Why Use a Water Filter in Australia?
Posted by David Jamieson on October 08, 2015
Why Use a Water Filter in Australia?
This is a very common question that I am asked when I am out and about and tell people that I sell and install water purifiers; it is usually followed by a comment regarding how good the water quality in Australia is coming through the tap and that it isn’t going to kill you is it.
My short answer is yes it is not going to kill you , straight away at least however there are long term health implications with drinking tap water; so much so that President Obama’s Cancer Council have recommended the use of a water filter to avoid ingesting disinfectant by products (DPB’s). Read on for the longer answer………..
Here are our top 10 reasons for using a water filter in Australia:
1.HEALTH, BEAUTY and WELLBEING
Top of the list as I tell anyone who is interested President Obama’s Cancer Councils report, titled “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risks: What We Can Do Now” states, “Filtering home tap or well water can decrease exposure to numerous known or suspected carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.” The report goes on to highlight the added importance of protecting children. “To the extent possible, parents and child care providers should choose house products that will minimize children’s exposure to toxics.” In addition, the panel also suggests that contaminants can leach into water from plastic water bottles, and that the use of stainless steel or glass bottles can help reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting and other chemicals.
Drinking pure water can help your skin and overall appearance – one of the best things that you can do for your hair is to install a shower filter that removes chlorine.
2. PLASTIC WASTE
• Over 400,000 barrels of oil is used per year in Australia to manufacture the plastic to make the bottles
• Out of all plastic bottles only about 30% are recycled
• Tap water costs 1 cent per litre compared to bottled water which costs $2.53 per litre
• It takes seven litres of water to make a one litre water bottle
• There are 200 billion litres of bottled water consumed worldwide with an estimate of $100 billion dollars – See more at: Australian Museum Blog
in the pacific and atlantic ocean, there is a huge garbage island, filled with plastics like bottles, plastic sheets, films, fibres, plates, tubes, boxes, cables, plastic gadgets, plastic machine parts, wires, and much more. Called the Great Garbage Island or the Pacific Vortex Trash, the floating island of plastic flotsam has confounded environmentalists and scientists alike. Spread over a huge area, the estimates of the size of the garbage island differ as it is not easily detected by satellite images.
There are no regulations on bottled water, most of the bottled water that you buy is in fact tap water that has been filtered. Filtered water costs only a few cents per litre compared to expensive bottled water.
3. LEAD PARTICULARLY DAMAGING TO INFANTS
Arises out of the common use of lead based solder on brass fittings and copper pipes up until as recently as 1989. As a result of corrosion, there is a potential for the lead to leach into the water after prolonged contact. It is therefore the consumption of first flush water – the first cup of tea in the morning – which presents a hazard.This was demonstrated in a study conducted by Dr Brian Gulson, in 1992 in the Sydney suburbs of Turramurra, Burwood, and Epping and in Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales. The study revealed that the lead levels in first flush tap water in many cases exceeded the acceptable level.
Further studies conducted in Perth (WA) in 1993 on cold water from kitchen taps have indicated that 5% of samples were above the acceptable lead level as defined by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), 2% were above the limit for cadmium and 12% above the limit for copper.
The maximum acceptable level of lead (and other heavy metals) in drinking water has been established by the NHMRC in the “Australian Drinking Water Guidelines” at 0.01 mg/L (lowered from 0.05 mg/L). And yes, as your plumber should be able to tell you, the use of lead based solder on drinking water pipes has been banned in Australia since 1989 (see box).
However, there is virtually no monitoring of the water quality at the kitchen tap. Water quality monitoring takes place before the water reaches your home, with the exception of the occasional monitoring at the garden tap. This is not going to tell you whether the water in your kitchen is safe after travelling in your plumbing system.
4. THE AGEING WATER PIPELINE
The water pipes that are delivering tap water to your home in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and all around Australia is aging and breaking down. It is not uncommon for a water filter that has only been installed for 6 months to be clogged with dirt and sludge, see example posted on our Facebook page by one of our customers.
The corrosion of metal pipes and fittings installed in household plumbing systems can discolour drinking water. Older homes built in the 1970s or earlier, may have galvanised iron pipes in their plumbing systems which may have rusted. This can cause drinking water to be brownish in colour and contain visible particles – Power Water Darwin.
5. CHEMICALS THAT ARE ADDED TO THE TAP WATER
Chlorine, Aluminium Sulphate, Fluoride and Ammonia are added to the tap water to ensure that the water we drink is safe and healthy for the consumer. The fluoride added to the water is a waste product of the fertiliser industry – Hydrofluosilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride and sodium fluoride are commonly sourced from phosphate fertilizer manufacturers http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Documents/fluoridation-questions-and-answers-nsw.pdf
6. CHEMICAL HAZARDS IN AUSTRALIAN TAP WATER NOT ADDED AT SOURCE
This is a very long list in fact the World Health Organisation lists over 150 chemical hazards that may be present in our drinking water. Add to this pharmaceuticals and fertiliser run offs and it presents quite a cocktail.
7. YOUR BODY IS MOSTLY WATER
You need to drink water to stay healthy, the easiest way to ensure that you are doing this every day is to install a quality water filter, pure water as close as your kitchen tap!
8. SHOWERING IN AUSTRALIAN TAP WATER MAY BE HAZARDOUS
Using a shower filter is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce harmful exposure to chlorine and other chemicals. “Taking long hot showers is a health risk, according to research presented last week in Anaheim California, at a meeting of the American Chemical Society–and to a lesser extent baths–lead to a greater exposure to toxic chemicals contained in water supplies than does drinking the water. The chemicals evaporate out of the water and are inhaled. They can also spread through the house and be inhaled by others. House holders can receive 6 to 100 times more of the chemical by breathing the air around showers and bath than they would by drinking the water”
NSW SCIENTIST Ian Anderson
9. PROTECTS KITCHEN APPLIANCES AND KEEPS THE SHOWER CLEAN
Expensive appliances such as coffee machines and kettles will not scale up and the white chalky build up on your shower screen can be avoided with the use of a quality water filter.
10. IMPROVE YOUR COOKING SKILLS
Everything that you cook will taste better – Also THM’s Tri-halomethanes are harmful by-products, new international research is finding that boiling chlorinated water can increase the Tri–halomethanes in the water substantially. Filtered water has no chlorine and other dangerous chemicals so you don’t have to worry about any cancer causing Tri- halomethanes! Almost all fine restaurants use filtered water for their cooking and beverages? The truth is, top chefs can taste the difference filtered water has in coffee, teas, and other beverages. Beverages are found to have stronger flavours and decreased steeping times when made with filtered water. Other foods that show noticeable differences are pastas and rice, which cook faster and have a creamier texture. And don’t forget, chlorinated water also seeps into food when it is used for washing off fruits and vegetables!