Berkey Filters Blog
Nope! Not better for you!
Image via Steven Depolo (Flickr)
5 Busted Myths About Water
Television shows such as MythBusters have encouraged our natural curiosity in a good way. Throughout our lives, we hear all kinds of myths, old wives’ tales, whatever you want to call them, and sometimes, it’s hard to decipher fact from fiction. Well, I’m a water expert, and I’m here to help you debunk some of the myths you’ve heard about H2O. Do you believe that bottled water is better for you? Think again!
Myth #1 - Bottled Water Is Better for You Than Tap Water
Let me just debunk my intro-teaser right off the bat. Bottled water is not better for you than tap water, not even the costly “enhanced” bottled waters. A majority of bottled water is treated tap water thrown into a bottle and sold at ridiculous prices. Additionally, the bottles in which the water is stored are hazardous to your health and our environment; they contain BPA, which is a possible carcinogen, and they are not biodegradable. Finally, unless you’re running a marathon, you do not need to drink “enhanced” water. In fact, placing electrolytes into your body when you don’t need them can cause serious health complications. Bottled water is not better for you than tap water.
Myth #2 - Tap Water Is Perfectly Safe Read more »
Shopping carts aren’t the only metal lurking in your water supply. Image via Brian Smithson (Flickr)
Heavy Metal Pollution in the Water Supply
Heavy metal means different things to different people. There are heavy metal elements, heavy metal music, heavy metal artillery, and heavy metal auto, truck, or radio-controlled-whatever competitions. What does heavy metal mean to me? Well, I do like a hard-rocking song now and again, but heavy metal means water pollution to me. Heavy metal elements contribute to heavy metal pollution in our water supplies, and as with any type of water pollution, we need to be concerned about it!
Heavy Metals Found in Water
The types of heavy metals most commonly found in our water supplies are arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium, and zinc. You probably recognize that some of these metals are bad, such as arsenic and lead, and others are included in your daily multivitamin, such as copper and zinc. Too much exposure to any of them is not healthy, but I’ll explain more about that below. Right now, let me give you a brief rundown of each metal so you know what you’re dealing with: Read more »
Know Your Well… and it will Serve You Well!
It is said that a person can live for weeks without food, but only a matter of days without water. Indeed, civilizations flourish only where there is abundant, clean water. Without it, there are no crops, no livestock, decreased personal hygiene (bath, anyone?)… Essentially little hope for the long, healthy, comfortable life we desire for ourselves and our children.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 15% of Americans are “off the grid” when it comes to obtaining water for their homes, detached from public supplies. And, though there is some value in schemes, such as collecting rainwater in barrels or drawing water from nearby ponds or rivers, the most reliable source of non-public water available to most people is the underground well. Read more »
Don’t forget your pets when calculating your emergency water supply needs!
Image via Jackie (Flickr)
How to Properly Prepare and Maintain an Emergency Water Storage
You can never be too prepared when it comes to drinking water. The human body can live without food for approximately three weeks, but it can only live without water for approximately three days. You never want to think that you will be without water, but we are all susceptible to natural or manmade disasters. This is why it is critically important to include water storage in your household’s emergency preparedness plan. I hope that you will never face a situation where you do not have access to safe drinking water, but if you do, you’ll be relieved to know you can tap into your emergency water storage when necessary.
How Much Water to Store
The first step in preparing an emergency drinking water storage supply for your household is to calculate how much water you should actually keep for your entire family. A good rule of thumb is one gallon of water per day per person. Keep in mind, however, that if you have children, elderly, or ill family members, you might need more water. You will also need extra supplies in your emergency preparedness water storage if you are pregnant, nursing a child, or live in a warmer climate. If you live in a particularly hot environment, you should double your water needs to two gallons per person per day. Read more »
This element isn’t good if it is found in your drinking water!
Image via Mrs. Pugliano (Flickr)
Determining if There Is Mercury in Your Water Supply
If you love seafood, you probably already know about the concern over mercury in water. The FDA has advised pregnant and nursing women in particular to cut down on their seafood consumption because of mercury pollution in water. Mercury is a liquid metal, and it is found in many natural elements. Unfortunately, mercury is not safe for consumption, and too much mercury can cause kidney failure. Mercury in drinking water supplies is definitely something you should concern yourself with, and there are ways to determine if mercury is in the water coming into your home.
Mercury in the Water Supply
Mercury is a natural element found in the earth’s crust, particularly in rocks such as coal. Mercury makes its way into our air when coal is burned. In fact, according to the EPA, coal-fueled power plants account for the largest emissions of mercury released into our environment. When that mercury settles out of the air and onto the ground, it is washed into our water supply. Read more »
Never assume that water even this clear and beautiful is safe to drink!
Image via Nate Eagleson (Flickr)
Water Filter, Water Purifier… Same Thing, Right?
Many people believe that water filtration and water purification are one and the same, but this isn’t actually the case. Water filtration and water purification are two different methods of treating water, and it is important to know the difference. Whether you should filter or purify depends on your current circumstances: You won’t always need to purify, but you should always filter. Here’s the difference between the two.
Filtering Vs. Purifying
The difference between water filtering and water purifying is the same as the difference between before and after. If you filter your water, you’re filtering out all of the bad elements before the water reaches your drinking glass. If you purify your water, you’re treating tainted water after it reaches your drinking glass.
Even if your water well only supports your household, it needs to be tested regularly for contamination.
Image via Oliver Murani (Flickr)
Drinking Well Contamination
Many areas in the United States, especially rural areas, utilize water wells to supply their drinking water. These wells are as susceptible to water contamination as municipal water sources – if not more so in some cases. Additionally, these wells are not regulated by the EPA as municipal water is, so the well owner is solely responsible in ensuring there is zero drinking water contamination present in the water well. It is critical that you test your water well for contamination on a regular basis, because any type of contaminated water can cause illness and potentially death.
Water Well Facts
According to the Centers for Disease Control – you know them as the CDC – 15 million households in the United States get their drinking water from water wells, and all homes sharing the same aquifer are affected by any water well contamination. Water contamination inside these wells can actually occur naturally, resulting from the chemicals and minerals found in our water. Other ways water wells become contaminated is through runoff from food and animal farming and sewage overflows. Read more »
This looks pretty, but it might not be safe to drink!
Image via D. Sharon Pruitt (Flickr)
Choosing the Right Berkey System
If you’ve been following my blog, and I hope that you have been, you’ve read several critical reasons why it is important to filter the tap water pouring into your home. You should never trust that the water supplied by your municipality is safe for consumption. If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve hopefully decided to purchase a Berkey water filter system, but which one is right for you? I’ll explain the different water filter systems to make your choice easier!
The Crown Berkey filtration system is the granddaddy of the Berkey units. It was inspired by the need for larger quantities of safe, filtered water after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Crown Berkey water filter is the water filter system that can support the H2O demand of disaster relief efforts, hospitals, and other large volume needs. The unit’s specifics are: Read more »
Boiling water at a rolling boil for one minute sterilizes it from bacteria, protozoa, and viral infection.
Image via Zeevveez (Flickr)
Does Drinking Water Need to be Guarded from Terrorist Attacks?
September 11, 2001, is a day that changed the way we perceive terrorism. We had experienced terrorism on our soil in the past, but not to the degree of the 9/11 attacks. People naturally fear that water will be in short supply following a terrorist attack. Water is a crucial component to any disaster preparedness plan. But, what about terrorists actually compromising our water supply itself and using it to attack us? It could happen, and our drinking water does need to be guarded from terrorist attacks.
You see, biohazard and chemical warfare are real in today’s medicinally and technologically advanced world. One way to terrorize any nation is to poison its water supply. A tainted water supply will not only make the nation’s people and animals sick, it will also destroy all of the nation’s crops. Those who survive the tainted water would inevitably starve to death. If you don’t believe me, look at the countries throughout the world currently battling starvation. One of the key reasons people are starving to death in third-world countries is because they do not have an adequate supply of clean water. Read more »
Ways to Cut Your Water Usage that are right for YOU
Back in my college days when the first rumblings of the conservation and sustainability movements were being felt, we had an expression that became a bumper-sticker philosophical gem… “Save water… shower with a friend!” Translation: ”Conservation can be fun!” In the late 60′s young people were just becoming aware of the unthinking waste of resources that flowed from the affluence and innovation of the WW2 generation.
Today water conservation has become a permanent part of our society, in part due to increased public awareness and in part through legislation. Virtually every aspect of our water usage has been subject to local and federal rules and regulations. All new toilets, faucets, showerheads and many appliances must conform to federal guidelines limiting water flow rates. Washing machines have been subject to such radical rules that many top-loaders must use a special type of detergent to clean properly! Similarly, handling of waste water has been tightly regulated as the pollution of ground water has emerged in some areas as health and safety nightmares. Read more »