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Natural Choice Show: What is In Your Water?

NCD_ShowAbout 60-70% of our body is composed of water. Obviously choosing the right water makes a big difference in life.

Most of us get our water from city or community systems, which are responsible for treating the water for safe consumption. The treatment process consists of a few general steps:

  • Coagulation and sedimentation to remove large particles of dirt. Metal salts and/or synthetic organic polymers are added to the water to promote coagulation.
  • Filtration to remove finer particles. Examples of filter materials include sand, gravel and charcoal.
  • Ion exchange to remove additional inorganic contaminants.
  • Absorption to remove additional organic contaminants, unwanted coloring, and taste-and-odor-causing compounds.
  • Disinfection to kill bacteria/microorganisms. Chlorine, chloramines, or chlorine dioxide are often used. Ozone and ultraviolet radiation may also be used.

Based on the water source and the actual treatment method, the quality of the treated water differs. Water systems are required to monitor the water for a variety of contaminants. You can request a water quality report from your water system to learn about what is in your water.

Blog1113_WaterMany Americans choose to further treat water at home for various health concerns and taste preferences. Knowing your water can help pinpoint the type of home water system you need. There are different types of technologies used to remove contaminants from water and improve its tastes and odor. These systems can be installed at the point of entry to treat all or most of the water entering the house, or applied at point-of-use to treat water at the consumption point. Common examples are pitcher filters and refrigerator filters.

Here are some common type of devices used to remove contaminants in home drinking water.

  • Filters: Contaminants are reduced by being trapped in the pores of the filter or by being adsorbed or broken down by filter media. Activated carbon is an example of media. These filters are effective options for improving taste. The amount of contaminants removed vary by model.
  • Distillers: Distillers collect water vapor condensed from boiling water. The process kills disease-causing microbes and leaving most chemical contaminants behind. However, contaminants that easily turn into gases may remain in the water and the water lacks minerals.
  • Reverse osmosis units: These devices force water through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure to remove contaminants. They are effective in eliminating disease-causing organisms and most chemical contaminants.

To change the water itself, scientists have turned to water ionizers. These devices utilize electrolysis to alter the pH of water, making it more acidic and alkaline. Water can be produced at various pH levels, each suited for different purposes in the house, ranging from drinking to cleaning. Proponents believe that the drinking water produced has antioxidant properties, can balance the acidic effects of foods, and improve athletic performance through better hydration.

Choose the right water for yourself. Tune in to our Archive.

Related resources and articles: Water Treatment

Reference: EPA, NSF

Photo credit: Last Few Drops by pshutterbug