In the days when I used to watch TV there was a funny advertisement about beer with a catchy line that went something like 'the water in Majorca don't taste like what it ought to'. I can say that about the water from my taps (in the UK) these days. The water here in England doesn't taste how it should or quite how it ought to. Come to think of it, it smells rather strange as well. I can smell and taste chlorine, I recognise the chlorine as it's quite distinctive. The other stuff in it I am not able to recognise by taste but I know it's there because the people who put it there have acknowledged it.
There is so much information available about tap water (and so many things!), it is difficult to say for certain what is in tap water without a test so I have to rely on other ways to know whether it is safe. When I gave my children a bath (without using a water filter) they complained about itchy skin and had to get out of the bath after a short time. Their skin becomes itchy and sore if they sit in unfiltered tap water. I appreciate that some of the problem MAY be due to appliances in our home or old water pipes, however I had the water in our home tested. A very lovely employee from our water supplier visited the house and ran checks on our water supply to make sure everything was okay. His report that was sent to me explained that everything was as it should be and there was nothing that could be done regarding my chlorine concerns. So I bought a water filter and since then my children have enjoyed bath times again. Since then I have wondered about the quality of tap water.
I spent a lot of time researching tap water in the UK. I read a lot of information from many angles and not just those sources citing the problems with tap water. Chlorine and aluminium are are routinely added to UK tap water by water companies in addition to many other chemicals. I understand why chlorine is added, to kill harmful bacteria and pathogens, however there are safer alternatives. For example Hydrogen Peroxide. Not only is it safe when used sensibly, it is actually beneficial to the body. I know this because I have used it for years and experienced the benefits. I will cover this more in another post. I understand that the water needs to be cleansed, however I know there are safer ways to do this, ways that do not use poisonous chemicals. It will probably not harm you to drink a glass of water or to take one bath in tap water with chlorine and the other chemicals. I am certain it is very harmful for long term health to expose your body to chlorinated water every day. The chlorine has a cumulative effect in the body and it poisons the body. If I remember correctly, research informed me that aluminium is added to prevent cloudy water and to make the water look sparkly. Jeepers, give me cloudy, non-sparkly water sans aluminium any day. Having said this, it is possible that there are really good reasons why these chemicals are added.
I have so much faith in nature. If there is something us humans genuinely need for good health and wellbeing, there is something natural to meet these needs. I appreciate that water needs to be treated but I am sure we can do this using natural substances that are not harmful to us and the environment.
There is a website called Water UK http://www.water.org.uk. The site claims to be working on behalf of the water industry towards a sustainable future and they have lots of information. I managed to find some reports that addressed some of my concerns. For example, the pharmaceutical residues that may be in the tap water. Here is what their report had to say.
"studies in the UK and other parts of the world have
shown that in certain circumstances very small amounts of some pharmaceutical residues
can reach drinking water. The doses of these pharmaceuticals taken by man are usually
many milligrams per day, and for most of the substances detected in water at the intake
would be nanograms per day, if they were found in drinking water. For example, the
dose of erythromycin is 2 to 4 grams per day, so that even a concentration as high as 100
Water UK technical briefing note: Pharmaceutical residues in drinking water
ng/l in drinking water, would represent less than one tenth of a millionth of the daily therapeutic dose.
You will note this report was dated November 2006 so it's quite outdated and I couldn't find other similar reports on the site that were more recent. However I did find a letter dated June 2013 http://dwi.defra.gov.uk/about/annual-report/2012/letter-english.pdf. It covers quite a bit stating 'The good quality of public water supplies in England was maintained in 2012 with 99.96% of all tests meeting EU and national standard'. This sounds encouraging but still, how do I know if the EU and national standards come up to my standards. I am thinking long term, accumulative safety not only immediate safety. The report confirms many toxins in the various water systems including drinking water. On a positive note there is a paragraph that notes the continued effort and concern to be aware of lead in the water and to minimilize it. This is encouraging. Something is being done regarding lead in the water because now we know that it is harmful to drink it. There has been much attention given to this. We do not yet know if it is harmful to drink all the other additions to the water already mentioned. Then again, how can a daily intake of pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, nitrates etc. not harm a living organism especially over time as it accumulates in the body?
I hope this doesn't sound like an attack on the water companies, it's not. Anyone I have ever dealt with from my water supplier has been courteous, friendly and helpful. At some point since humans began putting water through pipes and treating it on a large scale, something has gone adrift and I want to consider how we can get things back on track so we can all enjoy pure water, or at least non toxic water that isn't slowly killing us.
Okay so that is a little about what the water companies are adding to the water. What are we adding to it? There must be so many chemicals in our water system these days due to our lifestyles. Everything from the nitrates and pesticides farmers use, the birth control pills, antibiotics and other prescribed pharmaceuticals plus all the gunk in hair and body care products, cleaning products and anything we consume must work it's way into the water. Is all this stuff filtered out before it gets sent back to us? I doubt it. What can we do? Are we willing to change our lifestyles so that we stop contributing to this? Are we willing to pay more for our water and ask the water companies to clean all the toxins out or do we have to install full house water filter systems. A decent one costs £600 / $970 and then you have the cost of replacing the filters.
You don't have to be a (health) nut like me to appreciate this is madness. WATER IS SO IMPORTANT TO US HUMANS, TO THE PLANET AND TO ALL OF LIFE. There is no magic bullet yet there is always hope. We can learn from the past and make changes that respect the importance of water. We have access to so much knowledge, skill and technology these days, surely we can manage this better. Our physical bodies are made up of mostly water, I have read it amounts to 65%, other sources suggest up to 90%. Water is a part of us and we cannot live without it. Please help to get the word out. Talk about it, email the water companies and ask them for their support, tell them we want natural alternatives that are non toxic. When they receive millions of emails and letters they will take notice. Now is the time for change and together we have the power to make it happen. Many blessings to all.