Originally published September 3 2008
Ecologist Jim McMahon Talks About Water Reports and Filters
by Kevin Gianni
(NaturalNews) This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Water Secrets, which can be found at (http:// www.renegadewatersecrets.com) . In this excerpt, Jim McMahon shares on water reports and water filters.
Renegade Water Secrets with Jim McMahon, ecologist and founder of Sweetwater LLC.
Kevin: We were talking before this call about here in Connecticut how the water, the EPA regulations, or the amount of the number of fish that people can eat out of Connecticut lakes and streams for pregnant women is zero and if I'm not mistaken, it's one per week per person and that's pretty telling.
Jim: Yeah. If they're telling you that you can eat one per week, you can bet you should be eating way less than that.
Jim: I'm not familiar with Connecticut's source. My suspicion, typically, is that they're talking about mercury. Mercury comes from coal plants and drifts around on the wind and mercury has some very interesting characteristics. I'm sure you remember when you were little you used to play with mercury out of thermometers. We would break a thermometer, so we could get at the mercury and roll it around. You're not supposed to touch the stuff, because it can be absorbed through your skin, but mercury actually can vaporize and then move on the wind and then it drops out with rain. That's how it ends up in all of our rivers. It will just simply wash along with the rain into the river system and then the fish tend to accumulate it. There was a similar study in the west on mercury and every fish in every river in the west and that source of mercury was attributed largely to coal mines in China.
There are also gold mines in Nevada, which are a serious source, as well as coal mines in the U.S. Interestingly, due to these wind patterns there's two things. One, there's Spotted Rocky Mountain National Park which has more mercury than a toxic waste dump. This beautiful, pristine lake where the wind patterns due to the mountain, the way the mountain affects the wind, it just so happens that there is a lot of mercury from around the west and from China that settles there in this particular alpine lake. The same is true of the poles. People talk about these guys that bottle iceberg water as the purest water on the planet from the poles, but because of the extreme temperatures that happen to be similar to places where there's a phenomenon that causes herbicides and pesticides and mercury to drop out of the sky and concentrate, the water isn't so pure. So we've made the world a smaller place.
Jim: When I get customers high in the mountains, they think they've got great water. I'm looking out as we talk at the stream where I live. There's no mining upstream of me. There's one small town, but there's mercury in the fish.
Kevin: Wow. With the city water and some of these bottled waters, are they testing for mercury in the water? Because I don't think I saw it on my city water report.
Jim: City water reports, a lot of people are skeptical, but they really are a pretty good source. They test for thousands of compounds. Not all of them on a regular... with each city, if they don't find any mercury, then the EPA will maybe make them test just every two or three or five years. But then they don't list it if they don't find it.
Kevin: So I'm just looking at mine and I'm going to make the Danbury city water report available to everyone who has this, as well as show them how they can find it online with the video but there's some things on here, like turbidity, that I'm just not familiar with at all. Do you think you can explain what that is?
Jim: Turbidity is basically dirt.
Jim: Think of this as really water and again, most people can relate to playing in a stream at one point or another and there's dirt on the bottom of the stream. The water is flowing. There's particles suspended in that water. That's what turbidity is.
Kevin: Okay. So it's nothing that complicated.
Jim: No. Some of my customers with well water might have... in Danbury your turbidity is .05 to .45 . Some of my customers with well water might have turbidity of two to six. This is NTUs. It's a particular measure of turbidity, in which case the dirt is either going to clog up all the fixtures in their home. So if you have a high turbidity number, when I see that then what that tells me is we've got to put a filter on the house.
Kevin: Right. So before it even gets into the system in the house it's got to be cleaned out.
Jim: Yeah. Just a regular old sediment filter to get the turbidity taken care of, so then you can treat the chemicals downstream of that.
Kevin: Right. That's great. As it is with a lot of the reality of health and things that are happening in the environment it gets a little scary. So why don't we talk a little bit now, about some of the things that you can do to help make your water clean and fresh and tastier and all the good things and get all the health benefits from it. So I think we should probably just start with what are some of the types of filters, or what are some of the things that you can do to get your water clean?
Jim: Well, that's good, Kevin. The first thing I wanted to say is that people make a huge mistake by going into Home Depot or no matter where they go and make a purchase and just buying a filter and then installing it in their home and then they think, 'aha! I've taken care of this problem.' So what I like to do and what I would recommend to everyone is start by looking at your water report. Identify the contaminants in that report and then from there determine what you need and my little guide, my ultimate guide to selecting the appropriate water treatment system is available for free for people to read on the internet at (www.sweetwaterllc.com) . That contains a list of contaminants and filter types, so that you could actually go and say, 'aha. I've got these problems'. Here's the solutions and then go out and buy the appropriate filter all by yourself. So I start by looking at the water report.
In your situation there in Danbury you've got things that are notable, or high, haloacetic acids and trihalomethanes, the chlorine byproducts. So we want to get rid of the chlorine and the chlorine byproducts. You've got your fluoride levels pretty high. The range is .2 to 1.43, but 1.43 is a fairly high number. Fluoride's one of those controversial issues. I don't frankly know why we're putting it in our water, but some people... it seems like cities continue to go in that direction. Other people are just opposed to consuming any fluoride, so each of these contaminants or compounds that are in your water can be removed by a particular treatment system. Now, in terms of chlorine, chlorine byproducts, herbicides and pesticides, which all really fall under the category of volatile organics, then you need a good carbon filter. So carbon is the tool to use to remove chlorine and the chlorine byproducts and then the herbicides and pesticides.
Kevin: So when you talk about a good carbon filter, what's a good carbon filter as opposed to a carbon filter?
Jim: Well, I think again, you get what you pay for. There are different types of carbon. They're varying degrees of quality. I think it's probably inappropriate to discuss the kinds of carbon, but one of the things that I look for and one of my favorite treatments, for instance, is KDF.
Jim: KDF is high purity copper and zinc that in solution, creates an electrical charge and ionizes the water, which is a whole other arena. I'm not really particularly trying to ionize the water so much as... KDF can make carbon filters much more effective. So for instance, in the three stage filter you have in your home, in that first stage you have a pound of KDF and then you have granular activated carbon. So what you have is the water is coming in and chlorine is being removed, all the chlorine byproducts, the herbicides, pesticides. The KDF makes that environment so that it's antibacterial and it increases the effectiveness of the carbon. So to me, a carbon filter with KDF is as good as you can get. That's an excellent choice.
Jim: The second stage in your case is an activated alumina, which can sound a little scary. It's not aluminum. It's alumina and that acts like carbon. The fluoride and other metals actually attach to the surface of the alumina, so you're not adding aluminum to the water. It's pulling the metals out. It's an absorptive surface. The KDF, actually in the first stage, charges some of the metals, like arsenic and makes removal by the second stage more effective.
Jim: Then the third stage in your house is this carbon black and it's coconut carbon, which is some of the most effective carbon there is and it's a carbon block filter. So it's got little pores. It's a solid filter with little pores in it that are one micron in five. The water flows through that and any remaining traces of herbicides, pesticides, chlorine and then anything larger than one micron is held back by that filter. So that sequence is a really nice sequence for chlorinated water.
Kevin: Right and what I have is the Kitchen Defender and we'll get more information about that going forward with the call. So in case anyone's like, "What do you have? I don't have that in my house." Jim set me up with a filter there. So that's a three step process to clean out the water. Now, what about some of these other systems? There's some very expensive systems out there. There's some very expensive ionizers. Now, is an ionizer going through that same process, or is it just changing the pH?
Jim: There's ionizers and then there's alkaline water. Those are often combined and they are very expensive systems. Now, I don't honestly know the benefits. I'll tell you what I do know. When I talk to my naturopath or when I do research what I learn is that cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline body and I'm just hearing that. I've been told that. I don't know if that's really true or not. So people want to drink alkaline water in order to increase the pH, raise the pH of their body, but the same naturopath that I go to would say, "Well, you're stomach is acidic." That environment is acidic and you really don't want to drink a lot of alkaline water. It's going to just disrupt your digestive process. The way to get your body alkaline is through eating properly, eating foods that tend to when digested have the reaction of taking your body towards the more alkaline side. So these alkalizers, some people swear by them. They start drinking it. Their body does tend to become alkaline. I do believe that the water you drink shouldn't be acidic. It should be a pH of 7.4 ideally. I don't think it has to be higher than that. That's my answer.
To read the rest of this transcript as well as access 6 different water experts just like Jim McMahon, to discover your most pressing questions about water, please visit (http://www.RenegadeWaterSecrets.com) .
About the authorKevin Gianni is a health advocate, author and speaker. He has helped thousands of people in over 85 countries learn how to take control of their health--and keep it. To view his popular internet TV Show "The Renegade Health Show" (and get a free gift!) with commentary on natural health issues, vegan and raw food diets, holistic nutrition and more click here.
His book, "The Busy Person's Fitness Solution," is a step-by-step guide to optimum health for the time and energy-strapped. To find out more about abundance, optimum health and self motivation click here... or you're interested in the vegan and raw food diet and cutting edge holistic nutrition click here. For access to free interviews, downloads and a complete bodyweight exercise archive visit www.LiveAwesome.com.
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