We use water in our daily life from early in the morning to late at night for everything. From our first cup of coffee in the morning to a shower late and night and all day long for everything in between. Drinking water in most cases come from what is called surface water sources like rivers or lakes.
There is however some work to be done before we can drink this water.
Water has what maybe could be called a bad feature. It is a good solvent. Meaning that it is easy for a lot of natural pollutants to be picked up by it and being dissolved in it.
This means that we have to filter that out before we can use it as drinking water.
There are basically four step to clean our water to the point that we can drink it.
I will describe them in short to make cleat that it is not easy to make drinking water.
Coagulation and flocculation
This is the first step and it adds chemicals to the water that neutralizes the negative charge of dirt and binds them to it so they form larger parts.
The sedimentation takes the so called floc from step 1 and makes it sinks to the bottom.
Once it is all settled to the bottom the more clear water at the top will be filtered in a variety of filters that basically goes from large to smaller to filter out a lot of dust, bacteria, viruses and other chemicals.
The final step is to kill all remaining bacteria, viruses and last remaining chemicals.
This part is done by adding Chlorine or Chloramine and this will stay in the water and is transported to your house and comes out of every faucet in your house.
Chlorine was used to make chloride gas and this was used in World War 1 as a chemical weapon.
Yes, you read it good. The same chemical used as a chemical weapon is in the water you drink every day!
Here is a “how its made” video that explains the whole process in a pretty simple way.
The mechanical part and the filtering is something I understand and is almost a no brainier.
You need to filter out all the things that are in a lake or river.
That they have to remove bacterial life and other organic viruses is also pretty well to understand.
My concern is what is left in it when it comes out of my faucet in the kitchen, and is used for drinking, cooking, washing, bathing and all the other things we use drinking water for.
Here is more information about the two basic chemicals use to make “healthy” drinking water.
More about Chlorine and Chloramine
Chlorine is highly toxic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_chlorination
It is also used in the production of plastics, metal degreasing, agrochemicals, and in many more industrial and consumer products.
Let’s have a look at Chloramine
Wikipedia writes that Chloramine is being used to replace Chlorine in the water treatment plants because it is more stable and does not dissipate as fast as free chlorine.
Dissipate means that it dilutes faster and it is harder to find traces of it.
Your water treatment plant can use both of them. Chloramine is a combination of chloride and ammonia.
According to the Center for disease control and prevention the safe level of chlorine in our drinking water is 4 milligram per liter of water. This is 15.14 milligram per gallon, or 0.0053 ounce per gallon.
I have not been able to see this confirmed, but read an article that mentioned 4 parts per million and that was form the EPA.
https://www.health.ny.gov wrote that “when chloride enters the body as a result of breathing, swallowing of skin contact it react with water and produce acids. The acids are corrosive and damage cells in the body on contact.”
My opinion about how safe drinking water is.
It looks like we do not have much of choice than to accept the way the water is delivered to our houses. The water companies apply all the rules set by the EPA and they probably do not know any better anyway.
There are older lines that still contains lead and that can leak into our drinking water. Lead is very poisonous for our bodies. There also can be lead pipes in older houses and I would let these replace as fast as possible.
The only option is to filter our water before it comes out of the faucet is to use a filter system between our meter and the faucet. This so called whole house system can be very expensive, but the best option to filter out everything.
After the faucet is one of the cheapest, but less effective ways to filter our water. Th use of a water filter pitcher is one of the options we have there. I had a look and did a Brita 10 cup water pitcher filter review and although it does not filter out everything, it will lower the levels of several contamination’s and every little bit will help. These pitcher filter do not filter out any chloride however. So if this is your main concern you have to look at other options. Recently I found out that water can even contain asbestos in some places,
I still use it every day for the reason that everything is better than nothing.
It is my personal opinion that we poison our body daily by exposing it to the “safe” water that comes out of our faucets. If you look at our skin, which is our largest organ, we can even say that by taking a bath or a shower we take a bath in poisoned water. Bottled water safety is in my opinion not much of a better option. You can read my opinion about bottled water here.
I will look at ways to use water filtration to make it safer for us to drink this water. I will write about more filtration systems and place links here.