We Don't Want Pure Water: We Need Bacteria and Impurities To Live

Sometimes one wonders what scientists do with their free time. You'd think they could be finding ways to solve the world's food shortage or discover new sources of energy. No, instead, the researchers in Sweden set their sights on how much bacteria is in our water

You and I both know we spend billions of dollars make sure that our water is safe to drink. In Chicago at the mouth of the Chicago River, you see one of the most advanced water treatment systems in the world. Here the water is filtered, UV'd, and chlorine is added to not only kill harmful organisms but help with our dental hygiene as well.

However, our friends in Sweden wanted to know more, so by using a laser scanning system, they were able to determine exactly how much bacteria is in the water, after all, that, the number came out to be something like 80,000 bacteria per microliter (ml). This is further broken down and identified with a gene sequencer to show 9 species of bacterium. But, remember this is the water in Sweden. In America, there are probably other bacterium species and different numbers of them as well.

You are probably now getting a bit uneasy about your tap water and are getting ready to call the mayor and sue the city for threatening your health. However, you can rest easy you have little to fear.

The bacteria live in the pipes leading to your tap and they form a slippery film like the one that forms over your teeth as you sleep and gives your "Morning Breath", They trap and remove other more harmful organisms so they act as and additional filter mechanism.

But to let you start drinking your tap water again, we should hasten to tell you these bacteria that are swimming around in that glass of drinking water that you are now afraid to drink. They are harmless and in fact, may be helpful as some species are necessary for you to digest food and by drinking water from streams, rivers and lakes are how our ancestors first came into a beneficial symbiosis with bacteria in the first place.

America has overall some of the best drinking water on the planet. This, however, brings up some interesting questions such as "How safe is safe?", "Should the water be made cleaner?", and heaven forbid "Someone should tamper with the water supply?"

Answers to 3 questions

Every year new filters are coming online in our water treatment facilities to better block out particulates, pollution, and dangerous organisms. In fact, a new filtering material patented recently may be able to solve the world's fresh water drinking problems once and for all. This new material called, "Graphene", It can block almost everything but lets water pass through freely, which mean it is almost the perfect filter material as it can block everything down to everything over 1 billionth of a meter, but is allows water to molecules to pass freely.

However, this would make water virtually pure. But now scientists say we need some impurities in our water and that drinking totally pure water is harmful. Drinking totally pure water draws water from the cells, upsets the electrolyte balance of cells, and even can cause coma and brain damage.

You need the salts and other minerals found in water to keep you healthy. Take for example the people of the Hunza region of Northern Pakistan the people are said to live to be over 100 years old and the reason is the unique mix of minerals in their water and today people drink "Hunza Water" to get these benefits for themselves.

Add to this the fact we need bacteria in order to live and digest food to obtain vital nutrients that our bodies can't synthesize ourselves.

In addition to not drinking pure water, we need nowadays be concerned that people with radical agendas might be trying to find ways to contaminate our water supply. This has been sensationalized in movies, books, and the news media. However, the Bureau of Homeland Security is taking this threat seriously and is constantly monitoring the water & the facilities that treat and supply the water to our home. But, still the threat is real.

Bacteria are a cheap and insidious health threat if the wrong species is introduced to the drinking water of America. So bacteria in our water is a two-edged sword. We can't live without bacteria and we have to be on the alert against the other forms of bacteria that can hurt us. Water needs bacteria but it has to be the right bacterium to keep our water safe and healthy to drink.

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