City Versus Country Water17 May 2012
Most important for those who receive water from a municipal system is the removal of chlorine, fluorides, and MTBE compounds. This will not only reduce the risk of cancer, but will dramatically improve flavor and absorption of water. Distillation or molecularly organized water, such as Wellness water, are the only systems that will effectively achieve this.
City water may well contain significant chemical contaminants from industrial discharge or hazardous waste disposal. For example, it may contain such residues as vinyl chloride (a potent carcinogen) from plastic pipe. Recent studies in the U.S. show that 4% of municipal water supplies carry vinyl chloride from P.V.C. plastic pipe. Contact your local water authority and ask for a current report on the quality of your water. If your water district serves more than 20,000 people it is required to meet strict health standards.
If you do not receive municipal water, there is a much greater likelihood that your water may be contaminated by bacteria, parasites, or hazardous man-made chemicals. Lake or stream water is easily contaminated by surface runoff containing agricultural chemicals, airborne industrial fallout and bacteriological activity. It is also vulnerable to leakage from chemical dumps, sewage, and industrial discharge. Lake or stream water is now unsafe in many areas because of these hazards. It must be monitored closely for bacteria, organic and inorganic chemicals and toxic metals.
Spring water or shallow well water (less than 30 feet deep) is not as likely to be contaminated by surface activity. However, the source of this water is shallow groundwater, which is vulnerable to other types of hazards. Septic tanks and hazardous waste seepage can contaminate groundwater over large distances, particularly in limestone regions. Shallow wells and spring holding tanks are also susceptible to bacteria from poor maintenance or decaying vegetation. A tank or well should be properly constructed with a complete concrete liner and a tight cover. Spring or shallow well water should also be tested regularly for bacteria and organic compounds and then post decontaminated by either distillation or structured filtration units.
Deep well water from a properly constructed well is unlikely to be contaminated by bacteria or surface runoff. The deep water table is also less likely to be contaminated by hazardous waste seepage or sewage, though this has occurred in some places. However, two problems may arise with deep well water. One is the presence of radon gas if it is drilled in radioactive bedrock. This is an international problem. Another may be the presence of dissolved minerals (hardness) if the well is in limestone formations. Hardness is generally harmless but can be an arterial blocker.
One very serious health hazard from deep wells that has only recently been discovered is the possibility of PCB contamination. This highly carcinogenic substance may be leaking from some deep well submersible pumps. Prior to the 1978 manufacturing year, some manufacturers of these pumps placed PCB’s inside their oil filled, sealed motors and these can leak into the well water when the motor seals begin to wear out. Check with your supplier or the manufacturer if your submersible drinking water pump was manufactured before 1978, or obtain a full list of the affected units from your local Environmental Protection Agency office in the U.S., or from your local Ministry of Environment office in countries around the world.
Vol 22 Issue 2 Page 1