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"Our drinking water is not as pure and clean as it once was!"

Stages of pollution


>> Water Distillation! <<

Our drinking water is not as pure and clean as it once was!Many citizens criticise and accuse their local Councils for providing poor quality drinking water. It is true that in most cases the tap water is not fit for human consumption, but please do not be so hasty to criticise your local Council. Let me explain:

Councils 'treat' the local water supply in an attempt to remove as much 'unwanted matter' as possible. This is accomplished by disinfecting the water, not purifying it, but disinfecting it!

Here is a short list of 'things' that maybe found in our water system, prior to treatment (disinfecting):

A - Rain Water:
B - Ground Water:
C - Surface Water:
  • atmospheric pollutants
  • bird droppings
  • dust - dirt - leaves
  • dead bugs
  • much more...
  • minerals (non-assimilable)
  • salinity
  • hardness
  • sewerage and septic's
  • industrial dump waste
  • leaching of refuse from garbage dumps and landfill
  • nitrates
  • much more...
  • a combination of contaminants from both A & B
  • disease
  • viruses
  • blue - green algae

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 success.

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 tap.

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 up.

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!


"...but 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:

  1. 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 drinking water.
  2. 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.
  3. Another method, but even more inferior than Drinking Filtered Rain-water:
    Filter your town water with suitable charcoal filters, which will need replacing often.

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.

Legal Obligations:

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!

Simple Solution:

The simplest solution to this dilemma, is as the title of this article says: "Take Control of What You Drink."

© Dr. Robert Bruce, 2002

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