Types of Water discussed

July 29, 2009

Here we look at what our options are.

‘Processed’ water is available in different grades depending on the end use. For instance, water to be used for sanitation does not need to be treated to the highest standards and would be regarded as Utility Water, whereas for everyday use, our water is normally softened and provides the best quality water for washing and bathing. This softened water is easier to heat and is therefore more eco-friendly and produces better results from our soaps and detergents.

Our fresh drinking water on the other hand must be of the highest quality and meet stringent regulations which protect us from bacteriological and chemical contaminants.

Nowadays, we no longer need to rely on the treatment of our community water supplies to offer the best quality water for our use. We can make it the best by installing our own filtration and purification systems cost-effectively and in our own homes. Because we can do this as we need it, our water can now be treated to the desired quality without fear of re-contamination.

Tap water – can we improve it?…

Recent research indicates that most of the water coming from US taps and wells is unsafe. Toxic contaminents, chloride, bacteria and chemicals including heavy metals often seep into our supplies exposing us to extremely serious conditions like cancers and damage to other major organs such as the liver. The unfortunate fact is that whatever the source, some contamination is bound to be present. Even our bottled water has been found to contain contaminents and can also contain high levels of chemicals leeched from the plastics used to manufacture the actual bottles. Some contaminants such as chlorine and fluoride have arguments for and against and you’ll have to make up your own minds on them. We cover both sides of the arguments within these pages.

The only real answer is a good quality filter or purification system installed in our own homes. One which monitors the quality of the water we drink and which removes harmful contaminants on the one hand, while retaining the beneficial minerals on the other.

Filtered Water – some of the options…

Carbon water filters are quite cost effective and simple to install and account for probably 90% plus of all households who are using filters. The impurities in the water are absorbed by the carbon including some of the worst including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Charcoal filters can remain active for some months with some utilising nano-silver particles as an effective antibacterial substance to promote further protection against some 650 known and harmful organisms in our water. Charcoal filters allow the beneficial minerals which are beneficial to our bodies to remain. These filter will obviously deteriorate over time and especially during periods of non-use and so it is essential to change them regularily following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Ceramic water filters have a very slow flow rate which can make them unpopular. These filters are similar to some carbon filters in that they are typically a cartridge system used on your counter top. Ceramic filters are made up of fossil material with some utilising nano-silver and they can filter out extremely small particles to the point where laboratories would rate the filtered water ‘bacteriologically sterile’.

Distilled water is widely credited as the purest of all ‘filtered’ waters but that doesn’t mean it is the best for our bodies. Much research points to this type of water creating an imbalance in the body’s minerals which can be very dangerous, in the same way as with reverse osmosis systems.

Reverse osmosis systems filter water through a very fine mesh or membrane to create drinkable water from contaminated or even salt seawater. This process again is very slow but it creates a very pure water without the healthy minerals needed for our bodies to flourish.

UV radiation systems sterilize water by exposing it to UV light which in turn kills all living organisms. Regular testing is essential to ensure the correct operation of the filter system and the better systems normally incorporate a type of ‘timer’ so that new elements can be installed when needed.

Atmospheric water generators produce water from air in a similar way to that of dehumidifiers which extract humidity from our air in the form of water. This is then filtered using a variety of filtration methods including UV light and reverse osmosis to produce drinkable water.

Water ionizers can be attached to our domestic water systems to create filtered, alkaline water for drinking and acidic water for cleaning. Connected to your own tap, the ionizer dispenses water at the same rate of flow as you have grown to expect.

Bottled Water – is it better?

Billions of dollars are spent on water every year and yet research has shown that it may be no better or more healthy for us than ordinary tap water. The big brands which sell for a premium on our supermarket shelves have also been shown to be no better than the cheapest brands. The big corporate producers predict it to be a bigger revenue stream than their fizzy drinks.

What are the main types as identified in the FDA’s standards?…

Spring water must come from underground sources which flow to the earth’s surface naturally. When bottled, it must also retain the same qualities, properties and composition as the water flowing naturally from the spring source.

Purified water is either distilled or deionized water or water treated using a reverse osmosis system where the bacteria and and other contaminents have been removed.

Mineral water can have no added minerals but must be 100% natural as with spring water. The levels of minerals and trace elements must be the same as when the water left the ground.

Carbonated water contains carbon dioxide gas through a process of ‘carbonation’. This process can occur naturally as happens with Bulgarian Mihalkovo.

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