Do You Know Your Water?
You are what you drink!
Do you know where your water comes from, or what's in it? If you don't, please let me share with you a few important reasons why you should know your water as well as you know yourself. You are primarily made of water after all. The water you drink is you. In fact, adults consist of 57-60% water, while babies are an astounding 75-78% water!
Where does tap water come from? There are some very important details to know and understand about your tap water, especially if you live in a town or city on a municipal water supply. If you are sourcing your water from a well or a spring, you're already way ahead with regards to your water quality. Have it tested regularly and keep drinking, because municipal tap water, like most bottled water, is mostly dead!
Dead water? Yes. Your water is primarily dead, in that, it's likely that the natural nutrients and minerals have been stripped out by evaporation, also know as distillation. Evaporation is the process that occurs when cleaned, filtered and treated water is boiled until it becomes a steam vapor cloud. The evaporated water is then recondensed (returned to a water state) by passing the steam vapor through a cooled condenser tube that causes the water vapor to become a liquid again.
The evaporation process removes impurities such as drugs, dirt, bacteria and dangerous pathogens. Unfortunatly there's a down side to the evaporation process that's equally important - all of the beneficial minerals that water absorbs from nature are left behind. As well, municipal water sources often introduce chlorine, chemicals and tartar into your tap water, which you and your children consume. Ugg...
The evaporation process is how many municipal and bottled water companies clean and purify drinking water. The bottled water you buy from CostCo is basically the same water from your tap, but it's definitely dead. Surprisingly, most bottled water companies that produce purified drinking water are sourcing it directly from the same municipal water that flows to your faucet. The only bottled water that's actually beneficial to you is spring water that's bottled at the source, and has not been evaporated so it retains the minerals and benefits.
I have educated myself about water for many years and I was involved in a Sierra Nevada mountains spring water start-up. Water fascinates me and terrifies me. As the world runs out of clean drinking water for consumption and farming, water is a natural resource that's becoming increasingly toxic and expensive. A few years ago I learned the benefits and issues with body pH and I realized that I did not know where my water, food or air actually came from. The three basic natural elements needed for my survival and I was blindly trodding along, naively assuming that my water was clean, safe and healthy. One thing I did know for sure was that I didn't like the way tap and bottled water tasted, at all! I imagine most people cannot identify which water is which, but my body is sensitive and I can taste the difference between waters. I decided to do something about it and take control of my water source.
I live in Portland, OR. Roughly 44 miles to the West, on highway 26, is a long-standing public water source that flows directly out of the mountains from a natural aquifer where it's filtered through rock and soil to create a clean, pure and nutrient rich water supply that's free to anyone who takes the time to go get it. I am serious about my water intake so I committed myself to only drink water from this source and see how I felt. Did it make a difference? I can tell you this - the primary thing I noticed was the taste. Until you've tasted pure, clean water, it's impossible to describe the flavor. I can best compare it to breathing fresh mountain air vs the air of a busy city like Los Angeles. Mountain spring water simply tastes clean and refreshing.
I set out and purchased 6x six-gallon glass carboys from a local brewing supply. *Amazon also sells glass carboys for roughly the same price. I chose glass with the mindset that if I'm going to make it my priority to drink pure spring water, I must bottle, transport and store it in a clean container without toxins like plastic. To this day, I never let my water touch anything other than glass or stainless steel, and because this water is so pure, it can remain in the sealed, glass carboy for 3+ months and it won't grow any weird slime or go bad. I keep my water out of the direct sunlight in my 68-74 degree loft.
A six-gallon carboy full of spring water weighs about 45lbs. I recommend also purchasing carboy handles, and choose a smaller size container if you're a smaller person, such as the 3 gallon carboy. Drinking clean water is all about your health, so don't be cheap when it comes to the quality of your container. I have reused the same carboys for three years and the first two refillings paid for them, compared to the cost of bottled water. AND I'm not using any plastic!
With my newly purchased carboys, I set out to get clean water. Not only is this exercise good for my health, but I find myself contemplating why I'm doing this when I make my water excursions every 2-3 months. I have become very conscience and deliberate with my water and I'm aware of the impact it's invisibly having on my body. The drive is beautiful and I always enjoy filling my glass bottles with pure, ice cold spring water, and filling my stainless water bottle to enjoy on the ride home.
I am a purist, I admit, and when I made the commitment to clean water I kept it. I immediately began avoiding restaurant water and ice cubes as well. I now carry my stainless container everywhere and I only drink the mountain spring water. I cannot directly point to an obvious health benefit, but I now drink twice as much water than before, because it's always with me and it tastes great. That said, I decided to try an experiment, which became the catalyst for writing this story about my grandiose water adventure. The results are surprising and positive, as you will see!
When I began sourcing and drinking my water from the mountains, I did a simple test to see if this water indeed contained minerals that sustain life. The experiment was simple; I took a clipping of a tropical plant that I pulled from a store-bought bouquet, placed it in a clear glass jar, then added nothing but my delicious spring water. I set it in the window and waited to see what happened.
Well, I'm excited to tell you I put the clipping in pure spring water over 2 years ago and the plant is still alive and fully rooted. The only maintenance it requires is an infrequent change of water and a good rinse of the jar. I still can't believe this plant has survived and thrived for this long on pure water and sunlight alone! I am even more reassured that this water is making my body thrive too.
The success of my tropical plant experiment led to my second experiment. I cut two clippings from a small, indoor bamboo plant. I placed one stem in the pure mountain spring water and the other in tap water from my Portland loft. I set the two samples side-by-side in my West facing window and waited a month to see what happened. I was not disappointed with the results! After 26 days, the bamboo in tap water had not grown at all and the base where I clipped it was blackened and slimy. Gross! BUT, the sample I placed in spring water was healthy and the base maintained color. More compelling though, is the budding of a large new root, and the clipping has grown at least 5 inches. Wow right?!?
Clipping in tap water after 26 days.
Clipping in spring water after 26 days.
Okay. I've made my point about spring water and how great it is, but I challenge you to ask yourself one question - If you care about your health and you have access to clean water nearby, why wouldn't you take the time and effort to make this your singular source of drinking and cooking water? Drinking clean spring water is the one source of life you can be confident you know where it comes from. And it's good for you, so drink up!