Getting good water quality

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My favourite drink is water (nipi in Cree). Just plain old water is my choice for quenching my thirst. Water is life giving and without it we would not survive long. As a matter of fact although a person can survive about a month without food, death would occur in less than a week without water. We really need water as it transports nutrients in our body and is necessary for circulation. Clean daily water intake may actually reduce the risk of getting some cancers.

We drink a lot of water and that is a good idea. The suggested water intake for a person is about eight cups a day. If you really overdo it and drink way too much water you can actually get intoxicated and poisoned on it. Most of us get more than eight cups a day because we drink beverages like coffee, tea, juice and soft drinks, which of course contain mostly water.

Amazingly our bodies are made up of about 70% water. That means we are almost totally constructed of water but we rarely think about that. Although 75% of the earth is covered in water, we can’t use much of it and we get most of our water from aquifers underground that hold the most water on the planet.

Most of us get our water from public utilities in towns and cities. This water is treated with chemicals and filtered before it reaches our taps at home. There have been incidents where the water systems have been contaminated and that has made people sick and in some cases led to fatalities. In May 2000, the town of Walkerton, Ontario experienced a tragic problem with E.coli contamination, which resulted in five fatalities and 2,500 people got sick. Cities and towns do their best to make our drinking water safe but it is a constant struggle and challenge to maintain safe and healthy water distribution.

Incredibly most of the populated world and mainly Third World countries do not provide clean and safe water to their people. When I traveled to Asia and Europe I was always warned not to drink the tap water in most countries and to not even use it to brush my teeth. At times, even when I showered in some Third World countries, I was aware that the water could be contaminated and unhealthy. We take clean and safe water for granted here in Canada when amazingly most people on the planet don’t have that luxury.

When I was young and living in Attawapiskat we got our water from the river and had to fetch it in buckets. In the winter we had to maintain a hole in the ice in the main channel of the river to have access to drinking water. There was always regular traffic of people in the community going back and forth to fill their buckets with water all year around. The community had to rely on this manner of getting fresh drinking water until the 1990s.

Imagine, while most people in Canada had enjoyed the luxury of running water and toilets in their homes for about 100 years or so, we only got those services in the 1990s. Incredibly, even after a water facility was put in, there were so many problems with the quality it resulted in many people continuing to fetch their water from the river. When I moved south to cities and towns like Timmins, North Bay and Iroquois Falls, it was great to be able to have clean water to drink at anytime right from the tap.

These days I am getting very picky about the water I drink. I don’t like a heavy chlorine taste and in particular when it is obvious in my coffee and tea. I have been buying a lot of bottled water because I don’t like the taste of tap water in just about any city or town I visit. The problem is that I have been paying a lot for bottled water and when it comes to the small-size throwaway plastic containers the result is a ton of garbage. Some of this plastic is recycled but much of it ends up in landfill. That definitely cannot be a good thing.

Recently, I decided to purchase and install an inline water filtration system to make my home tap water better in quality and to stop me from buying bottled water. These days, there are several options for water filtration systems for your home. They are cheap and easy to install. Now I am confident in my drinking water and I am saving a lot of money as I don’t purchase bottled water anymore. Also, I am not creating huge amounts of plastic garbage. I do love my water.

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