What You Can’t See In Your Water Can Hurt You

Has your drinking water ever been compromised?

Like me, you’ve probably read about major water contamination after an oil spill, but have you ever had to boil drinking water? Drinking water in Portland, Oregon and surrounding communities recently tested positive for containing fecal matter. An announcement was sent to all residents and businesses instructing people to boil their water IMMEDIATELY. This included water for drinking, food preparation, ice, and even brushing your teeth. Three separate water samples were positive for E coli and total coliforms. These bacteria can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. After further testing, a statewide water alarm was ordered until the water was cleared of contamination. This has affected homes, restaurants and hotels. It was insane and made me wonder how vulnerable we are all to the modern convenience of running tap water.

Contaminated water flows throughout the United States

A recent National Geographic article highlighted several reasons why drinking water in the United States can be contaminated. Causes included natural disasters, chemical spills, and broken storage tanks. Sometimes water contamination is obvious, as in the case of Tennessee, when coal sludge spilled over 300 acres of land and water or when Hurricane Floyd dumped pig waste across streams and rivers in Carolina del. North. More often than not, however, it is less obvious, which makes it more troubling and dangerous. For example, wastewater treatment plants are not equipped to treat pharmaceutical waste such as antibiotics or harmful chemicals from cleaning products, so they end up not only in our drinking water, but in the water that farmers use to grow products. and the cattle we eat. It is a double or triple dose of toxins that our body has to deal with.

I have well water and filter my drinking AND bathing water throughout the house.

I use a Chanson Water System and have written about the importance of filtered water in another blog. My drinking / bathing water can be filtered, but I care about others, including my children who rely on city water. I wonder if they boiled their water sufficiently or if they took the risk seriously. Having contaminated water is more than just an inconvenience; it is a health risk. A gut overrun with bad bacteria can do more damage than a day or two of diarrhea. Your gut is connected to your health in so many ways. Your immune system, cognition, and heart depend on good bacteria to keep them healthy. A gut overloaded with bad bacteria leads to many diseases including cancer, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, IBS and the list goes on.

A whole house water filtration system may not be convenient or practical.

With so many natural and environmental toxins in our water, it’s important to know what’s in the water you drink. As demonstrated by the fear of water in Oregon and throughout the United States, city water plants are not foolproof. Even without contaminated water, most of the city water has added fluoride and other chemicals. Every home should have some sort of filtering system, whether it’s a simple water pitcher with a carbon filter or something more elaborate. The Environmental Working Group (my one-stop shop for health / safety information) has a great list of filters for your water in a variety of price ranges to suit your needs / desires. A simple carbon filter in which you put tap water is better than drinking straight from the tap. Don’t be fooled by bottled water either. Many have added chemicals including fluoride and disinfectants. Another option is to bring the water to a boil for one minute. You can then store the water in the refrigerator. Remember to store water in BPA-free containers. There are many personal water containers and gallons available today.

Bacteria are everywhere around us and we may never know where bad bugs are hiding.

How often are foods recalled due to E. coli in our drinks and / or foods? It usually isn’t discovered until people are already sick. A study reported by the Natural Resources Defense Council states that drinking water tested in 19 US cities could be dangerous. This makes me wonder how many other cities that weren’t in the study would test positive for an excess of bad bacteria? Even if you are careful what you buy in the shops and the farmers market Guelphextermination.ca

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