Water 101 – You Need to Know These Basics
I’m an average person, doing average things, in an average week. I follow politics and news, but I admit to previously filtering out most of the environmental news. I found it all so overwhelming. The information I did hear made me wonder if I needed a heavy-duty science degree to understand, plus, I always heard opposing views on things like the Greenhouse Effect, etc. I figured the scientists who know what’s going on are much smarter than me, so why should I spend my brain power on things I know nothing about? I should just concentrate instead on being the best that I can at the stuff I do know about.
Clearly, I am a moron.
I will tell you why YOU, the average person who does average things in an average week, needs to know about water and the environment as it pertains to water. You need to know to stay safe, keep your family safe, and keep your homes, cottages, and businesses safe. Trust me. For most people, learning about water might not be classified as fun, but it is classified, in my mind (now that I’m a bit freaked out), as necessary.
Here’s the “Coles Notes” notes version of what I learned (without the chemistry):
Well Water: If your well has untreated water, there is no way I will ever drink anything or eat anything at your house, and I certainly won’t shower, use a dish or help you with the dishes. There are some disgusting pathogens found in water that can cause a lot more than diarrhoea and nausea. (Strong stomachs needed to see this from the CDC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Strongyloides_LifeCycle.gif )
Water Main Breaks: This can happen at any time, to almost anyone using municipal water systems. This means your water could be contaminated coming in to your house. It doesn’t just affect your drinking water, either. As I write this, a quick Google search came up with these water main breaks happening right now: Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Virginia, and Minneapolis. A Study of Watermain Breaks in Canada & the US by Utah State University states, “The average age of ailing water mains is 47 years old….Over 8% of installed Water Mains are Beyond Their Useful life.” (April 2012) UV Water filtration is not just for wells but municipal water, too.
Clear Water is Not an Indication of Healthy Water: In week one of working at VIQUA, a Ph.D. Professor /Trainer pointed out that there can be pathogens in clear water and brown, dirty-looking water could be healthy. The look of water is not indicative of its safety. All water should be tested regularly to understand its composition. Previously (and erroneously) I thought if there were green things – trees, weeds, shrubs, water plants, whatever – growing in a river or other water source that the water must be okay. Not true at all.
Human or Animal Fecal Matter Could Be In Your Water: According to the EPA, “Fecal coliform and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that water may be contaminated by human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short term effects, such as diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems.”
Pets: Pets can also get sick from drinking bad water. Taking your dog out for a “W”? I recently purchased a Gulpy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G-BxLXZ540 that I fill from my tap at home (I have a point of entry system that purifies every tap – including outdoor hose tap – not just the kitchen tap).
Showers Can Make You Sick: You can get waterborne illnesses taking a shower. Some pathogens are harmless in water, but once they’re inhaled, they get dangerous. The most well-known is Legionnaire’s disease, but there are many others that are more common. You can breathe in the pathogens – it’s not only drinking the water that can make you sick.
On a brighter note, VIQUA makes tap water safe. Install one of our UV water purification systems under your sink or where your water comes into your home or light commercial space. Simply replace the ultraviolet (UV) lamp every year (depending on your water and usage) and you may have to clean the cover of the lamp (sleeve) a couple or few times a year. It’s that simple.
VIQUA is a global company with more than 600,000 installations worldwide in residential and light commercial (e.g. Starbucks Latin America). Find a VIQUA dealer now.