Did you know that 55 percent of all waterways in the US was considered to be in poor condition, while just 21 percent was considered good? In 2013, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) conducted a comprehensive examination of the health of U.S water and revealed these astounding numbers. So how did this happen? Our water supply is considered one of the safest in the world. We rely on public water systems to provide and treat over 44 billion gallons of water each day for our cooking, drinking, cleaning, bathing, and washing, etc.
To make the matter worse, there are presences of pharmaceutical and byproduct contaminants in our water. A study conducted by the Associated Press discovered a vast array of pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water of at least 41 million Americans including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones. So how do these pharmaceutical and byproduct contaminants get in our water? As an EPA representative put it, “People think that if they take a medication, their body absorbs it and it disappears, but of course that’s not the case.” Our municipal water treatments do not remove these, so they just continue to build up in our water supply.
These types of contaminants can create dangerous health issues to people especially young children, pregnant women. Currently, the federal government doesn’t require any testing and hasn’t set safety limits for drugs in water. As a matter of fact, there are many contaminants in our water that are not regulated.
Part of the challenge is that our water system infrastructure is heavily underfunded, and it is being strained by growing populations and economic development.
What Can We Do?
It is safe to say, if you don’t filter your water, your body is the filter. Once my daughter was born, I became much more aware of the challenge of providing clean, healthy water for her, my wife, as well as my own health. If you don’t filter your water, your body is the filter. I certainly do not want my family to be the filter for dangerous contaminants. Some of the dissolved solids may include Arsenic, Asbestos, Fluoride, Lead, Cadmium, and others. But you can start taking action today and take control of your family’s health by following these tips:
- Knowledge is key; know how safe and clean your water is by using the interactive Diagnose Your Drinking Water tool by the Water Quality Association.
- Seek other safer alternatives for water filtration such as distillation, or reverse osmosis filtration. Both of these methods will, for the most part, remove the vast majority of the dissolved solids in your water, and allow you to have great tasting water, which is also free of things, which, should not be in our water.
- Invest in some BPA free bottles to carry water around with you and your family. There are plenty of high quality and well-designed bottles like bkr, or lifefactory.
1. Malewitz, Jim. “EPA Warns of Poor U.S.Water Quality”. Governing.com, Energy & Environment Section. Mar 2013. Web. Feb 2014. <http://www.governing.com/news/state/sl-epa-warns-of-poor-us-water-quality.html>
2. “The Importance of Clean Water”. Gracelinks.org. n.p, n.d. Feb 2014. <http://www.gracelinks.org/2382/the-importance-of-clean-water>
3. “AP: Drugs found in drinking water”. USA Today. n.p, Sept 2008. Feb 2014. <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-03-10-drugs-tap-water_N.htm?loc>
David Schulhof is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and the founder of Living Sunlight, a health and wellness platform (Launching April 2014), which will make it easy for consumers to find and get products that support a healthy lifestyle. The company just launched Stanford Water Purification System, a compact and portable water filter system using Reverse Osmosis technology. At this stage, the company is seeking additional funds to help fund volume production and obtain the necessary certifications to make this product accessible to lower income families using Government subsidies. To do so, they are pushing out their first Indiegogo Campaign on February 17, 2014. On top of that, for every funded unit on Indiegogo, the company will donate $4 to Charity: Water, a non-profit organization that brings safe and clean water to people in developing nations.