Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What's with the Water? - Why Having Pure Water NOW is so Important.

What’s happening to our water? As circumstances unravel around us, having pure water is becoming more and more important. There have been several occurrences in the last two years, especially more recent occurrences within the last few months, that have re-opened my eyes to the importance of making sure we have pure water.

If there’s a water crisis of some kind, the problem escalates quickly. Within a short 24 to 48 hours, usable pure water disappears. A couple of years ago, a neighboring city’s water was possibly contaminated due to a break in in their water reservoir. Eagle Mountain residents were asked to refrain from drinking or bathing with the water until the possible problem had been pinpointed and resolved. Within only 48 short hours, all of the bottled water within that city, and neighboring cities, were gone from store shelves. This water bottle shortage took place due to water problems stemming from only one small city with a population of merely 20,000 residents.

If more of the residents had had a good reliable water filter system (like the Berkey or other comparable water filter systems that have the ability to eradicate bacteria, toxins, radiation, viruses, parasites, etc.) they would have been able to continue using the water they had instead of running to the store only to find the shelves empty of all bottled water.

Recent Water Contamination's

More recently, while at a chiropractor appointment for my daughter, I picked up the TIME magazine and chanced upon an article titled, The Toxic Tap. The article covered details regarding a recent water crisis that took place in Flint, Michigan. In April of 2014, in an effort to save millions of dollars, Flint began drawing its water from the local river instead of buying Lake Huron water from Detroit. The city officials chose to stream this water through decades-old pipes.

Soon after making this switch Flint residents noticed a change in their tap water. It would vary in colors, blue one day, tinted green the next, sometimes shades of beige, brown and yellow. The smell of the water was likened to gasoline. Residents began complaining about burning skin, hand tremors, clumps of hair falling out, rashes, respiratory infections, seizures and more. Children were being diagnosed with anemia and parents were finding unsettling red splotches on their hands and faces.

When tested, Flint water was shown to far exceed acceptable levels of lead. Some water samples tested as high as 13,200 parts per billion while the federally accepted action level is only at 15. However, the lie remained that Flint’s water was safe and any problems were not part of a systemic failure. Yet the evidence was clear, Flint’s water contained toxic levels of lead because the state had failed to ensure it was properly treated for corrosion.

The TIME article explains that for almost 19 months, as Flint River water, containing high levels of chloride, a substance that’s known for its corrosive effects, corroded the city’s old pipes and leached lead into the sinks and showers of a city of almost 100,000 people, officials repeatedly told residents that the water was fine.

Flint water being held up in milk container by Flint resident.

The Flint water contamination made me think about recent events within our own city where Utah Lake, along with the Jordan River, were contaminated with toxic blue green algae called Cyanobacteria. The blooms contained harmful levels of toxins that in high enough concentrations can be deadly, especially for pets and livestock given more chance of inadvertent exposure. Humans can begin experiencing physiological responses to cyanobacteria at 20,000 cells per milliliter. Samples taken showed a count of 737,924 cells per milliliter at Jordan River and Bangerter Highway, and nearly 260,000 at Big Cottonwood.

Not only was swimming, boating, or fishing banned within the Utah Lake but irrigation water that used water from the lake, was shut off to cities throughout Utah. Utah Poison Control said it had fielded hundreds of calls related to the bloom, including some 130 people who reported vomiting, diarrhea, headache and rashes.

Utah Lake, Toxic Algae Bloom

Learning about these eye-opening events didn’t stop there. Days after reading this article I was in a neighboring city's office where I overhead a group of three men talking about the city's water. One of the men emphatically stated, "I definitely wouldn't be drinking the water!" He then gave me a quick glance and continued his conversation in hushed tones.

Soon after coming home from the chiropractor's office, I inadvertently bumped into another article explaining that a 183 mile stretch of the Yellowstone River (along with several other waterways) in Billings Montana were closed due to a parasitic infection that had killed tens of thousands of fish. It was said that nothing like that had ever been seen in Montana before.

The disease was previously documented just twice in the state over the past 20 years but more recent outbreaks had occurred in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Officials said that it doesn’t pose a health risk to people but I question if the contamination of dead fish and other dead life in the water would affect the water were it needed for drinking / bathing purposes in the event of a disaster – even if the contamination itself isn’t considered harmful to humans?

Thousands of fish killed off by parasitic contamination in Yellowstone River

After randomly coming across the Flint and Yellowstone articles, I wondered what other current water contamination issues were occurring – or did I just happen to chance upon the only two recent water contamination occurrences within the U.S.? After doing only minutes of research I came across more information that shared more unsettling news.

CNN recently reported that, “Millions of Americans may be drinking water with unsafe levels of industrial chemicals, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. These chemicals, known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances or PFASs, have been linked to high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression -- and even cancer.”

Susan M. Pinney, a professor in the department of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati, stated, “I do think that Americans should be concerned about these chemicals. Not enough time has elapsed to understand all the long-term health effects of these toxins.” She explained that the problem with PFASs is that they remain in our body for a long time. She further explains that although other chemicals can be excreted within hours, it takes about 3½ years for our body to get rid of just half of whatever amount we ingest. That if we are exposed day after day, they will accumulate in our body.

PFA’s are something we should definitely be concerned about.

This same article explained that Hu, Blum and their colleagues examined more than 36,000 water samples collected by the Environmental Protection Agency between 2013 and 2015. The researchers discovered that 66 public water supplies serving 6 million Americans had at least one water sample that measured at or above the EPA recommended safety limit of 70 parts per trillion for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid, two types of PFASs. Newark, Delaware, and Warminster, Pennsylvania, showed particularly high concentration levels.

The CNN article concludes, “Still, the study showed that 16.5 million Americans have one of six types of PFASs in their drinking water at levels at or above the maximum EPA limit. Overall, the highest levels were in watersheds near industrial sites, military bases and wastewater treatment plants.

Though 194 public water supplies with higher-than-recommended chemical concentrations are located in 33 states, three-quarters of the toxic water supplies are in just 13 states: California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, Massachusetts and Illinois.”

Looking Deeper into the Problem

Some other contamination's that we should also be aware of would include antibiotics, chlorine and fluoride. I believe we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg regarding the topic of how safe (or not safe) our drinking water truly is or can become. The Flint and Yellowstone River articles confirmed the feelings of urgency that came when I was told by the Spirit that “Pure Water” was one of the 7 steps to protect our family for times to come.

Although there are current contamination's taking place that do hit the news headlines, I believe that there very well could be other accidental, naturally occurring and even purposeful contamination's taking place that will also cause our health to break down over time.

In addition to the contaminated drinking water exposing every child in the city of Flint to lead poisoning on a daily basis, there’s more than just lead exposure that should be of concern. There are now a number of other diseases that are being reported. The number of cases in Flint of Legionnaires Disease has increased tenfold since the switch to the river water. Eighty-seven people have come down with it, and at least ten have died. In the five years before the river water, not a single person in Flint had died of Legionnaires Disease. Doctors are now discovering that another half-dozen toxins are being found in the blood of Flint’s citizens, causing concern that there are other health catastrophes which may soon come to light.

Although some believe that the toxic algae bloom in Utah Lake was the problem, there’s an even bigger problem beyond that as well – it’s the toxic algae-feeding phosphorous and nitrogen in wastewater that's pumped into the lake that we should pay attention to.

We have the tendency of concerning ourselves with what we can see and feel immediately but what about these toxins we’re being exposed to that have slow, underlying negative side effects? Could they be gradually weakening us on a physical level? I believe they are doing exactly that.

What Can We Do?

There are always answers to nearly every problem – including and especially once it comes to protecting ourselves from the harmful effects of contaminated water. Having a device like the LifeStraw which allows you to drink water through a straw that purifies the water as you drink, is a great idea. But once it comes to providing enough drinking water for a whole family or larger groups of people AND once it comes to showering or bathing with pure water in the event of a severe water contamination where even bathing with the water would be dangerous - having a gravity filter of some kind would be best.

We currently use a Berkey gravity water filter and have purchased a couple of inexpensive solar camping shower bags from Amazon which we could hang in our shower, if needed, and be filled up with filtered water from our Berkey to allow us to take a shower with pure water.

David Gillmore (aka LDS Prepper) has uploaded a video on his YouTube channel where he reviews a variety of water filter systems and explains why, in the end, he chose the Berkey water filter. The video can be viewed at this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFfLbeXDav8.

There are also other water filtration systems that can be found by doing some online research when googling “best water filters”. Just make sure the water filter system you choose can filter out bacteria, parasites, viruses, heavy metals and radiation AND that it doesn’t filter out good minerals from the water that are necessary for good, overall health.

Our drinking water can become contaminated in no time and current water contamination's stemming from PFA’s, antibiotics and other chemicals that have been purposefully or non-purposefully added to our water is something we can’t take lightly.

Whether it’s due to a break in in our water systems; or choices our city makes as to where our water comes from and what pipes it’s traveling through; or parasites or toxic algae blooms that are randomly overtaking the water; or whether it’s due to purposeful man-made contamination's; or from spills containing toxins; or from chemicals that migrate into air, household dust, food, soil and ground and surface water, and that eventually make their way into drinking water – the possibilities seem endless but the conclusion is a clear and simple one: drink pure water NOW and have a way to bathe with pure water for future contamination's.

There are several places that sell Berkey's some of these places include:

The Ready Store
Berkey Filters
Get Berkey

As always, I genuinely hope this information will be a blessing to you and your family,