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Water- What Are We Really Drinking?
 by: Michelle Ludick

We all need water to survive. No way of trying to get around it, it is a fundamental part of just LIVING. Without water we would die. As I’m sure most people are aware, more than half our body weight is just water. Water is the main ingredient in our blood and is what makes our internal systems work. Be it the digestive system, lymphatic system or circulatory system they all need water for optimal function. Water is what flushes out the toxins and carries the nutrients to your cells.

The body cannot store water and so since we loose water all the time, through urine, bowel movements and perspiration it is imperative that it gets replaced. Dehydration is never a good thing. You feel weak, drained, tired, and lightheaded. To top it all off you suffer from terrible headaches.

Well now we know that we NEED to drink water but when we do so are we aware of exactly what it is that we are putting in our bodies?

The quality of the water we drink varies from place to place and from country to country. Don’t misunderstand all water contains impurities of some sort and need to be ‘decontaminated” as there are many parasitic disease found in water ,but some people quite rightly want to know how much of the chemicals that go into the water are harmful to our bodies?

Due to this more and more people are drinking bottled water. Bottled water may come from a tap, spring water, well water, purified water or it may just be untreated water and so very contaminated. People seem to be under a sense of false security when it comes to bottled water. We all tend to believe that bottled water is safer than tap water. In some cases it is and in others it is far more harmful.

In the United Stated bottled water is regulated by the FDA but they too seem to fall short in some areas. Bottled water suppliers are not made to document the approval of their sources, so we the public have to “go on their word”. I was completely horrified to learn that ‘water bottlers are permitted to sell contaminated water if, and only if, their labeling notes the water contains “excessive bacteria” or “excessive chemical substances”.’ I for one will be reading more labels.

Then we are faced with toxic spills. Thousands of environmental groups around the world demand that the public be made aware of toxic spills and some companies actually accommodate the public by informing them when these things happen but what about when they don’t/won’t do it? What happens when chemicals get purposefully dumped? In some cases these crisis are undoubtedly well managed but let’s not be naïve. They can’t get them all.

Outbreaks sometimes just happen and there is no fore warning and no way of controlling it initially. These things take time. In 1993 Milwaukee, Wisconsin saw the largest waterborne disease out break in the history of the United States. A reported 400 000 people were sick. The disease was Cryptosporidium, which is a diarrheas disease caused by parasites. It is apparently a parasite that is one of the more common waterborne diseases in the United States and is found in both drinking water and recreational water. It is not just found in the United States however, it is a common parasite found world wide. The parasite has a hard outer layer that helps it to survive and so once inside you the parasite lives in the intestines and passes in the stool.

Sometimes it’s not the chemicals, not bacterial outbreaks that are harmful but the general wear and tear of your plumbing materials. As they start to corrode so you get the introduction of lead into your water. This is the water that you, your loved ones and children consume. Well, once off it probably doesn’t do much but over time it leads to high blood pressure and kidney problems in adults and in children it can delay physical and mental development. The results of this being a short attention span in children and in some cases learning disabilities.

We need water, no arguing it as we have already established, without it in a couple of days we will die. We can’t control everything in our lives but we can be more proactive in finding out what is in what we are drinking. Especially since when drinking water we are doing so to just stay alive. Ironically never to harm ourselves.

Article by: Michelle Ludick

About The Author

Michelle Ludick lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her husband and two children. Her website is

This article was posted on October 04, 2006


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