How clean is our tap water?

Is tap water sustaining us, or is there a better alternative?

Water..something people consume every day, but give little thought about.

It is taken as a given, turn on the tap, and fresh water will run, and in Scotland; it is even clean.

A much different scenario is to be found in England, and many parts of Europe, where tap water often resembles watery mud, and tastes of so.

Such an important substance, yet there is little known about it, certainly within the general population.  It makes one think what might be contained within tap water, and the complexity water has.

70% of our Bodies Are Water

For some reason, water seems to be taken for granted, yet it fills up to 70% of our body composition. And even more as an infant. 

Interestingly, just over 70% of the earth’s surface is water. How coincidental, that what we are, is also reflected within the earth; and vice versa. If we are anything, it is water.

So why are we not thinking more about it?

A complicated question, rather like water itself, not to be answered too lightly. 

What is in Water?

Water contains calcium, potassium, copper, and magnesium, amongst other minerals. These are essential minerals that the body needs to function, and one of the many reasons why water is so vital. Water functions the body in many degrees, from waste removal, to the transportation of nutrients, and suspension within time and space.

The body can last without food for up to three weeks, but it cannot go without water for more than three days.

Water is the right of the human being, but it is being tampered with to such an extent, no one really knows what they are drinking. There are reports suggesting the mineral content within US drinking water, contains so few minerals not even reaching 10% of the RDA. This would be the mineral content consumed if drinking two litres of water.

If water itself lacks mineral content, then so do the vegetables and crops that rely upon it.

It begs the question:

How is Water Treated?

In the UK, the water is treated and regulated to such an extent that it is believed to be relatively safe. The UK is one of the few countries in the world that has no need to buy water from the shop.The water is certainly clear and enjoyable in some parts of the UK, and Scotland enjoys some of the most enjoyable water in the UK. Nevertheless, does this make it safe?

As it is, water contains more than just the minerals that aid the body. Water within the UK contains chlorine, limescale, and lead.

Chlorine is used to disinfect the water from harmful bacteria and organisms. Think swimming pools, and the experience of bathing in them. Of course, the amount of chlorine that is contained within swimming pools, is not the same level as what would be in water. Or is it?

There is 0.5/1 mg chlorine per litre added to drinking water within the UK, and typically 3mg per litre in swimming pools. This is therefore three times the amount of chlorine in water.

Instances have happened however when that level precedes the recommended amount, and in Derbyshire over 8mg/l of chlorine seeped into waterways.

How Much Chlorine is Safe?

The WHO recommends no more than 5mg/l but that is suggested to be observed in far lower concentrations.

It also suggests that exposure to chlorine can lead to aggravated asthmatic symptoms and dermatitis. 

However, is there really a need for chlorine? When bleach is chlorine in its purest form, with standard bleach only containing 5-6 %, would it not be better to bathe without bleaching?  Are there not other methods to disinfect and clean water?

Indeed there are, and Paris, France is a perfect example of this. 

Is there Another Way?

Eau de Paris, manage the water in Paris, who has seen a significant change of recent. The streets of Paris have been filled with clean and easily accessible water fountains, 10,000 in fact, across the city. This is to provide water to everyone as a fundamental right which is their ethos, and to prevent the use of plastic bottles. It means everyone can access free, clean drinking water-including the homeless.

Yet, it does not stop there. Eau de Paris have a different approach to cleaning their water. Rather than using chlorine to disinfect, oxygen tanks are instead used, since microorganisms and bacteria cannot survive in oxygen. As can be seen in the Netflix documentary, ‘Down to Earth’.

This initiative has been so successful that even Scotland is in communication with Eau de Paris to fill Scottish cities with fountains. 

There are other concerns about tap water, not with chlorine alone, which need to be addressed. Materials such as lead, as well as limescale, and phosphoric acid: which is used to control lead infiltration from pipes.

As can be seen with Eau de Paris, there are other ways. Water is our fundamental right and it is our right to receive it in its most natural form.

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