The Bottom Line

I developed this website to provide a comprehensive resource for those who are searching for information about: drinking water safety, quality, and effective treatment methods; common drinking water contaminants and their health consequences; and tools to avoid the countless marketing scams perpetuated on the unwary. 

Topics covered on my website include:

What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health How to find and interpret reliable information about Drinking Water and other products.  This topic explores the processes of science and critical thinking and describes how they differ from pseudoscientific pronouncements which are capable of capturing the imagination (and money) of the public with no scientific  credibility and providing not a shred of scientific evidence.  Guidelines  to help you understand whether health or performance claims regarding specific water-related products (as well as the thousands of other products, services and ideas marketed as providing some benefit to you) are true and accurate (and not a scam) can be found at Distilling Facts from Fiction and Fraud
Contaminants That Could Be In Your Drinking Water Harmful Contaminants That Could Be In Your Drinking Water and Their Health Effects (view)
Lead, Chlorine, Disinfection Byproducts, Cryptosporidia, Giardia, Bacteria, Pesticides, etc.
What's The Best Drinking Water Purification Method For You What's The Best Drinking Water Purification Method For You? (view)
Filtration, Reverse Osmosis, Distillation, Bottled water, KDF, Emergency Treatment, etc.
(Check out these Four Steps to help you select a water treatment method)
Drinking Water Scams Drinking Water Scams (Alkaline Water, Other Altered Water Issues, Emoto & Ice Crystals, How To Spot Scams)
(Beware of product claims to alter water's structure or energy & provide greater health benefits)
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health Bottled Water - Coke and Pepsi bottle municipal tap water as "Dasani" and "Aquafina" and sell it to us at twice the cost of gasoline. Bottle water is a triumph of perceived need over reason--the greatest marketing coup in history. 12/2/2007 Doonesbury comic strip
 Drink healthy water, drink it responsibly and save.
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health How to find and interpret reliable information about Drinking Water and other products.  This topic includes content that explores the processes of science and critical thinking and describes how they differ from pseudoscientific pronouncements which are capable of capturing the imagination of the public without a shred of scientific credibility.
I distilled the results of many hours of research into the discussions and the lists of drinking water related sites listed on the menu page.  I hope that the information here will be helpful in your search for answers to this important health issue.

Although this site discusses contaminants found in water from both municipal water companies and from private wells, the treatment methods discussed, are mostly Point of Use (POU) - water is treated at the point where it will be used for drinking, cooking, etc.  Many private well water problems, bacteria, iron, heavy metals, pH imbalances, etc., need to be treated either at the well, or as the water enters the home and must be customized for a particular situation.  I do not go into much detail about these treatment methods, but I provide references to some sites that do.  I try to provide only authoritative web references.

Sites where you will find reliable drinking water related references include:
Government sites, like the Environmental Protection Agency, The National Library of Medicine and the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Environmental organizations, like the Safe Drinking Water Foundation.
Water industry groups and treatment facilities, like NSF International, the American Water Works Association, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Denver Water, National Environmental Services Center On Tap magazine and National Drinking Water Clearinghouse .
University based cooperative extension services and research groups, like the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Colorado State University Extension, the University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension publications and Purdue Safe Water
Media publications, like Scientific American, Smithsonian, Discover, National GeographicPopular Science, and National Public RadioCheck Potential Biases

Drinking Water Treatment Summary

Summary of Water Treatment Methods:

Water Related Topics of Special Interest

Liquid Assets: The Story of Our Water Infrastructure - Out of sight, out of mind.  That's the situation with the drinking water and water treatment systems in the United States.  These systems � some in the ground for more than 100 years � provide a critical public health function and are essential for economic development and growth.  These aging systems have not been maintained, and some estimates suggest this is the single largest public works endeavor in our nation's history.  This 90 minute documentary is an essential introduction to anyone who drinks municipal water.  Read the synopsis, watch the trailer then check it out from your library or find a way to watch it online - We watched it on Netflix.
Special focus on lead as it relates to pregnancy and young children.
If you are are just browsing water issues and are not in the high risk category for lead poisoning (pregnant or have a young child), but  you  know someone who is pregnant or has young children, please suggest they read the section on lead as soon as possible!
Bottled water articles from:
Reader's Digest Magazine
 (2/08), Time Magazine (8/9/07)
National Geographic Magazine
(2/06), NPR (4/4/08)
Bottled water is no better regulated and not necessarily any safer than most tap water.  Although bottle labels often portray the source water as originating in pure, exotic locations, over 25% of bottled water (including many top name brands) comes from municipal sources.  Bottled water costs consumers hundreds to thousands of times more than tap water.  Bottle manufacture and water treatment use resources and create waste products.  Transporting the full bottles to the store usesresources and creates waste.  An estimated 90% of the billions of water bottles produced in a year wind up in land fills.
Hotel bottled water offering at $19 per gallon.
Hotel H20
Don't miss Penn and Teller's "The Truth About Bottled Water" and an extended Bottled Water Taste Test. The pair is a bit crude, and perhaps their experiments are not as "scientific" as they could be, but some very interesting results are demonstrated about the power of suggestion.  The Placebo Effect episode (transcript - video not available) further illustrates how suggestion and an uncritical willingness to believe can explain not only people's perceptions about bottled water but their acceptance of other claims from downright fraudulent companies.  If the specific P&T links above are broken, you can search YouTube for the placebo effect and Bottled Water episodes. (If you open one of the S1 E07 Feng Shui & Bottled Water episodes, the bottled water segment is approximately 15 - 16.5 minutes into the episode.)

Watch The Story Of Bottled Water: An educational, 8 minute expose on the manufactured demand for bottled water.

Read more about bottled water here and

Water Lead-Levels Misrepresented (2004): Dozens of the nation's largest drinking-water utilities have tried to hide lead contamination and failed to correct problems, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.  The newspaper analyzed data from 65 large water systems in the United States and found that high lead levels were concealed from regulators. (NPR, All Things Considered)
Note the common themes in the 1996 and 2004 stories below
Houston Chronicle series exploring the safety of the nation's  tap water and explaining the dangers threatening our water and what communities can do to protect it (October 1996).  The newspaper has retained the original articles, for which I am glad, but removed the high-level links and index, for which I am NOT glad.  I attempted to recreate links to the original stories and that worked for awhile. As of 1/1/2014 the series has disappeared completely from the Houston Chronicle.  I am trying to get the series reposted since it has historic value - the same problems described in 1996 are common today.  In the meantime, the series can be read on the Wayback Archive.

National Public Radio reports on drinking water issues:
Weak Drinking Water Laws Blamed in D.C. Lead Scare - April 19, 2004 News of dangerous levels of lead in Washington D.C.'s drinking water sparks an outcry from the community -- especially because city water officials knew about the problem and did little to warn the public. In the first of two reports, NPR's Daniel Zwerdling explains that weak federal laws regulating drinking water are to blame.

Aging Water Systems Plague Cities - April 20, 2004 Lead in drinking water in Washington, D.C., is just part of a larger, more profound problem that affects cities across the country.  In his second report about contaminated drinking water, NPR's Daniel Zwerdling reveals that many cities are still getting their drinking water from systems that date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries.

For Empty Water Bottles, There's an Afterlife (7/11/2007) Last year, Americans bought more than 4 billion gallons of water in individual-portion bottles.  Most of the containers end up in the trash. But now, there's a competitive global market for the bottles, once they're recycled.

The Water Debate Continues: Bottled vs. Tap (7/23/2007) Last year, Americans bought more than 4 billion gallons of water in individual-portion bottles.  Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson explains why some city leaders are encouraging their citizens to start turning to the tap. 

Water Wars Out West: Keep What You Catch! (7/1/2009) Colorado takes this sort of illegal harvesting of precipitation seriously.  If caught, Hanzel could have faced fines of up to $500 a day. Luckily for him, a law recently passed legalizes his collection system.  It's a narrow exception to the ban for people who would have to dig a well or have water trucked in. 2009  2016 Update, CSU

BBC Article - Why we all need to start drinking toilet water
It's been called "toilet-to-tap" - much to the chagrin of water experts and managers. In some parts of the world, the wastewater that flows down the drain - yes, including toilet flushes - is now being filtered and treated until it's as pure as spring water, if not more so. (1/2016).
New York Times series, Toxic WatersA series about the worsening pollution in American waters and regulator's response.

I am 72 years old.  I do not drink any water and have not most of my life.  I thought I would throw this into the mix concerning if we should drink distilled water or not.

I drink coffee, diet soda, beer and an occasional V-8.  Oops, I forgot the 1/2 glass of water I take every morning with my 325 mg aspirin tablet I have taken for the last 40 years.

My question: why am I not dead?  All of the above is true as strange as it might sound.


An excellent and important question, Rick. Since you have made a habit of drinking heavily contaminated water for the better part of 72 years, switching to distilled water would probably be a severe shock to your system - I would discourage the experiment.

Seriously though, if you were actually living on 1/2 glass of water a day you would indeed be dead. The reason you are not dead goes to the heart of the distilled water debate.

Read more...   (Read if Java is disabled)

Drinking Water: Current News

Drinking Water In The News - search Google, MSN, or Yahoo for current news about drinking water. 

These searches will return news from all over the world. 

* Please be advised that the information on this page and on this site is for general educational information only and is NOT intended to make any specific health claims or recommend any specific treatment method or preventative advice for any health issue or problem.  Consult your physician or a health specialist for specific steps to take for your specific health or nutrition requirements!

    Copyright -- 2005, Randy Johnson. All rights reserved.


Updated April 2015