Contamination in the Catchment:
Since our environment has become inundated with fertilisers, man-made
chemicals, pesticides, and human, animal, and industrial wastes, it was inevitable that residues of some of these would find there
way into the catchments providing the water supply.
Living pathogens like hepatitis, Giardia, Shigella and Salmonella may occur in raw water or untreated water supplies, along with nitrates, cyanobacteria from blue-green algae and various pesticide and industrial residues.
These may not necessarily affect the clarity of the water, since physical
appearance gives no indication of the bacteriological quality.
Testing for the presence of water borne diseases and pathogens such as hepatitis, gastroenteritis and amoebic dysentery, requires
an expensive and comprehensive investigation, which can rarely be carried out!
Protozoa are a one-celled animal, which are larger, more complex, and more
resistant to chlorine disinfection than bacteria. Like other parasites,
they live in your intestine, causing diarrhoea, nausea, weight
loss, weakness and chronic fatigue. In the USA it is estimated
that up to 20 per cent of the population (drinking treated
water) of some communities may be infected with Giardia without showing serious clinical symptoms.
Then there is Meningitis - Viruses - Helminths - Nitrates - Blue-Green
Algae - Synthetic Organic Chemicals. The Council Water Treatment
Plants simply cannot afford the billions of dollars required to purify all the water that passes through it - they can
only disinfect the source water, to varying degrees of
There are usually more than 2000 chemicals in treated town water,
of which less than 30 are tested for and monitored! The
remaining chemicals simply pass on through the system, to your
The Water Treatment Process:
Here is a general outline of the treatment process from the catchment to the tap:
- Mixing - rapid stirring of alum (aluminium - deadly poison) solution into the water
- Coagulation - is the chemical reaction that takes place between the alkalinity
in the raw water
- Flocculation - mechanical process of gently stirring coagulated particles
in the water to increase their size, to form heavy gelatinous (jelly) lace-like suspensions known as 'floc'
- Settlement or sedimentation - takes place when the water is allowed
to remain relatively inactive in large tanks called sedimentation
basins, where the heavy floc settles rapidly in the lower parts
of the basin as a dense sludge, taking with it most of the suspended
impurities and allowing the clarified water to pass over to
the next stage of treatment which is filtration
- Filtration - is the process of passing water through beds of specially
selected and graded sand. The carry-over of small particles
of floc from the sedimentation basin results in a collection
of jelly-like matter within the filter beds, which acts as a
most efficient filter, removing all remaining murkiness. (It
can however become a breeding ground for numerous parasites,
that can thrive in the condensed sludge)
- Activated carbon contact - is the process of passing filtered water
through beds of granular activated carbon to remove dissolved
organic contaminants. Helps to remove taste and odour producing
compounds released by algae
- pH correction - is the process of adjusting the acid/alkali
balance of the water. The addition of alum solution required
for coagulation makes the water slightly acidic. Relatively
small amounts of an alkaline solution of sodium carbonate, sodium
hydroxide or lime are added to the water, which brings it to
a slightly alkaline condition. This makes the water relatively
non-corrosive to metal pipes, but toxic for human consumption
- Fluoridation - claimed to prevent tooth decay, but the opposite has proved
true instead - as it causes weakened teeth, senility and early
death. Adding fluoride to the water supply is simply a great
way of dispersing a highly toxic and poisonous substance, which
is also used in other products to kill animals
- Disinfection - is a chlorine solution injected into the now clear water for
removal of some harmful micro-organisms. Disinfection is considered
complete if after a contact period of 30 minutes there is a
satisfactory chlorine residual in the water leaving the plant. (Bathing in heated chlorinated shower water causes chloroform
to form in the steam, which is why many people become tired
whilst showering, as they are anaesthetising themselves. It
is also carcinogenic. A shower
filter combats this.)
- Conclusion - water treatment in a modern water works is complex in nature,
and each step in the treatment process must be closely controlled and followed by works tests supported by laboratory tests, to
constantly maintain some form of purity and quality, essential
in a public water supply. Remember that out of over 2000 chemicals,
usually less than 30 are actually monitored and tested!
The Journey to Your Tap:
Once the water has been disinfected at your local reservoir, it
now begins its journey to your tap. It will pass through: pumps - valves - various pipes which could be made of any
or all of these materials: steel - copper - polyethylene -
PVC - lead (soldered joints) - cast iron - concrete
- galvanised steel pipe - asbestos cement... Any or all of
these pipes can be contaminating your water, depending upon quality,
age and material.
But it doesn't end there! If a pipe bursts in the street somewhere
between the treatment plant and your home, depending upon where
it is, you may have any kind of toxic pollutants added to the
water due to reverse suction. For example, someone maybe filling
their swimming pool with water, and they then set their alarm
for an hour, and go and rest somewhere while their pool fills
When the pool owner returns, he finds that his pool is empty, due to
a break down the hill (pipes usually burst where the pressure
is the greatest), which caused back-pressure to syphon the
pool water (and the chemicals that the pool owner just added) - into the main water supply. But before long the burst pipe is
repaired, and the pool water is now being redistributed back through
the mains to the pool owners entire suburb! Many chemicals and
even effluent have been introduced to your tap water via this
and similar methods. You'll probably think differently next time
you see a burst pipe on the side of the road!
don't be so hasty to criticise your local Council." What is implied by such a statement?
Simply this; the average household a) flushes approximately 25%
of all its water down the toilet; the rest is divided up between: b) doing the dishes, c) bathing / showering, d) washing the car, e) washing clothes, f) and etc.
But here is the interesting part my friends, because at the end
of the list is the smallest usage by percentage of all - g) drinking water!
Australians are known as being one of the most dehydrated people on earth,
who generally detest drinking water. Yet Australia has one of
the hottest climates in the world, which necessitates regular
hydrating (drinking of water). The average Australian simply
does not drink 2+ litres of pure water every day, hence many Australians
suffer with poor health and an early and painful death, usually
due to nothing other than dehydration, constipation and chemical
overdose! They do however, on average, consume much Coca
Cola, beer, tea and coffee - but not plain pure drinking water! (treated tap water is not counted as plain pure drinking water.)
With these facts in mind, why should your local council spend millions (and in some cases billions) of dollars treating 100% of
your tap water, when the average person will only drink possibly
.001% to .01% of it? That is simply ridiculous!
"OK, I see what you mean now. But I do want to be able to drink pure
water! Where do I get it from?"
If you want water that is suitable for human consumption, it is your
responsibility to provide it. Your Council simply can
not do this for you. Here are just a few ideas:
- One of the best ways of producing your own ultra pure water:
Buy a quality water
distiller that incorporates a post carbon filter. Water Distillation produces Ultra-Pure
- Another method, but inferior to Water Distillation:
Obtain a rain water tank and fit a rainwater diverter to divert the
first flow of contaminated roof water away from the holding
tank. Then use suitable carbon filters to filter the rain water.
Warning, it is not recommended to drink water from concrete
tanks. Metal or poly tanks are better.
- Another method, but even more inferior than Drinking Filtered Rain-water:
Filter your town water with suitable charcoal filters, which will need
Really, people sometimes expect too much from their local Council. Your
Council provides water that is relatively suitable for most of your
household needs - surely you can take care of the last small percentage
of our drinking and cooking water requirements yourself? You
are responsible for providing pure drinking water for yourself
and your family.
Legally and morally, many Councils are walking on very wobbly legal ground
when they publicly state that the water that they treat "...is
suitable for human consumption!" Put simply, most Council water is not suitable for human consumption,
whatsoever! This has been scientifically proven many times
over. As an example, in the town of Kingaroy (Queensland Australia),
the town water was tested as suitable for human consumption, yet
when tested for pigs it was condemned! A Kingaroy farmer who supplied
Kingaroy town water to his dairy cows during a drought, had seven
cows die a quick but painful death, leaving many other cows sick!
This is not uncommon.
Anyone, at any time, could successfully prosecute their local council
for malpractice, and for willingly misleading the public.
It is only a matter of time.
Further, many Councils have even stated that the chemically treated water is good for people's health! In saying this they are laying
themselves wide open for being seriously prosecuted for 1) promoting a defective product / service, as well as 2) increasing sickness within communities, and literally 3) hastening the demise (premature death) of many
people who trusted that their chemically treated tap water was
indeed "safe" to drink, as well as 4) not
providing adequate warnings to the public about the dangers
of drinking treated water. Much chemically treated water isn't
even suitable for pigs to drink! 5) deceiving the public.
If you are not experienced in the law, try this simple yet effective
experiment. Go to your local council and ask "Is the
town's treated water safe for human consumption?" They will generally affirm that it is. Ask "Are you absolutely certain that drinking your chemically treated
water is safe for my health?" They will usually insist that it is. At this point ask "Seeing as you are so
knowledgeable and confident in what you say, will you sign this
legal document (a Statutory Declaration) that testifies
to what you just said?"
Guess what my friend, he or she will not sign it! They are happy
to convince you verbally that the water is safe, but when it comes
to signing legal documentation, they are not prepared to put
their money where their mouth is, for fear of legal ramifications.
This reveals their lack of genuine confidence in what they say.
Viewed from a legal perspective, Councils are legally (and morally) obligated to tell you the truth about the dangers posed to peoples'
lives via drinking chemically treated water, and should recommend
to the public that they take alternative measures to secure that
their 'drinking water' is in fact pure, and not just disinfected!
The simplest solution to this dilemma, is as the title of this article
says: "Take Control of What You Drink."
© Dr. Robert Bruce, 2002