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Drinking water is critical to life.  Most people in developed countries have access to safe drinking water - or methods to render it safe.

I developed this website over 20 years ago to provide a comprehensive resource for those who are searching for information about their drinking water and information on how to provide safe water, if needed.

I am a scientist, and I have always tried to address claims I hear that contradict my understanding of science-based conclusions -- claims that fluoridation and vaccines are ineffective and dangerous, the earth is flat, the earth (and universe) was created around 6,000 years ago and life on earth, except those on Noah's arc, were wiped out about 4,359 years ago by a global flood, climate change

Over the years I have encountered a growing amount of fraudulent, deceptive, strong opinion-based information regarding many drinking water issues, including fluoridation practices, bottled water and various drinking water scams - not to mention other strongly promoted beliefs that claim to have legitimate scientific support -- but don't.  Unfortunately, over the years, there has been a huge increase in social media platforms, web-based "news", and other places where anyone can post any explanation of a scientific issue they wish - without any legitimate review process, and people can easily find "strong evidence" that appears to support any belief they might have.  It is far more difficult these days to convince those who distrust actual, legitimate, science-based conclusions than it was decades ago when misinformation was not so quickly and easily spread to so many people.

I continue to follow these issues and update my site as needed.

This Page Provides Resources To Help Understand and Refute Anti-F and other Anti-Science Arguments

Topics covered on my website include

   Trusting Science over strongly held Opinions:
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health What is Science (and the Scientific Method), and how do they differ from other NotScience human endeavors and beliefs, PseudoScience and BiasScience?  How are Science-Based Conclusions Made?
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health Distilling Facts from Fiction and Fraud 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 (or very carefully 'adjusted' 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.
Our current access to massive quantities of un-regulated, biased, un-reviewed information, (to which anyone with any motive/background can contribute) can easily cause serious problems.  We are constantly bombarded by claims (or we easily find 'answers' to serious questions) that might appear to support any products, services and/or ideas we wish to "confirm".
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health Critical Thinking: The art and science of making good descriptions.  Critical Thinking is a tool or process that will enable you to effectively evaluate benefits, risks and costs then make good, Informed Decisions that will help increase the chance of beneficial consequences while minimizing risks and keeping costs reasonable for the value obtained.
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health Evidence, Experiments and Blinded Studies: It is extremely important to understand differences between the two main types of evidence (scientific and fabricated) you will encounter as you try and evaluate claims and determine whether any given product or service is actually safe and effective or just a feel-good 'remedy' that does not actually work as advertised.
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health Some examples of how science is misrepresented to support strong beliefs:  Age of the Earth and Universe, Creation 'Science', Gish Gallop, Testimonials and Anecdotal 'Evidence', BiasScience, Fluoridation is Harmful and Ineffective (see below)

  Drinking Water Issues:
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health Harmful Contaminants That Could Be In Your Drinking Water and Their Health Effects:
Lead, Chlorine, Disinfection Byproducts, Cryptosporidia, Giardia, Bacteria, Pesticides, etc.  Additional Information
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health Drinking Water Fluoridation - Safety and Effectiveness:
You may have heard or read claims from Fluoridation Opponents (FOs) that the fluoride ion is a deadly poison that lowers IQ and causes a wide range of adverse health effects, it is ineffective at reducing dental decay (caries), that it is an unlawfully administered medical treatment, and on, and on.... 
I became concerned in the mid 1990's when I heard claims for the first time about alleged harmful effects of fluoridation after our home was hooked up to fluoridated Denver Water.  After months of careful investigating the anti-F claims and "evidence", I became convinced that FOs' claims, arguments and evidence were based on strongly held, inflexible opinions rather than the scientific evidence, accepted by over 100 science and health organizations worldwide, that fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure.  In stark contrast, no major science/health organizations support the anti-F opinions.
More Information:  F-Studies, F-Summary, F-Slott/Limeback, F-References
Bottom Line:
Trust The Experts
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health What's The Best Drinking Water Purification Method For You?
Filtration, Reverse Osmosis, Distillation, Bottled water, KDF, Emergency Treatment, etc.
(Check out these Four Steps to help you select a water treatment method)
What Various Contaminants Can Do To Your Health Bottled Water Facts: Bottled water is not necessarily more pure or safer than tap water. Bottled water has often been demonstrated in blinded tests to taste the same as tap water.  Bottled water wastes resources and pollutes our earth and atmosphere at every stage of its production, distribution, and the disposal of used bottles.   Bottled water can have no magical properties to cure disease, help you hydrate any better, give you more energy, balance your body's pH, or lose weight better or faster than tap (or filtered) water.
Bottled Water vs. Tap Water:  Bottled water costs hundreds to thousands of times more than tap water, and tens to hundreds of times more than home filtered or distilled water. 
"Coke and Pepsi bottle municipal tap water as "Dasani" and "Aquafina" and sell it to us at nearly 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.
Bottled water articles from:
Reader's Digest Magazine
 (5/2017), Time Magazine (8/2007)
National Geographic Magazine
(2/2006), NPR (4/4/2008)
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 uses resources and creates waste.  An estimated 90% of the billions of water bottles produced in a year wind up in land fills.
Contaminants That Could Be In Your Drinking Water Drinking Water Scams:  Alkaline Water (evidence? Review), Enhanced WaterOther 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)
Contaminants That Could Be In Your Drinking Water Water quotes, Links to Drinking Water Related Sites, F vs. Cl
I distilled the results of many hours of research into the discussions and the science-based issues 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.

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!
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.
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
* 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