Thursday, March 1, 2012

Drink Good Water

Water is the basis of live on this Earth, but boy do we take it for granted.  About 0.007% of all the water on earth is accessible for humans to drink. And how do we respect this meager gift?  We water our useless lawns (in Phoenix no less!), shower for eons mindlessly dumping it down the drain, and literally CRAP in it! But my main point of this post isn't even to focus on the waste of water. It's to make you aware of the quality of the water you drink.

Municipal water is not good.  Don't drink it. First of all, it tastes horrible. The source of many municipal water systems is a nearby river or body of water. But these sources contain sediment, microorganisms, and pollutants (usually agricultural run-off). So a tremendous amount of energy goes into filtering and treating the water with chemicals--mainly chlorine compounds. In desperate times when I force myself to drink town water, I feel I may as well be drinking pool water because the chlorine taste is so strong. And the reason it tastes bad is because it's bad for our bodies. The water we drink is supposed to be pure, not pumped full of chemicals. And don't tell me that a little won't hurt, because I don't trust the government and their allowable limits for contaminants and disinfectants--I don't want any of that crap in my water! Sure you can run it through a Brita before drinking it, but don't think you're avoiding chemicals just because your drinking water is filtered. Your skin is an organ. It absorbs anything you put on it--otherwise lotion would be useless. (Disclaimer: I do not recommend using most lotions. I'll cover that another day...). When you shower with municipal water, you are absorbing what is in that water. They do make shower filters that run the water through a carbon filter much like a the Brita, thus removing chlorine and other contaminants.

And what about your pipes!? Many very old homes still have lead pipes, and the lead will leach into the water that comes out of the tap. I mean, doesn't the government give a damn!? Why aren't they replacing pipes in every single home? Even small levels of lead are extremely detrimental to children. (Excuse me while I go beat my head against the wall.)

Here are some tips for improving your access to pure water:

  • Find clean spring or well water to drink! It's full of minerals. Fill up jugs for a week supply.
  • Get an water purifier that will remove the impurities before it comes out of any of your taps.
  • Get an Reverse Osmosis (RO) system to purify your drinking water.
  • Have your pipes checked! If they are lead, change them ASAP!
  • Review your the water treatment report in your town or city. Call them with your concerns.

One more thing. Have you ever been to a waste water treatment plant? I think everyone should be made to go because we humans would be much more mindful of what is put down the drain. I went to one last year and was appalled to see what was floating in there. If you have EVER flushed a plastic tampon applicator, you suck, and don't ever do it again. All of that stuff has to be filtered and treated with chemicals and bacteria and has the sludge removed so that it is (hopefully) fit for returning to the environment (often back to a river). Anything that uses tons of energy and inputs like wastewater treatment is not sustainable and there's something wrong with it.

Drink good water. It's good for you and the Earth.

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