We agree that there is tremendous confusion about drinking water. There is a dizzying array of bottled water products available in stores, including purified water, vapor-distilled water, spring water, mineral water, electrolyte-enhanced water, alkaline water, alkaline-mineralized water, ionic water, infused water, vitamin water and so on. At the other end of the spectrum is plain old tap water. And then there are several options for purifying water at home, such as refrigerator filters, faucet filters, counter-top pitcher filters, distillation systems, water softening systems, reverse-osmosis filter systems; whole house filtration systems etc. So what do we recommend? Here are the main considerations that are useful to navigate through the confusion:
- It is a fact that municipal tap water and private well water can have many contaminants. As per reports from United States EPA, there are hundreds of known potential contaminants in water, and it is not possible to test for every new contaminant that is discovered. The majority of potential contaminants are not regulated, and are therefore not tested by authorities! It is also a fact that municipally treated water always has dissolved chlorine, chloramines, and/or other disinfection by-products, that react with other contaminants and often form carcinogenic derivatives at varying levels. The quality of tap water depends not only on the water source, but also the quality of water treatment, and the quality of pipes that bring the water into your home — it is not possible to constantly monitor all the variables. Therefore, it is best to use a NSF-certified filter to remove the most common contaminants from tap water or well water. However, please be aware that the vast majority of household filters are not capable of removing contaminants such as fluoride, nitrates and nitrites. Most municipal districts in the United States add fluoride chemicals to tap water, which is a very controversial practice and there is much evidence in recent scientific studies that water fluoridation does more harm than good (many countries have already banned fluoridation of water). Nitrates and nitrites are also common water contaminants due to extensive use of fertilizers in agriculture. These contaminants find their way into streams, rivers and the water table via agricultural run-off and seepage into the ground. If you want to remove fluoride, nitrates and nitrites, the most common options are to use a reverse-osmosis filter system, or a water distillation system combined with a carbon filter.
- It is also a fact that regular use of bottled water (including all types of mineral, spring, electrolyte-enhanced, alkaline, distilled, or purified bottled waters) is a very expensive choice, both for your wallet and for the environment. Further, the quality of bottled water can vary greatly, depending on the brand, the source water, the bottling operation, the quality of the plastic bottles, and the conditions under which the bottles are stored. If you use bottled water regularly, be sure to obtain and inspect the manufacturer’s water quality report. Please be aware however that most bottlers will conduct the minimum number of required water tests. They will typically not test for any unregulated contaminants, because they are not required to. In particular, we don’t know of any bottled water company which certifies or guarantees their bottled water to be free of plasticizers or other contaminants leaching from the bottles.
- If you use a relatively advanced water purification system at home (i.e. water softening system, distillation system, or a reverse-osmosis filter systems), in most cases you will get purified water of a consistent quality, but unfortunately such waters are always deficient in healthy minerals (these purification systems remove the good minerals along with the bad pollutants). If drinking pure water without agricultural or industrial pollutants is important to you, then using purified waters is usually the most cost-effective and probably the best choice for most people, provided that you add healthy mineral electrolytes back into the water. As far as we know, EMdrops is the first and only liquid product for adding essential mineral electrolytes (including calcium and magnesium) to drinking water, without any preservatives or chemical additives.
- The very best drinking waters have a good level of healthy dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are required by living organisms, while being free of disease-causing germs, toxic elements, disinfection by-products, agricultural and industrial pollutants etc. These healthy waters come from unpolluted natural sources such as high altitude mountain springs and deep underground aquifers. Unfortunately, such sources are rare in populated areas. Due to widespread pollution, the vast majority of people no longer have access to high quality pure drinking water, as defined above. This is the key reason why we at Watermins have pledged support to the ‘Environmental Working Group’ and ‘Fluoride Action Network’, since these organizations are passionate about keeping the environment clean, and are advocates of clean, safe, unpolluted drinking water.