Water, it’s vital to your life! Your body craves it and next to air it is the most essential element for human survival and wellness. Approximately 65-70% of your body is water. Compare not having enough water in your body to run the entire system with not having enough oil in the engine to run the car. Water dissolves solids and delivers nutrients to every cell of your body. Keeping the cells of your body hydrated is important for healthy living. Water forms saliva, assists in flushing body waste, lubricates joints, aids in metabolism, regulates body temperature and allows our brain to produce hormones and neurotransmitters. Drinking water helps in maintaining blood glucose levels, thins the blood allowing the heart to work more efficiently, and promotes healthy skin. Water is the ultimate health drink, as it contributes to every physiological process occurring in the body. It contains no fat, cholesterol or caffeine.
With water playing such critical roles in the body’s ability to function it is easy to understand today’s concerns over the many contaminants being introduced to our water supply.
Here’s how it all starts. Once rain or snow falls to earth, water starts to collect impurities. These impurities can eventually find there way into the municipal drinking water supply. The Water Quality Association (WQA) notes that chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers in water may increase cancer risk and reproductive problems, and can impair eye, liver, kidney and other body functions. Animal wastes can contaminate water supplies with protozoan cysts, Cryptosporidia, Giardia and Entamoeba which cause gastroenteric disease. Why do we need to respect the chemical and industrial disposals laws? Items like batteries and paint release cadmium which can cause kidney problems. Industrial waste also contains arsenic that can cause skin problems and nervous system toxicity. Iron and mineral deposits are less harmful to the body but do create other problems. Iron stains red, forms scale in pipes and increases soap usage. Water going through shale and limestone leaves tub rings, is hard on pipes and can smell.
Pharmaceuticals are now on the list of contaminants. An interesting finding from Utah State University Extension found that up to 90% of oral drugs can pass through humans unchanged. These often move through waste water into streams and groundwater. The amounts of these drugs are low but cause for concern.
The Water Quality Association (WQA), a non-profit association that provides public information about water treatment issues and also trains and certifies professions to better serve consumers, responded by saying that filtering systems in the home provide the highest technology available for treatment of drinking water. They note that less than two percent of all water is ingested by humans making “point of use” filter systems the most cost- effective and environmentally friendly treatment solution.
While technology has blessed us with water filtration systems that help protect us from harmful contaminants the ultimate responsibility is ours. Prevention is the key to healthy living and each individual can and should take responsibility to help keep our environment and drinking water safe and free from contaminants.