The news is full of stories these days about our drinking water. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) has been leading the charge in terms of reporting the problems with contaminants in our drinking water.
A few weeks ago, the EWG produced the results of a study that indicated that the levels of Hexavalent Chromium (Chromium 6) a carcinogenic substance made famous by the movie Erin Brockovich, in the drinking water in 31 out of 35 cities in America exceeded safe levels.
The EWG has been calling for the reduction in the maximum amount of fluoride that municipalities can add to our drinking of fluoride for five years. The EPA finally agreed a few weeks ago and now we are seeing municipalities being forced to reduce the level of the poison down to 0.7 ppm (parts per million) down from 1.2 ppm.
This week, the EPA announced that it would force municipalities through the archaic Safe Drinking Water Act to limit the legal amount of Perchlorate in drinking water to a “safe” level of one part per billion. Perchlorate is a component of rocket fuel, flares and fireworks known to hamper thyroid function and hinder brain development in young children and cause cancer in adults. Nice stuff!
The EPA also announced as part of their aggressive new policy on safe drinking water that they would monitor 16-cancer causing chemicals dubbed “volatile organic compounds” as part of their comprehensive master drinking water safety strategy. I wonder how long the EPA will monitor those 16 cancer causing VOCs before they decide that perhaps the public should not be drinking them. How long do you want the government to think about compounds found in our drinking water that they know can and do cause cancer?
Just the tip of the Iceberg:
The new stance of the EPA comes at least ten years too late, but at least it is heading in the right direction. Unfortunately, there is a long way to go. The EPA has determined that there are at least 60,000 hazardous contaminants produced in the USA. All contaminants eventually end up in our source water at some point in time. The EPA’s announcement on the acceptable level of Perchlorate allowed in our drinking water represents the 91st chemical that the Safe Water Drinking Act regulates. What about the other 60,000 contaminants?
Drinking Water will not be “Free” For Much Longer
We are witnessing significantly higher costs for drinking water supplied by municipalities all over America. The rising costs are typically being blamed on improving infrastructure to supply water. Those on the receiving end of those bills are upset, but nobody else is. Most people don’t put much thought into the cost of water because their water bills are small relative to other bills that they have to pay. In fact, most of us think of water as basically “free”.
It’s time for people to start giving more thought to drinking water. Nothing is more important to our health. We need to individually and collectively make decisions about what we are putting into our bodies. At the current time, the decision to drink safe and healthy water is solely up to the individual. At some point in time, the decision to make our government responsible for providing safe and healthy water is going to have to be addressed. At that point in time, the cost of our drinking water is going to skyrocket and everybody will have to pay. Nobody likes higher taxes or bills, but the cost of not making our drinking water safe is simply too high. Unfortunately, nobody realizes it yet, or at least nobody is doing anything about it!
The Cost of Safe and Healthy Drinking Water:
The average American family spends about $400 per year on bottled water, which they believe is safer than tap water. However, the evidence tells us that the perception is simply not true in most cases. A large percentage of bottled water is in fact tap water that has been filtered, but there are no regulations or controls as to what the filter is. Therefore, your $400 expenditure may be a waste of money other than providing better tasting water.
Brita filters provide filtration, but if you read the label on the box, Brita filters remove almost nothing. People use Brita filters because they remove the taste and odor associated with chlorine, but you can achieve the same effect by simply exposing water to air for a few minutes.
Anybody can have safe drinking water right now. However, there is a cost attached to it. Everybody should be drinking filtered water. It costs about $250 to purchase a decent “point of use” filter system and about $120 per year for replacement filters.
Anyone can have healthy drinking water by purchasing a water ionizer ($1,500 EOS Platinum to $4,000 Enagic SD501) or by purchasing an antioxidant filter ($399 Alkastream to $599 IonWays Naia). Both types of products produce super hydrating water and an incredible source of antioxidants. The good news for those who purchase the antioxidant filters is that they also provide safe drinking water because they are first and foremost a filter. When you take into consideration that the “safety” factor costs $250 regardless of what system you use, the natural antioxidant filtration aspect costs an additional $150. That is why I’m such a big fan of the filters.
People choose their drinking water based upon their financial position and their perception of what is safe and healthy. While a $1,500 to $4,000 water ionizer and a $250 pre-filter system is the choice of those who can afford it, the option is not available to everyone. The $400 antioxidant filter systems are much more economical and just as effective, but may still be out of reach for those who can’t afford it, or don’t recognize the value of safe and healthy water.
I believe that everyone in our society has the right to safe drinking water. It will cost everyone in the form of higher taxes to achieve this basic human right, but it will be expensive. However, the cost is nothing compared to the money spent on bailing out the banks and many other peculiar uses of our tax dollars.
As always, the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.