Water is essential to life. In fact, our bodies contain mostly water. A newborn baby is about 90% water, an adult is about 70% water and an elderly adult is about 60% water. Losing just 20% of our body’s water content will lead to dehydration and death.
Most of our nation is blessed with a relatively clean and safe water supply from local municipal water systems that leads to running water in our homes, appearing magically when we turn a tap on. But is this water really safe to drink?
Tests conducted in over 42 different states have detected up to 260 contaminants in public water supplies. Of these, over 141 of them were unregulated chemicals for which there are no current safety standards or methods of removal.
Some of these contaminants include toxic pollutants such as: arsenic; nitrate, a fertilizer ingredient; perchlorate, a rocket fuel ingredient; di-n-butylphthalates, a chemical from the plastic industry; and bromochloroacetic acid, which can damage DNA and mutate genes.
Among the contaminants detected, the most alarming ones may be chlorine and its byproduct, a family of chemicals called trihalomethanes. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant to kill disease causing microorganisms. However, it can react with rotting organic matter to form toxic trihalomethanes as a byproduct.
Scientists are now suspecting that trihalomethanes in drinking water may be behind many bladder cancer cases. Studies have also linked these chemicals to low birth weight, miscarriage, birth defects and other cancers such as colon and rectal.
In case you’re thinking that bottled water would be a better alternative, you might think again. It is estimated that over 30% of bottled water is simply tap water, and a large percentage of the rest of it has gone through a filtering process that isn’t much different from that of tap water.
Additionally, bottled water is generally stored in plastic containers, and the plastic may leech Bi-phenol A, or BPA, an endocrine disrupter, and other harmful chemicals into the water.
So what kind of water should you drink?
The three cleanest sources of water are:
1. Fresh fruits and vegetables. Surprised? Water rich fruits and veggies contain an abundance of nature-distilled water, plus all the organic minerals and nutrients you could ever need. For example, watermelons are 97% water, tomatoes are 93% water and apples are 91% water. “Drink” up!
2. Reverse osmosis or distilled water. Reverse osmosis water removes a very high percentage of contaminants through a semipermeable membrane, and distillation uses boiling and condensation to purify water. Neither are perfect solutions but are the most ideal for daily home use. There are many good quality home RO and distillation systems available for sale.
3. Spring water. This water source is organically filtered by many layers of dirt, sand and rock and could be underground and protected from modern environment pollutants for years, even decades. It then returns to the surface as spring water. Spring water is usually regularly tested for purity, but if you are unsure of the source you may want to get it tested before using it daily.