Water, Water Everywhere…
We had the plumber here last week for a whole day and a half. No, we didn’t have a leak. We were getting our water filters fitted.
We’ve had 2 filters installed – a whole house system and an under-counter reverse osmosis filter system.
Why? To remove the chlorine and the fluoride from our house water.
Why? Because the chlorine and fluoride can cause health problems:
- Chlorine can aggravate skin problems and digestive disorders and the vapour from hot showers can exacerbate asthma and bronchial problems. (Please read the Weston A. Price Foundation paper for more info – http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/restore_digestivehealth.html )
- Fluoride added to water can lead to fluorosis (discolouration of the teeth), lead to gastrointestinal complaints plus assist a host of other concerns. Perth has been adding flouride to its water supply since 1968! (For further information please read this paper on IBS & Fluoride Toxicity – The Flouride Debate – and peruse these websites – Health Net, Fluoride Alert.
Why Us? Due to our own health problems we believe may be caused by these two toxic additives:
- Mike cut his hand whilst we were still living in the UK and its taken ages to heal. He went to the doctor who thought it may be eczema and gave him some cream, then we came out to Perth and it didn’t heal, so a doctor in Perth thought it may be a fungus infection and gave him some different cream. Then we were back in the UK and just as it was nearly healed we came back to Perth and its gone bad again. Why? Is it the level of chlorine in the water here? We can smell the chlorine vapour when we turn on the shower and the water tastes awful straight out of the tap. Is this causing this skin irritation to not heal?
- We’ve visited Perth numerous times for short periods and we’ve had no health issues. Then last xmas we stayed in Perth for 6 weeks and half way during that period Mike started to get severe indigestion and gastrointestinal problems. We tried all sorts of remedies and we tried cutting out all sorts of food items in an effort to work out what was causing this problem – high fat items (in case it was pancreatitis), Australian red wine (just in case!), capsicums (bell peppers),cauliflower, onions (raw and cooked) – all sorts of different things… And nothing worked!
- We went back to the UK and had some tests done for gastroenteritis and other possible gastro-bugs. Nothing! The doctor’s analysis – IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), which means they have no idea and nothing constructive to offer… A couple of weeks later the symptoms disappeared and he was all better…
- Three months later we were back in Perth and 3 weeks later the problems started again! What was the cause? Once again we tried cutting out all sorts of food items – nothing helped. Back in the UK after 3 weeks, once again the symptoms disappeared. By this time we’d been doing our own research, but nothing we’d found and tried had helped. Then Mike, in desperation said “the only thing different to what we eat in the UK is the water”. To which I replied “don’t be silly, it’s a civilized country – the water’s fine and I’m fine”.
- He kept researching and discovered that Perth added fluoride to its water supply – 1.0 mg/L max – since 1968. Could this be something? My research then discovered some articles based on personal experiences where fluoride was the cause for IBS. Three months later we were back in Perth and this time we only drank and cooked with natural spring water. We avoided the tap water totally. The result 3 months on is that he has not been troubled by these symptoms again!
How? To get the chlorine and fluoride out of our water is not that simple. That’s not quite true – to get the chlorine out is not too difficult, but to remove the fluoride is much more complicated!
- Chlorine is removed with a carbon filter. By fitting a ‘whole house’ filter where the water enters into your house, then all of the water you use (the kitchen, the shower, the washing machine etc) is lovely filtered, chlorine-free water. The basic system consists of 2 filters – one to remove sediment and the second to remove the chemicals. Here’s the photo of our system which we’ve put in our garage.
- Fluoride is NOT removed by a carbon filter. The only way to effectively remove 99% of the fluoride is by reverse osmosis. This is a fine membrane which removes the chemicals including fluoride which is great. However it’s not that simple as it also removes all the minerals from the water including calcium and magnesium, which is bad. I’ll explain in detail why later, but in the meantime be assured that this can be fixed – which we’ve done. It is very slow process – it takes 2 hours to fill a 12 litre tank – so it’s not practical to fit one to the whole house. Instead we’ve just put it in the kitchen (under the sink) for our drinking and cooking water.
Its fantastic having the water filtered – the shower smells of ‘nothing’, the water straight from the tap tastes fresh (even with the fluoride still in), the dishwasher steam smells clean. We now have clean water on tap in the kitchen and don’t have our kitchen counter cluttered with 15 litre water containers plus we don’t have to worry about running out of filtered water…
The question remaining is – will Mike’s hand now heal? Unfortunately we won’t know the direct answer to that question as he’s heading back to the UK next week for 3 months…
But at least we have lovely fresh water…