Do you know what you're drinking when you get a drink of water from your tap at home? Or from your little sink water filter? Or do you just drink bottled water?
I wasn't sure that I really wanted to know what was in my water, but I had to find out because I really wanted to stop buying bottled water. Bottled water is so easy and convenient, but, as it turns out, most of them test positive for toxins -- and to make matters worse, many of the plastic bottles do not end up getting recycled.
So much of it ends up in our rivers and oceans that there are literally fish-sterilizing wastelands of debris the size of Texas, like the one that drifts north of Hawaii in the North Pacific Gyre. This island of plastic spans a distance one and half times the size of the United States. In some cases, it extends down 100 feet.
So in my quest to consume less plastic and protect my children, I had my water tested by several companies. There are many options for free tests from companies on-line, and any company wanting to sell you a filtration system will usually test your water for free.
I had both tests done and was shocked to find that my city treated water had contaminants at levels that should not be consumed. Over time these toxins can accumulate in your body, so regardless of size, it will eventually take its toll.
Here's what we found in our water:
1. Aluminum. Level Found: 0.14 ppm
2. Arsenic. Level Found: 2.6 ppb
3. Barium. Level Found: 0.05 ppm
4. Chlorine. Level Found: 2.4 ppm
5. HAA5's (Haloacetic Acids). Level Found: 14 ppb (May be higher at your home).
6. Trichloroethylene. Level Found: 1.2 ppb
7. TTHM's (Trihalomethanes). Level Found: 46 ppb (May be higher at your home)
The only good news was that the water was clear and the other contaminants found--copper, fluoride, lead, and nitrate--where not at dangerous levels.
What kind of filtration system will eliminate chemical contaminants in water? Everyone selling a system will tell you their filtration process will give you the cleanest, best tasting water, but only distillation will eliminate chemicals, heavy metals and pharmaceuticals. That's right, there is such a high saturation of prescription medication in retreated water that municipals aren't certain that it can be filtered completely. Most systems that are available and affordable for homeowners use reverse osmosis with a combination of carbon filters and some UV. Those kinds of systems work well when you are trying to remove pathogens from water like spores, bacteria, ecoli and viruses but none of them remove the chemicals or metals listed in my water reports.
I chose to install a small home distiller for drinking water and a basic whole house filtration system. It was not an easy decision. Distillers can use a lot of power and create a lot of heat in the process. Ultimately, I decided that my plastic consumption needed to end not only for the planet but also for the health of my family. It is also necessary to re-mineralize your water for flavor and to make it more biocompatible. Sounds complicated, but only involves adding a few drops of liquid minerals that are widely available.
Free Water Testing:
AquaMD: 1-866-278-2634 or www.AquaMD.com
Basic Home Filtration Systems:
Culligan: 1-877-412-2750 or www.culliganwaterservice.com
Pure & Secure: www.mypurewater.com
Concentrace-Trace Mineral Drops
www.traceminerals.com/Available at Whole Foods
Follow Margaret Hyde on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@MosNose