healthy living: water filtration

Do you really know what's in your water? Growing up, I never drank filtered water and rarely drank bottled water. What came out of our tap was fine for us. You may be one of the select few that remember that time as well, but for our children, they will most likely not have that memory. However, the few options commonly known to most people are not really helping anyone. They provide the illusion of good water, or if in a bottle, at what cost to the consumer or the environment? Americans use 3 million disposable water bottles an hour and a single bottled water contains up to 24,500 chemicals. People in the U.S. buy half a billion bottles of water a week, more than enough to circle the globe 5 times. Plastic was only invented a little over 100 years ago, but is not designed to decompose. If there's a trash island twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean, what do we expect to happen if we keep consuming the way we have been without making a change? A report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation last year predicted there would be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 unless urgent action was taken.

10 years ago I had a friend introduce me to Berkey water filters, and I've been using mine ever since. I was a single person until 4 years ago when I got married and added another human into the mix and one dog last year. I use the water for drinking and cooking mostly and have only had to replace the filters once (last year). 

I've been using tap water so the filters don't have to work as hard say if you were putting sludge from a pond into them. If that was the case, you'd probably have to replace them sooner. However, the awesome thing about these things is that if you DID indeed only have sludge (camping, missions trip, going overseas, etc.), you'd still be able to get clean water! Pretty awesome, right? 

Let's get into a couple reasons why I believe it's so important to know what's in your water, or rather what's NOT in your water. One of the scariest culprits is Atrazine, which is an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptions can cause adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects in people and wildlife. It’s the most common chemical contaminant in U.S. water supplies. Berkey removes greater than 99.9% of Atrazine. Do you think those bottled water companies can say that? I'm not sure exactly, but I'm not really wanting to take my chances. 

In 2011, I ordered a Berkey for my family back home. My dad was diagnosed with Leukemia rather abruptly and after 2 rounds of unsuccessful treatments, he decided to go home and live out his remaining days there. The doctors gave him a month to live and he lived 3 months past that. After chemotherapy, he had little appetite left and only wanted a few foods and liquids. He consumed a lot of water, and even more ice cubes. I have no evidence of this (nor am I a medical professional), but I truly believe that this filtration system played a big role in extending his final days. With little food and water to sustain on, what he did consume was pure and void of many chemicals he might have otherwise consumed.

Most recently, I invested in a nice 64 oz Klean Kanteen (they have a great mission too). I drive an hour into town a few times each week, and always found my water bottle empty by the trip home and I'd have to fill it up somewhere while out. It just doesn't taste the same and I've become a little more protective of my health recently with how much junk is out there. This allows me to fill up with most of my daily needs and puts my mind at ease knowing exactly what I'm consuming.

There's a ton of research and information out there, and I'm just touching on a few points today, but hopefully this at least sparks the conversation. At the time I purchased my Berkey, I was mostly concerned about Fluoride and just wanted to know what I was drinking was just purely water. As time passes, I'm encouraged to see others caring more about what they're putting in their bodies and how we can do our parts, one decision at a time, to help ourselves and the environment. Not a day goes by where I've regretted investing in this water filter and if anything, further research continues to reiterate that I made the right decision.