Four Ounces of PUR is Worth Ten Liters of Cure

Perhaps you are familiar with the PUR line of pitcher filters, refrigerator filters and faucet water filters. Here in the U.S. we are fortunate enough to have had access to clean water for quite some time, along with the tools to filter out chemicals, such as chlorine, which make it that way. But those in the developing world have only recently been introduced to the technology that makes our water clean. It is part of the PUR line of products and it comes in the form of a powder, contained in a small four-ounce packet.

Each packet of powdered mixture is able to clean up to 10 liters of dirty water, removing 99.9 percent of intestinal bacteria, intestinal viruses and protozoa. The PUR packet has been proven to reduce diarrheal disease incidence – one of the leading causes of death in the developing world – by up to 90 percent.

The PUR packet was developed by Proctor & Gamble (P&G) in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dr. Allgood of P&G started the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program after a touching visit with a woman in Kenya seven years ago, turning the distribution of the PUR packet into a nonprofit effort. To date, they have been able to produce more than one billion liters of clean water for children and families in over 40 developing countries. The packets are smaller and easier to ship than plastic water bottles, for faster distribution.

The packet is easy to use: Simply pour its powdered contents into ten liters of water and stir for five minutes. Wait five more minutes for the large dirt particles to settle, and pour the water over a clean cloth into another container. The cloth will filter out large particles of dirt, leaving you with crystal clear water. Wait another 20 minutes before drinking to ensure that all of the microorganisms are killed.View Dr. Allgood’s demonstration of this, here.

Water Park Installs UV Filters in Pools

Wild Island Family Adventure Park in Sparks, Nevada is proud to be the first outdoor water park to have all its pools equipped with UV filtration. Though many water parks are beginning to implement UV filters, they are not installed in all pools, because this type of filtration is significantly more expensive than the traditional chlorine method. For the officials at Wild Island Park, however, the system is worth the high investment.

UV filtration eliminates parasites and microorganisms that are resistant to chlorine, such as cryptosporidium and giardia. Chlorine reacts with microorganisms in the water resulting in dangerous byproducts like chloramines and trihalomethanes which can cause allergies and other, more serious respiratory problems. Chlorine itself is also harsh on skin and eyes. The UV system destroys all bacteria in the water that passes through it, preventing microbes from re-entering the pool. Moreover, UV light has a photo-oxidation effect that destroys chloramines and other harmful byproducts of chlorine without the addition of more chemicals. Thus, the UV system cuts down on the use of chlorine as a disinfectant. Water park visitors have claimed that they could “feel the difference” upon exiting the pool.

Chlorine is not just a problem in swimming pools. Since it is a common disinfecting method used by municipal water treatment plants, chlorine is often present in the water you drink and use for bathing. Chlorine in drinking water often causes water to have an undesirable taste and odor and can be toxic in large amounts. Many refrigerator filters, faucet water filters and undersink filters reduce or remove chlorine. Showering in chlorinated water can also result in dry, itchy skin and upper respiratory problems, especially when the water is hot and you breathe in the vapors. Shower water filters can also cut down on water chlorine levels. For healthy drinking water that is not treated with chlorine, or that is contaminated with parasites that are resistant to chlorine, Filters Fast carries several UV water filters to suit your needs.

Top 10 Most Disturbing Things in Our Water

What’s in your water? We at Filters Fast have compiled a list of the top ten most disturbing things found in tap and bottled water. Some of these may surprise you.

#10 – Chlorine

The chlorination of water is a disinfecting method used by water treatment plants to eliminate the presence of bacteria and other microorganisms in city supplies.  This seems beneficial, but consider the consequences: chlorine in water often reacts with other naturally-occurring elements to produce toxins that are carcinogenic. Prolonged exposure has been linked with several adverse health conditions like asthma and several types of cancer.

#9 – Lead

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Lead in water is a major concern for children and pregnant women, as it affects physical and mental development. Although measures taken over the last few decades have drastically reduced the amount of lead in water supplies, it is still often found in houses and buildings with old pipes. Water that sits for long periods of time in corroded pipes can become contaminated and, when drank, result in lead poisoning.

#8 – Cysts

Cryptosporidium and Giardia are two of the most common water-borne microbiological cysts. These protozoan parasites enter lakes and streams through sewage and animal waste. Drinking water from said lakes and streams is not such a good idea, unless you’re sure the cysts have been filtered out. You could end up with a mild to severe gastrointestinal illness.

#7 – BPA

BPA, otherwise known as bisphenol-A, is found in the plastic used in water bottles and other manufactured products. A large number of studies on BPA have found its effects on the body to be toxic. If BPA leaches into bottled water, it could result in many different types of cancer.

#6 – Fluoride

Ah, the Fluoride debate: to fluoridate or not to fluoridate.  Well, some maintain that fluoride in water is beneficial to dental health. Others claim it is linked to bone cancer and can actually cause dental fluorosis with extensive exposure. It’s all a matter of where your priorities lie. Sure you might die of cancer, but at least you can still flash those healthy, strong pearly whites during your funeral visitation, right?

#5 – Fecal Coliforms

Yes, you read that right. While bottled water companies market their product as healthier than tap, many bottles have been found to contain a small percentage of feces. What’s another word for feces?

You don’t want that in your water.

#4 – Pesticides and Herbicides

This might not sound like such a big deal, since pesticides and herbicides are regularly used to farm our world’s food supplies. But whether you eat them or drink them, these substances are toxic, and have been labeled “gender benders.” Studies have found that atrazine, a common herbicide, is able to turn male frogs into female frogs. Farm run-off puts these toxins in our water supplies, so unless you’re trying to induce a sex change, I’d be careful.

#3 – Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals are scary, because they may be harder to filter than all of these other substances. Since pharmaceuticals do not biodegrade, throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet may cause them to end up in your water supply. Ninety percent of pills can pass through humans unchanged, so that human waste becomes a factor as well. Repeatedly ingesting water contaminated with pharmaceuticals can disrupt normal hormone function or lead to cancer.

#2 – Natural Gas

Several homes across the country, all of which are near a local natural-gas drilling site, have witnessed the miracle of flaming tap water. The good news is that it’s easy to test for – hold a lighter up to your faucet. The down side is that you might get burned while doing so.

#1 – Crickets

In the words of Dr. Peter Gleick, “yes, crickets.” Gleick recently published a book called, Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession With Bottled Water. In it, he discusses the contaminants found in bottled water that most people don’t look for. His examples include a 1994 recall on a Texas-manufactured, bottled, sparkling water that was found to be contaminated with crickets.

I don’t think it gets more disturbing than this, but I could be wrong.  Are these the ten worst things found in tap and bottled water supplies?  Perhaps you have some contaminated water stories you’d like to share.