selecting the right type of water, the choice is not always so clear. Is tap water quality good enough, should we be drinking from bottles or should we be purifying our water at home and at work? These are just some of the questions on the minds of health conscious consumers.

If you thought your water was just H2 and O, you may need to start getting a little water wise. It seems a lot can happen en route to the tap or the bottle, and all sorts of organisms and toxic substances could be lurking invisible to the naked eye- and even the tongue. Water has thus become quite a marketable commodity and the copious selection of bottles and filters can be overwhelming.

I’ve done my own research into water; so, I’ll make it easier for you to decide. For the most part, the tap water consumed in the greater Johannesburg area (supplied by Rand Water) is relatively clean and safe. However, over the years there have been isolated reports of contamination with bacteria, like E. Coli, which can cause some serious infections. One of the other major concerns is chlorine which is added to tap water as a disinfectant but is also a suspected carcinogen. In addition, tap water contains some toxic metals like lead and arsenic, as well as fluoride which can become toxic at high doses. Although these substances are not going to cause us to keel over and die in the concentrations they are found in tap water, do we really want to expose ourselves to them in any dosage? I know I would prefer not to.

I generally do not promote the use of bottled water for two major reasons. Firstly, the plastic bottles they are contained in can contaminate the water with harmful chemicals, like BPA- a potential carcinogen. In addition, plastic is really bad for the environment and we all need to start making choices that are healthy for our planet as well as our own bodies. Not all bottled waters are created equal and many do still contain chlorine, and some are unreasonably high in in-absorbable minerals.

This is why I believe that home purifiers are the way to go. The best home purifying systems are the ones that use activated carbon to filter tap water. Other methods, like distillation and reverse osmosis remove too many of the natural minerals in water. While these kinds of waters are good during detoxification diets, continuous consumption of low mineral water could become problematic. The concern with this type of water is that it tends to attract minerals (because it is devoid of them) and may cause mineral depletion in the body. Cooking foods in demineralised water may also leach minerals from the food.

Purified or filtered water is best produced through activated carbon filtration. With activated carbon filtration the water passes through a carbon trap that absorbs the contaminants. Components typically reduced by activated carbon are bacteria, chlorine, lead, hydrogen sulphide and volatile organic acids. They will also remove any unwanted tastes and odours. The result is clean, healthy water with a superior taste.

I use a carbon filtration system from H2O International and I love it. Besides the granular activated carbon, the unit also uses something called KDF technology, which removes additional iron, aluminium, sulphur and heavy metals, like arsenic, mercury and lead from our drinking water. Riolyte technology adds special minerals to the media bed, which helps make the water more palatable and improves the pH. Activated carbon itself removes a host of chemicals and organisms including trihalomethanes, chlorine, trichloroethylene, nitrobenzenes, radon, herbacides, insecticides, pesticides and detergents.

The water filtering systems from H2O range in price depending on the size of the unit and how it is installed (counter top and below counter units are available) and the initial investment is well worth It for clean safe water. In fact, you end up saving in the long run if you are used to buying bottled water.

For further information follow the links alongside.

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