Have you ever wondered exactly what comes out of your tap?
While a water molecule consists of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom, the water which flows from your kitchen tap contains much more besides … sometimes as many as 500 parts per million contaminants. Problem is, you can’t see or smell these little interlopers, so it’s easy to believe they’re not there.
Contaminants in your tap water
You know how your kettle builds up with limescale over time? Well, these mineral deposits are contaminants. And when too many of them are present in our tap water, this can present a challenge to the delicate apparatus of the urinary system which has the job of filtering them.
The very process of making tap water ‘safe’ to drink involves adding large amounts of hazardous chemicals to it. These include chlorine, which not only irritates our skin, respiratory tract and digestive system, but also destroys the good bacteria in our guts, and we really need those good guys for a fully functioning immune system!
Some of the other undesirable contaminants in our tap water include:
What are the alternatives?
If I've just put you off drinking tap water, you may be wondering what else you can drink. Well, we still need water.
That advice you’ve heard about drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day – it’s good advice!
The human body is roughly 60% water (the brain about 75%). Whilst you can live a good while without food, you’d die within a matter of days without this precious commodity!
Why we need water
Our bodies need water to:
Okay, so we know that water’s important, but it’s also important for us to consider what water we’re drinking.
Bottled water from plastic bottles
Whilst bottled water is a popular choice these days, if it comes in a plastic bottle it's probably not your best option. Why? The chemicals used to make the plastic bottles can leach into the water, contaminating it and contributing to hormone disruption, which can adversely affect our health.
If I’m out and about and I run out of drinking water, I buy bottled water in glass bottles and then re-use these where possible.
These may seem like a nice, convenient, cheap option, but they just aren’t very effective at filtering out contaminants. Another issue is that the filters themselves become a breeding ground for bacteria that become trapped in the filters.
What I use and recommend
After much research, we had an under-sink Reverse Osmosis filtration system fitted. Reverse Osmosis was originally designed for the Navy to make sea water drinkable. The way it works is that water is attracted across a semi-permeable membrane, leaving contaminants on the other side. The filtration system incorporates five separate filters and fits under the sink with a separate tap installed on top of the sink. This gives us access to an unlimited supply of clean drinking water. It's easy to maintain and the filters generally need to be changed once a year.
I regularly test the water quality with a TDS meter (the one you can see in the picture above), which measures the number of total dissolved solids*. My meter readings are consistently between 14 and 35ppm (parts per million).
*Total Dissolved Solids = all inorganic and organic substances within the water, some of which are contaminants.
We also purchased a counter-top water distillation unit to remove those last few dissolved solids. This produces clean water free of contaminants. I use the Reverse Osmosis water to wash our fruits and vegetables, for drinking and cooking and I use the distilled water for making the coffee for coffee enemas - more about those in a separate post soon!
How water distillation works
Water distillation works by boiling water in a chamber, which kills bacteria, viruses and parasites. The resultant steam rises leaving dissolved solids, chemical salts and other contaminants behind. The steam then condenses into distilled water which is 100% pure.
If it produces pure water, why do you need a Reverse Osmosis unit?
I originally purchased just the distiller, however, the water quality in London is so bad (we’re talking brown sludge at the bottom of the tank after a 4-litre distillation – seriously, yuck!) that it was impossible to drink as it smelled and tasted of the impurities it had removed. It tested pure but tasted awful. So, I now distil the Reverse Osmosis water. I’ve been happy with my Reverse Osmosis unit and distiller for over 4 years now, and they’re both going strong (with an annual service and filter change for the RO unit).
Are there any other options?
Yes. The newest kid on the block is the Berkey. These filtration units don’t require a plumbed water supply or electricity, so they’re great for travelling or for when you’re unable to make modifications to your home. The company says that the filters will last 11 years, with average use, so it’s also very economical. The major difference is that the TDS reading of the filtered water remains high, as the impurities, heavy metals, etc. are removed but the minerals aren’t. This means that I still use my distiller and RO unit while we’re at home but take the Berkey when we’re on the road.
Why does any of this matter?
Having access to clean water is paramount for your health. It’s also a great place to start if you’re motivated to make positive changes to your health. If you’ve recently been unwell, it’s even more important to limit your body’s toxic burden, so you can use more of your energy for healing.
Over to you…
I’d love to know… how do you filter your water?
Where to buy:
The items marked with an asterisk are affiliate links which means I'll earn a small commission should you choose to make a purchase through them (at no additional cost to you). It helps to keep the lights on around here :)
Bragg, P. (2004), The Shocking Truth About Water.
Walker, N. (1974). Water Can Undermine Your Health.
Sengupta, P. (2013). Potential Health Impacts of Hard Water. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4(8), 866–875.
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Hi, I'm Sian Burns.
This is where you'll find my thoughts on health, wellness and cancer recovery. Whether you’ve experienced a cancer diagnosis, or you’re just interested in healthier living, WELCOME! I hope you’ll find helpful information and resources in these pages.