Drinking water. How pure is it? Can we improve it?

Australia
February 5, 2007 6:28pm CST
There is much talk about introducing recycled water in Australia because many places are rapidly running out of water. The question has arisen about how pure our present supply of water is, with many claiming it already contains much that is not beneficial for us. I recently purchased a Brita Water Filter Jug and keep it in the fridge for drinking water. Though previously not a large drinker of plain water, I now drink at least ten large glasses a day, and I love it. In fact, the water is so good that I purchased another Brita Filter Jug to keep filtered water for making hot drinks and for cooking. Are you concerned about the quality of the water you drink? Do you use filtered water? Is your water recycled? Are you concerned about the oestrogen levels in recycled water? (It appears these cannot be removed in recycling). For those who have used recycled water for several years, have your sons developed breasts? (This is a concern with many in Australia).
1 person likes this
3 responses
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
20 Feb 07
As an Australian who has lived in a rural environment for the past 30+ years I cannot understand what everyone is complaining about. When we first moved to the country in 1975 we used to pump water from the irrigation channel up into an overhead settling tank. This water originally came from the Murray River, through hundreds of places where the water actually flowed back into the river from towns etc. We also had a rain water tank, but it certainly wasn't enough for all of our needs, and we couldn't afford an additional tank for a number of years. So during this time of only one tank, we had to use this "settled" water. Of course we had to boil it but it was still river water, with all of the impurities. Have you ever been to the beach and had a close look at the roofs of the houses, covered in white. Guess what that is? Yes right bird droppings, and the water from the roof ends up in the tank. Now people are complaining about drinking and/or having to use recycled water. How much water is actually pumped out to sea? Look at Sydney and even the Burdekin River in Queensland to name just 2 places. In a lot of the cities, the water pipes are so old it isn't funny. In fact recently in a small western New South Wales Town they were without water for 3 days. It ended up that because the water storage was so low, it had sucked some fish and debris up and that had blocked the filters. Pure water. It is time that Australia came to grips witht he fact that we are a dry continent and if we want water, we have to find an alternative sources to what we now have. Where our base is now, we have bore water. It is pure and clean but I too use water jugs, both of which have filters on them. they are both kept in the fridge, but any other water we use is generally boiled. Some of the towns we visit on our travels, the water is absolutely disgusting and it is not recycled. In fact when we travel now, we take water from home and gradually dilute it with the water in the towns we visit. At least that makes it a little bit more palitable. Australia is not the only country with this problem and what I have highlighted here mainly relates to Australia, but could of course be any country in the world. Water is a very precious commodity and it is time that we started treating it in that way. It is time that the Governments of Australia made a decision, i.e. recycled or desalinated water. They also have to get off their butts and start building the plants that will be needed. If they cannot do this, then hand the whole thing over to the Federal Government and let them do the job. I do not think there is any real issue with recycled water personally, and yes there might be some things in it, but that is true of everything we eat and drink these days. The water that is bottled comes from underground springs, and is there is a problem with the soil in that area, then it will be in bottled water as well.
• Australia
20 Feb 07
A wonderful reply! I totally agree with all you have said. I lived on a sugar cane farm for many years. We had bore water and tank water. I know the tank water was extremely polluted, with cane trash and chemicals constantly falling on the roof. Whenever the main, underground tank became nearly dry, we would clean it out before having to buy a load of water. Apart from all the gunk, there were plenty of frogs, even though we had frog traps in the downpipes. In Queensland all they can think of is to build a new dam. What good could that possibly achieve? We NEED to recycle water. We NEED to desalinate water. Have you thought of writing to politicians in the same way? They need to receive letters like that.
@ossie16d (11825)
• Australia
20 Feb 07
Sometimes I do tend to get up on my soap-box about things and water is one of those issues that does fire me up, and more so knowing how bad things are in the country right now. To make matters worse as far as I am concerned the State Premiers are putting politics ahead of their constituents, with the attitude they are taking regarding the current water issues in the Murray-Darling system. Did you realise that the farmers in the Riverina areas (MIA and CIA) have been told they have a zero water allocation for next season? This also includes those who have "high security" water and I have no doubt there are other areas which are similarly affected. Of course if there is rain, that might change but whether it happens in time for them to plant crops is another matter. Also they have to pay for their water entitlement, whether or not they get the water. That of course goes to the State Governments, which is why they don't want to hand anything over to the Federal Government. I will get off my soapbox for now cloudwatcher, but thanks very much for your kind words as well as the best response for this discussion. :)
• Australia
23 Feb 07
And thank you Ossie. Sometimes (no: make that often) I wonder what is inside the heads of our politicians. The main problem is that I see no viable alternative, there being so little difference between the major parties. The proposed Mary Valley dam is another case of political madness. Most experts agree it is not a suitable site and anyone with half a brain can see it won't solve problems.
• Philippines
7 Feb 07
I thought that it's only here in the Philippines which has problems of water. As of now, there are many cases of gastro-entirities (not sure of the spelling) in the provinces because of lack of water supply. They usually get from the well which became polluted because of the growing number of factories. They have no other source and boiling seems not to be enough to remove whatever that gives illness. For me, I was able to buy a water purifier in 1998 yet when I still have some amount of money which we use until now because there are 4 layers of purification and I still have some reserves for the first and second layers and so I think I'm still drinking good drinking water.
• Australia
7 Feb 07
The quality of the water in most places is acceptable, if sometimes a bit hard and not the nicest to drink. The problem is that the SUPPLY of water is running out. The underground supplies are diminishing and the dams are drying. Recycling or desalination are the options.
@KrauseHome (36692)
• United States
6 Feb 07
I know the water here where I live is Grouse. There is NO way that I can drink it, and a lot of the towns are the city of Seattle here have horrible tasting water as well from the direct tap. When I drink water, it is from companies such as Dasani, etc. I have had filtered water before as well. What I cannot believe, is how much more they charge if you want to drink Fresh filtered water. Why? And I would think Filtered water would be better for people, as you remove a lot of the Iron and such that could be Harmful to others. I have heard that is considered a Dangerous obstacle for some as well, especially since it can Cause Health issues as well. So to me, filtered should be the best way to go I would think.
• Australia
7 Feb 07
Is your water recycled? As I said, I filter my water, and I love it, but if water is unavailable, it can't be filtered. Our water supplies are running out.