Water

I hope you are doing well. In the consultation I did with you I mentioned the quality of Perth tap water and thought I would expand on this with some further information, which I hope you will find useful.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Our bodies are approximately 55-65% fluid. When some of that fluid is lost through sweat, it affects our cardiovascular system and our ability to control temperature. Water helps to maintain body temperature, and allows for over 50% of all chemical reactions occurring in the body.

How Much Should You Drink?

Many practitioners recommend people drink at least eight cups of water daily, spreading it throughout the whole day. Drinking plenty of clean water is important but from talking to my clients I know that some people require more than others. Regular non-carbonated water is the best. Never wait until you are thirsty – that is a sign of dehydration.

If you don't like water it can be a matter of adjusting and getting used to it as there is nothing that is really as good as pure water.

Early symptoms of fluid deficiency include fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of body weight, and heat intolerance. Severe water shortage is marked by muscle spasms, exhaustion, excessive temperatures and heat stroke.

What About Tap Water?

Unfortunately, the water from nature does not come to your faucet in a perfectly clean pristine condition. After being gathered from rain, ground and surface waters, Australian water travels through the closed distribution system to prevent environmental exposure and pollution.

Before water leaves the supplier, it has to be cleaned of dangerous microorganisms and chemicals that make their way to the dams. Pathogens from organic matter livestock waste, pesticides and fertilizers from farming by-products, inorganic pollutants and heavy metals such as arsenic, iron, manganese from mining, cadmium, lead and asbestos from piping degradation, can cause life-threatening ailments if not filtered and treated properly in our water. Nobody wants waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and gastroenteritis viruses to become first-hand familiar or to see our running water turn from virtually odorless and crystal clear to a foul-smelling brown liquid.

Perth water is controlled for 70 contaminants with a bouquet of up to 28 different chemicals. Some experts say that these treatment solutions may be as dangerous as the indigenous contaminants. Even properly treated water may become polluted in the distribution system before reaching your house.

Pesticides and herbicide used to prevent weak growth and protect crops from insects can leach into waterways. Even low level exposure to these chemicals can cause serious health problems, especially if the contact with pesticides comes from different sources. Side effects may include suppressed immunity, hormonal and reproductive abnormalities and neurological disturbances. Contact with many herbicides and pesticides have been linked to breast and testicular cancers.

Nitrates and nitrites from sewage appear in the drinking water, especially in rural areas. Excess levels of these chemicals can lower the oxygen carrying capacity of blood, particularly dangerous for young children.

Heavy metals such as Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Arsenic and Chromium also find their way to your drinking water from leaching building materials, paint, fuel emissions and mining. Because your body does not excrete heavy metals in the same way as vitamins and minerals, chronic exposure may lead to a build up of these chemicals causing high blood pressure, headaches, joint pain, hormonal abnormalities, heart and digestive system problems.

Dangerous Purification

Disinfection and purification of municipal water improves its taste, smell and colour, making it relatively appealing and drinkable. However, these disinfectants may also produce undesirable organic by-products potentially dangerous for your health. Some of the known chemicals added to your tap water include:

Chlorine – a very effective disinfectant that eliminates bacteria and deadly ailments such as typhoid and cholera. However, some studies have shown that this highly reactive contaminant may increase the risk of cancer, irritate digestive tract, kill friendly gut bacteria, damage arteries, raise cholesterol levels and cause various skin problems when applied externally.

Fluoride – a naturally occurring mineral that is added to water to promote mineralization of teeth and bones and prevention of tooth decay but getting more of this mineral than you need may result in dental and skeletal fluorosis contributing to mottled tooth enamel and brittle bones.

Aluminum – this mineral is used to remove particles from water and makes it translucent and crystalline and much more appealing. But some studies reveal that aluminum is a central nervous system toxin especially if you don’t have a strong immune function.

Pristine Solution

Before you get terrified about the dangerous bugs in your water and decide to completely give up drinking tap water, there is a wonderful solution for you – purchase your own water filtering system. You can choose from a variety of filters made for household use depending on your need, budget and space.

Carbon (Cartridge) Filters – consist of activated carbon or charcoal, these remove chlorine and volatile organic compounds, pesticides, benzene and radon, improving water’s taste and smell. However, cartridge is ineffective against heavy metals or bacteria and virus.

Ion Exchange Filters – contain resins that attract heavy metals, fluoride, nitrates. Because resins do not remove organic chemicals, pesticides or chlorine, these filters usually have a built-in > carbon-type filter.

Reverse Osmosis – also known as hyperfiltration, passes the water under high pressure through the membrane with very small pores that can filter out single ions. Removing most particles and dangerous chemicals, including bacteria, cysts, viruses, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, this is considered the most effective method of water disinfection. But it can be costly, slow and not suitable for all households due to installation mechanisms. Bottled water is usually a product of Reverse Osmosis.

Distillation – boils the water, filters out the chemicals and condenses the steam, removing most contaminants such as chlorine, cysts, heavy metals and bacteria, but may still miss out on volatile organic compounds. Even though it is a very good filtration system, distillation is thought to strip away important minerals from water; may be expensive and is slow to run.

Prices for filters vary from $30 to $1500. Check what type of disinfectant materials are used in the system and whether you can install it at home. Alternatively get the filtered water delivered to > your home and drink to your health!

Best wishes

Nick Dale
Naturopath
Tel: 9397 9124
Mobile: 0412 596789

I am available at the Galleria from Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am - 5pm and late night shopping on Thursday's. Come by and see me and give me an update on how you are going when you can.


 

 


 

Nick Dale, Naturopath Perth, Morley, Roleystone

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