Seeds of Moringa Tree Used to Purify Water

An ancient technique for purifying water may offer new hope for the over 1 billion people who have no access to clean drinking water.  The Moringa oleifera tree has been used for hundreds of years by people in Sudan to purify water, as well as for food.  The method has never been widely disseminated, but in 2010 a publication by Michael Lea revealed the Moringa tree’s properties.  According to Lea, when the seeds of this tree are crushed into powder and mixed with surface water, a reduction of bacteria by 90-99 percent can be achieved.

This news provides great hope for those living in areas where the tree is widely grown, including Africa, Central and South America, India, and Southeast Asia. In Ghana, the Moringa tree is grown on plantations, and its leaves are used for food and the seeds used as a spice. According to the UN site IRIN, the tree grows quickly and resists drought, and can be grown in many areas.  The seeds are soft and can be easily crushed, the IRIN site further states.  The fact that the tree is already widely grown, and the ease with which the seeds can be crushed, make this method ideal for those without other sources of water purification.

Kebreab Ghebremichael, a water purification expert with UNESCO, states that using the seeds of Moringa tree is probably best employed at a household level.  According to him, the seeds would pose problems with odor and taste if forced to sit for extended periods of time when used on a large scale basis.  He further states that this method would work better for surface water than with underground water, and that it is best used for emergencies and where other methods of water purification are not available.

Aquabox: Rapid Response for Safe Drinking Water

AquaboxImagine creating a plastic box that would serve a multifunctional purpose for disaster victims. Aquabox, a charitable company registered in England, provides boxes for water purification to dispatch to areas where severe disasters strike. The aftermath of a disaster can leave victims in desperate need of core necessities like food, water and shelter. One of the most urgent challenges for disaster relief agencies is getting fresh, clean drinking water to those victims. Sometimes polluted water is the only source of water. Waterborne contaminants can rapidly cause epidemics such as typhoid and cholera. Many of the outbreaks of disease and infection that result from drinking polluted water could often lead to dehydration and diarrhea, particularly striking the very young.

Aquabox is a robust plastic tank packed with water purification tablets and essential welfare items for a disaster situation. Once the welfare contents have been removed, each Aquabox can be used to purify up to 1100 liters of polluted water, making it safe and pleasant to drink. For example, 1100 liters is equal to 5,000 cups. This is enough safe drinking water for a family of four to consume 10 cups of water per day, for about four months.

This survival box is filled with welfare items such as warm clothing, kitchen utensils, hygiene items and other general hardware. The actual contents depend on the individual or organization that donated and filled the box. By the millennium, Aquabox provided more than 20,000 boxes covering over 30 countries. During the past several years, many aid agencies received and monitored boxes such as Children’s Aid Direct, Feed the Children, Christian African Relief Trust, Containers of Hope and Nottingham Police Aid Convoys.

Clean drinking water can mean the difference between life and death. In the wake of mammoth disasters, natural and manmade, Aquabox is dispatched to areas in dire need of safe drinking water. Under the provisions of their charitable status, Aquabox seeks a donation in return for the box rather than making an outright sale. Aquabox can play a vital part in minimizing the after effects of a disaster.

 

Is Fluoride in Your Water Really Harmful?

Hazards of Fluoride in Water

The painstaking debate continues about whether or not fluoride in your drinking water is beneficial for your teeth and health. For years, we were not concerned about what was in the water we drank, unless we noticed something floating around in it. However, the particles you don’t see is the thing that sends a cross bone and skull warning sign flying in front of our water sources and receptacles.

We are inundated with reports about the effects of fluoride and its impact on tooth decay. Some dental researchers indicate that the benefits of fluoride are primarily topical and not systemic. While we are not attacking the dental industry, there are many reviews and studies that discuss the dangers of a high intake of fluoride which extends beyond cosmetic concern. When examining the possible health effects associated with fluoride in drinking water, the EPA noted that exposure to excessive consumption of fluoride over a lifetime may lead to the likelihood of increased bone fractures in adults, along with pain and tenderness. They go on to say that children 8 years old and younger who are exposed to excessive amounts of fluoride increase their chances of developing pits in the tooth enamel, as well as a range of other cosmetic effects to their teeth.

Many contaminants found in our drinking water warrants significant concern for purification and safety. If your water comes from a household or private well, be sure to check with your health department or local water systems that use ground water, for information on harmful contaminants in your area. There is a variety of filtration systems designed to help remove or reduce numerous waterborne contaminants. When asked about how to remove fluoride from your drinking water, the EPA gave the following statement: “The following treatment method(s) have proven to be effective for removing fluoride to below 4.0 mg/L or 4.0 ppm: distillation or reverse osmosis.”

Reverse Osmosis Systems (RO) will typically use carbon filters, sediment filters and an RO membrane to reduce and remove waterborne contaminants. Reverse Osmosis (RO) removes more contaminants at a higher rate of efficiency than other forms of water filtration. We recommend that you use a reverse osmosis system like the Aqua-Pure APRO5500 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter, the Pentek RO-3500 Monitored Reverse Osmosis System or the Aqua Flo E75TFC-3SFBP RO System with Booster Pump for removing fluoride. The reverse osmosis system is normally located or installed under the sink.

So what do you think about fluoride in your drinking water? “To fluoride or not to fluoride? That is the question!” We would love to hear your comments about this ongoing discussion regarding the trials and tribulations of fluoride in our drinking water. We also invite you to vote in our poll that you will find in the upper right-hand corner on this blog. Do you own a reverse osmosis system? If so, we invite you to share your experience with us.