How Healthy Is Your Water?

I used to think that tap water is just fine. After all it is inspected and tested by the government, and why would they allow anything that could harm us? Those of you who just burst out laughing for my naivety, you are right. I was stupid.

Once I got sick, I discussed what I can do with my doctor and read up a lot. I found out that tap water and even some bottled water can make us sick, and it is of critical importance to drink and cook only with good water.

The average human body is around 60% water (source). That is why we can’t survive for more than 3 to 5 days without water. The average rules of survival are you can live 3 days without water and 30 days without food before you die. Water is that important to us.

I will talk in a minute why you shouldn’t drink tap water and some bottled water, but for now let’s just assume that tap water is harmful. Just as a thought exercise.

When you think about ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, what organ is damaged? It is the colon. What part of our body is exposed to anything we eat or drink? It is the colon. Everything we drink or eat that contains water (soup, tap water, coffee, tea, soda, beer, etc.) goes through our colon. That even includes food that absorbs water like rice. Now it would stand to reason, if I constantly expose a body part to something that hurts it, that it would get inflamed. Not because there is something wrong with it, but because it is trying to protect itself. When I started to heal my ulcerative colitis, I did a number of things. So it is sometimes difficult to attribute exactly what helped. But I am convinced that switching to a healthy water source had a HUGE impact on healing me.

So, why shouldn’t you drink tap water & even some bottled water?

Tap water and even some bottled water contain a number of ingredients that you really don’t’ want to give to your body. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should not drink or cook with tap water.

Number 1 – Fluoride

Most municipalities in the US add fluoride to our tap water. It is the ONLY component added to water that is not to treat & disinfect the water, but to treat us.

Typically you would expect your local municipality to filter and treat tap water so that it is safe to drink. Nothing more, and nothing less. Fluoride has nothing to do with that. They are added, after the cleaning process, to “protect us against tooth decay.” In a sense, fluoride is being treated like a beneficial medication, and we are all being medicated whether we want to or not.

Now even if fluoride were good for you (it is not) what medication do you know of that is healthy to drink in unlimited doses, irrespective of age, body mass and interaction with other medications? It does not exist. Every time a doctor prescribes you a medication, he factors in your weight, age and other factors. He would never say, here is a box of 100 pills. Take as many as you like. That is what is happening if we drink tap water. The more tap water I drink, the more fluoride I get. That doesn’t make any sense.

A question for you. What do you do if you own a factory that produces a toxic byproduct? Option 1, you pay for having it properly disposed of. Not very appealing. Option 2, you find a study to support the health benefits of your toxic byproduct and donate to the right government officials, and voila all of a sudden you get paid for a toxic byproduct. Now that is very appealing from a financial perspective, and that is what happened starting in the 1940s with fluoride. Fluoride is a toxic byproduct of aluminum production and phosphate production. Now, instead of paying to have properly disposed, they get paid for it. Nice deal if you can get it, and have no morals.

Fluoride in tap water is outlawed in most of Europe and in many parts of Asia. In fact, we are using so much fluoride that we even have to import them from China who of course doesn’t mind selling us their industrial waste. And of course, China does not fluoridate its tap water. I guess they follow the business rule if you are in the business of selling poison “Sell it, but don’t take it.”

If you want to learn more about fluoride in our tap water and their dangers, here are some helpful links:

Number 2 – Disinfectants Like Chlorine or Chloramine

Tap water usually comes from a variety of sources such as rivers, lakes and man-made reservoirs. Naturally it will need to get filtered for stuff you don’t want in your drinking water (like insects) and it needs to be disinfected so that it does not contain harmful bacteria.

Like everything in life, there is a balance between helping and harming. As my chemistry teacher in high school was fond of saying “Everything is toxic. It is just a question of dosage. I you drink 9 gallons of water, it can kill you.” Everything is a question of dosage.

Tap water is RICH in chlorine or chloramine. Some municipalities are worse than others. I had to go on business to Alabama the other day and the shower water reeked of chlorine. All day next day, while sitting in meetings, I could smell the chlorine on my hands whenever my hands came close to my face. It made me nauseous.

The problem with this is that chlorine is toxic to our body and digestive system. It is of particular concern since many municipalities use it very generously for a simple reason.

If you run a water treatment facility, you have two options. Option 1, you are careful with chlorine or chloramine and some bacteria may make it through and sicken some of your customers. Not likely, but could happen. Now, that is instant 24/7 news coverage. You may lose your job and even face potential civil or criminal action. Not very appealing.

Then there is option 2. You let it rip and load the water up with chlorine and chloramine to kill any bacteria for certain. If anyone dies or gets sick it won’t happen instantly like in Option 1 above. It will years later after a long exposure. You are home free.

We all hope that we all do the right thing, and many people do. But when the incentive structure is to do the wrong thing, then we can’t be surprised if people rationalize doing it. Like adding way too much chlorine and chloramine.

Number 3 – Pharmaceutical Drugs

Now this one is fun. Well, not really.

You may be taking more prescription medication that you know. How is that possible you ask? We use in the US about 50% of ALL prescription drugs produced in the world, and many Americans get rid of their medications by flushing them down the toilet. Guess what, they are coming back to us via tap water. Many water treatment facilities simply don’t have the technology to filter millions of different drug chemical compounds out of the water.

And so they come back to us.

See a related article here.

As mentioned, the average adult human body is 55-60% water (babies’ bodies are closer to 75%.) The brain is made up of about 70% water, and the lungs, closer to 90%! This means that the quality of the water you drink has an enormous impact on the quality of your health.

Unfortunately, high quality drinking water is increasingly difficult to come by in this day and age. Most health conscious Americans know that, while we are lucky in this country to have access to water that is largely free of disease-causing microorganisms, drinking plain old, unfiltered tap water is generally not a good idea.

I believe that the high incidence in colon cancer and the increase of colon cancer has to do with the same root cause as ulcerative colitis. In a sense, one could look at ulcerative colitis as an early warning sign. Not everyone gets it. Some unfortunate souls go directly from no symptoms to colon cancer, which is much harder to heal than ulcerative colitis.

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