Is your drinking water safe

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Many of us question whether our drinking water is safe enough to drink directly out the tap. Municipal water is chemically cleaned before we use it. Some chemicals stay in the water after the cleaning process DBP (disinfection by-product). There are many different disinfection by-products and only one is monitored – trihalomethanes. DBP`s (disinfection by-products) are associated with cancers of the bladder, colon and rectum; adverse birth effects like spontaneous abortion; low birth weight and congenital malformations. These chemicals are in our drinking water and it is vital that we drink the purest cleanest water available. Plumbing materials like lead and copper are used in the water distribution system from the reservoir to the tap in your house. Lead and copper are associated with stomach cramps to brain damage. Our drinking water is sometimes contaminated with toilet water because of back flow of the water.

Remember the following about water:

  • In 75% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%.
  • One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
  • Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  • A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.
  • Water regulates body temperature and maintains bowel movements. It will also build resistance to infection by nourishing the mucous lining of the respiratory tract.

Bottled water

When you buy and consume bottled water only use water with the SABWA (South African Bottled Water association) logo on it because the water quality and bottle quality is strictly controlled. The water is of good quality and the bottles (PET Bottles) are recyclable.

What is the difference between natural mineral water and tap water?

The difference is the source of origin of the water. Municipalities draw their water supply from surface water sources and / or groundwater sources. Natural mineral water originates from protected underground sources which gives it a unique taste.

The second difference is due to the different origins and treatments the water is subjected to. Tap water is exposed to various contaminants during collection and thus it has to be treated to make it safe for human consumption. Chlorine is most widely used to treat or disinfect tap water and yields an off taste or odour. Natural mineral water is only treated by filtration as a control measure, thus no chemicals are added and no chemical sterilisation occurs, thus leaving no chemical by-products and off- tastes.

How can you ensure you drink the healthiest water and most cost-effective water?

Buy a water filtration system make sure it complies with the following:

  • The filtration pores are at least 0.5 micron in size – 99.99% bacteria will not pass through.
  • Contains a carbon filter for chlorine and aluminium.
  • Will remove for harmful minerals like mercury, lead and pesticides.
  • Also has a UV light to kill other bacteria.

How long is a bottle of water good for if it remains sealed?

Still mineral water normally bears a two-year expiry date. However, this is used as a lot number for stock rotation purposes. It does not mean the product is sub-standard after this date. The Department of Health, which regulates the safety of bottled natural mineral water, has not set any limitation to the shelf life of bottled water. If stored appropriately still natural mineral water will keep indefinitely. Appropriate conditions for bottled water storage is in a dark, cool, dry area away from any solvents, chemicals or any substance which has strong odours. This applies especially to water in plastic bottles.

Sparkling water on the other hand has a limited shelf life, due to the carbon dioxide which slowly dissipates through the walls of the plastic container and the plastic caps. After a long storage period this water will not have enough sparkle and will be flat. Sparkling water in glass bottles with metal closures have a much longer shelf life than water in plastic bottles. Consumers should also make sure that the bottle still has the factory seal in-tact. Do not accept any product if the seal has been broken, as the quality of the contents can then not be guaranteed.

Should bottled natural mineral water contain micro-organisms?

Yes, bottled water will contain micro-organisms, but as long as the water complies with the SANBWA standards, it is fine to drink. Remember water in nature contains a few bacteria that will not cause disease in healthy human beings.

The bacterial growth in bottled water after bottling is a natural process even in water which have been treated by filtration and/or ultra violet irradiation. Maximum bacteria counts are normally attained within the first month after bottling, reaching levels of 10 – 100 000 cfu per ml.


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