Cooperation is the theme for World Water Day 2013. World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of ...
Archives by Month
- March 2013
- November 2012
- October 2012
- July 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- October 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- June 2007
1. Don’t Delay Water Filter Cartridge Changes
We are astounded at how often newcomers (to our store) with existing water filters report that it has been one and a half and even two years since their last filter change!! It would be far better to be drinking tap water than water from a cartridge overdue for change. Although obvious to us, it bears repeating that one should ALWAYS stay on top of drinking water filter cartridge changes.
Individuals who live on their own often suggest that they should be able to make less frequent cartridge changes. Although true to a degree, remember that over time the possibility of bacteria breeding in a wet cartridge increases.
We recommend changes at six month intervals, and certainly not exceeding one year.
Significant slowing of the rate of flow is another sign that your water filter needs new cartridges. If you have a filter that never slows down, we recommend that you question its effectiveness. It probably hasn’t been providing you with much protection.
A third indicator is if the filtered water starts to have bad taste or odour. Replace all cartridges immediately if this occurs.
Keeping up with your water filter changes should be viewed differently than maintaining most other household appliances. It’s not like changing bags in your vacuum cleaner. After all, your drinking water is fundamental to your well-being and the most important substance you ingest.
At an average monthly cost of just $10 – $12, staying up to date with your cartridge changes has got to be one of the least expensive investments in your health and quality of life.
2. Know the Limitations of Your Water Filter
Don’t assume that you have contaminant-free water simply because you have a water filter. No single model of water filter can address all the contaminant variables now found in drinking water in North America. Make sure the model you are using is matched to your local water conditions.
Similarly, if you are traveling, or going camping, make sure that the water filter or purifier that you are taking with you is suited to the water available where you are going.
For example, to find the right travel filter some questions you might ask about your destination’s drinking water conditions are…
- Is the water fluoridated? Chlorinated?
- Are there potential microbiological threats like bacteria, viruses, parasite cysts?
- Are there known chemical or heavy metal pollutants?
3. Never Use Water from a Shower Filter for Drinking
Much to our dismay we occasionally hear someone mention that they have been using water from their shower filter for drinking!
NEVER DO THIS. Water from shower filters is for external use only.
Shower filters are designed for use with hot water and fast flow rates. They reduce chlorine exposure but they do not have the filtration capabilities of a properly designed drinking water filter through which only cold water passes at much slower rates of flow.
Hot shower conditions may support some forms of bacteria that are harmless externally but that should not be deliberately ingested.
CBC Marketplace recently aired an exposé called ‘Clean Water, Dirty Tricks’ about unscrupulous water filter companies in Ontario that are using unethical and fraudulent sales tactics to scare elderly people into purchasing $3500 reverse osmosis water treatment systems. These companies are clearly and appallingly exploitive.
Tom Harrington, host of the show, quite rightly sought out and aired professional clarification about the misleading water testing methods used by these door-to-door salesmen.
However, we would like to comment on what we believe to be a further distortion of the facts about exposure to chlorine and one of its groups of disinfection by-products known as THMs (Trihalomethanes).
The show airs an interview with an Ontario health official, edited in a way that seems to deny any negative health effects from exposure to chlorine and THMs in our municipally supplied water. The interviewee says that there is ‘no risk, zero’.
It is quite true that, with the type of water systems our society has resorted to utilizing, the use of a chemical disinfectant is critical for inhibiting dangerous microbes.
However, one does not have to be a scientist or a government official to have firsthand experience that exposure to chlorine has unpleasant, if not dangerous, consequences.
The official interviewee asserts that THM levels in our drinking water are safe. However, he fails to tell the bigger story – that there are increasing efforts being made to control THM levels ($850 million being spent by Metro Vancouver on our new filtration plant) precisely because of increasing concerns about the negative health effects of chorination by-products.
Many communities in Europe have steered away from the use of chlorine for water disinfection because of concern about negative health consequences.
However, chlorine is relatively inexpensive and has residual effectiveness that is not characteristic of some alternatives. We also suspect its continued use well serves the commercial interests of very big chemical corporations who fund studies on its safety and health effects.
The official stance typically uses ‘inconclusive’ evidence as a justification to say there is ‘no risk’.
This writer is of the opinion that the ‘inclusive evidence’ will one day result in disclosure that no amount of these chemicals is healthy for exposure or ingestion. Barely more than 3 years ago the same type of debate was going on about BPA – a substance that is now banned in Canada.
Berkey water filters are gravity flow systems that incorporate Berkey ‘elements’ (filter cartridges) with outstanding water purification capabilities. Berkey filters require no electricity or pressurized water delivery, making them an exceptional choice for outdoor use and emergency situations as well as for day-to-day use. They can be used to filter both municipally treated water and untreated raw water from sources such as lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and questionable water supplies in foreign countries.
Berkey’s durable water purifiers are constructed of easy-to-clean, high quality 304 stainless steel. Compare 6 sizes of stainless water filters to find the one that best meets your needs.
Berkey replacement filter cartridges are called ‘elements’. They are capable of filtering pathogenic bacteria, and parasite cysts. They can extract harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. They also reduces nitrates, nitrites and heavy metals such as lead and mercury. They are so effective that they can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Each purifying element can filter up to 3000 gallons of water!
All Berkey filtration systems are standard equipped with 2 purification elements (except for the compact Go Berkey Kit which houses one element only). Most models can incorporate additional elements, if needed, for faster yields of purified water.