WHAT’S IN MY DRINKING WATER???
Erin Brockovich and members of her team held a town hall meeting in Satellite Beach at the end of September 2018. They came to discuss the recent findings of water testing results.
According to an article in FLORIDA TODAY, chemicals and other military debris has been buried in the area on and around Patrick Air Force Base and Canaveral Air Force Station.
The contaminants found were associated with firefighting foams and Teflon as well as machine gun belts with ammunition, 55-gallon drums, paint cans, Piper Cubs, jeeps, ambulances, spools of electrical wire and airplane parts.
Space Coast Daily reported that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has established a 70 parts per trillion (ppt) as the health advisory level for drinking water for the contaminants that were found.
The levels found in the Satellite Beach drinking water ranged from 22.85 to 41.5 ppt; but at Patrick Air Force base, the concentrations are considerably higher and at dangerous levels (71 to 4.3 million ppt).
In the past 20 years, over 300 cases of cancer have been diagnosed in the Satellite Beach area.
More commonly, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG):
Over 260 Contaminants can be found in our drinking water:
93 linked to increased cancer risk
78 associated with brain and nervous system damage
63 connected to developmental harm to children born and yet to be born
38 that could interfere with fertility
45 linked to hormonal disruption
Plus lead, 1,4-dioxane, and nitrates
Much of these contaminants come from industrial farming run-off. Not only do these contaminate our drinking water, but also increase algae growth which then decreases the oxygen levels for creatures living in the water.
It’s a chain reaction effect that is far-reaching. Fertilizer run-off has been blamed for toxic algae invading the coastlines of Florida.
Another contaminant is medications that have been dumped either directly or indirectly (through human bathroom waste) into municipal water systems.
Almost no water treatment plant in America filters these out.
This means that a person may be ingesting many medications that they have never been prescribed through simply drinking a glass of water.
Yet another contaminant is from washing our “non-stick” cookware. In fact, Teflon is one of the contaminants found in Satellite Beach water.
Most of us assume that if our water tastes pure, then it is.
This is rarely the case. If you have public water, you can get local drinking water reports from the EPA.
A guide to safe drinking water is available at ewg.org/tapwater.
City results are also available at this site.
For those with well water; it makes sense to have your water tested for nitrates and other contaminants.
It is best to filter all water that comes into your house and again at the kitchen sink and bathroom shower.
Unfiltered water means exposure to dangerous chlorine vapors and chloroform gas. This means that the water in your toilet bowl, kitchen sink, shower or bath and washing machine can and will emit these gases.
Chloroform gas alone can cause dizziness, nausea and general fatigue.
Below are a few suggestions for filtering your water. They are not listed in any particular order.
Pure and Clear Whole House Water Filtration System – cost runs from $1165 for a house using city water to $1750 for a house on well water.
A 3-stage filtration process including a micron sediment prefilter, a KDF water filter and a high-grade carbon water filter. These can run from $650 to $2000.
Culligan will do a free in-home water test and will recommend either a filtration system or a condition system. I could not find any prices online, but the representative will explain the differences and the prices. It depends on the number of people who live in the house.
If all you are looking for is an under the sink drinking water system:
Amazon has a 3-cartridge system for under $200 and several 4-cartridge systems that range from $600-$1300.
The Berkey system uses 2 carbon filters and 2 fluoride filters which are gravity fed. This system works for 2-6 people and runs under $300.
There are systems that exist using anywhere from 2 to 7 stages of filtration. The first step is to get your city or well report on what’s in your drinking water.
Once you know which contaminates that you wish to remove, you can better know how many stages of filtration you will need.
At the very least, a Sediment Filter Cartridge and a Carbon Filter Cartridge should be considered.
As named, the sediment filter traps sediment like dirt, silt and rust.
The Activated Carbon in the carbon filter reduces chlorine, removes odors and improves the taste.
This would be a 2-stage system.
Stage 3 would include a Reverse Osmosis Membrane which would remove things like fluoride and reduces arsenic, lead, parasitic cysts, copper and more.
Stage 4 would usually be a deionization filter. This would remove all remaining total dissolved solids.
The more stages there are, the more kinds of things that get filtered out. This also means a higher cost.
As mentioned above, medications is one of the hardest things to filter out and does require a more sophisticated system.
Again, knowing what is in the water to start with and what you want to filter out or remove will give you the best guidelines.
Remember, everyone who comes to your home to test your water is a salesperson. Know your needs before you invite them but do invite them. Invite more than one and compare notes.
It’s an important decision and one of the best ones that you will ever make.
WATER IS LIFE. And you need it daily...