Author Archives: Troy

How the Drought is Poisoning California’s Drinking Water

california drought water quality

As California struggles through the fourth year of its historic drought, the effects are starting to hit a little closer to home… and our health.

The results of a 10-year study of California groundwater quality showed some disturbing findings.

Normally, Californians get about 30% of their drinking water from aquifers, but the drought has forced Californians to rely on these aquifers for more than 60% of our water needs.

The study found that roughly 20% of our groundwater is contaminated with high concentrations of dangerous substances like arsenic, uranium and nitrates. And it’s not getting any better…

As groundwater keeps getting lower, our drinking water will become more and more unsafe.

The longer the drought continues, the more we will rely on groundwater. You can probably see how this is quite the vicious cycle. But is there an answer? In order to understand that, we have to know what caused this quality issue.

 

Where do the contaminants come from?

Contaminants enter California’s water artificially – through heavy use of nitrogen-based fertilizers on farms – and naturally – through erosion of natural deposits.

Heavy reliance on nitrogen fertilizers (and animal waste) has led to increased levels of nitrates in the water. At levels above 10 ppm (parts per million), nitrates can impede the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, leading to birth defects and cancers of the ovaries and thyroid.

Agriculture alone isn’t the only source of contamination; arsenic – which is not used on farms – turned up more than nitrates. The study also found an alarming amount of aquifers poisoned with uranium, which is a contaminant not used in farms, but which has been pushed further into the water table (5-10 feet per year) by irrigation.

According to Kenneth Belitz, the study’s lead author and chief of the USGS’s National Water Quality Assessment Program, the process of contaminants slowly moving further down into the water table affects all areas of California.

Former agricultural areas that have evolved into suburban (Santa Ana, for example) will start to see the effects of years-old nitrates sinking into their water tables. Today’s farming hotspots – especially the San Joaquin Valley (where San Diego gets a portion of its water) – could be slowly building up nitrate levels year by year that could lead to much higher nitrate levels in well water.

 

How is the drought making it worse?

This heart-wrenching video from High Country News depicts how the drought is exacerbating the level of contaminants in California’s water. It shows the situation in East Orosi, one of the areas hit hardest by the drought.

Chad Fischer, East Orosi District Engineer, explains how landowners are digging a higher level of wells, putting more stress on the aquifers:

“It’s simple, drill a lot of wells, produce a lot of water. The water tables are going to drop and the level of contaminants is going to go up.”

As groundwater levels drop and the level of contaminants stays the same, the concentration of nitrates in groundwater supply will continue to increase.

Think of it as a small amount of poison that’s diluted by a large amount of water. The poison is relatively harmless as long as the water level stays high enough. But when the water level decreases, there’s not as much to dilute the poison, making it much more dangerous.

This issue is hitting areas of California at different times. East Orosi is getting the worst of it now. Residents use five-gallon plastic jugs for drinking, cleaning, brushing teeth, making tea and coffee, making soup and cleaning fruits and vegetables.

East Orosi’s situation serves as a stark warning to the rest of the state about the dangers of the drought on water quality. Hopefully it serves as a canary in the coal mine demonstrating that serious actions need to be taken for the health and safety of the people.

When will it end?

That’s the bad news. According to NASA Analysis, California’s aquifers are extremely depleted (by 11 trillion gallons, to be exact). Lower rainfall in the coming years and steady or increased farming will only continue to diminish these sources, therefore raising contaminant concentration.

As the drought continues, it’s imperative that California residents continue to monitor their local drinking water quality. Every municipality is required to send out a Water Quality Report (or CCR) annually, detailing local contaminant levels.

As always, the safest solution for your water’s safety is to install water filter systems in your home to ensure the highest quality clean water in your home regardless of outside circumstances. See your home water filter options HERE.

 

More information: Mother Jones on California’s Drinking Water

 

What’s the Difference Between Water Softeners & Water Conditioners?

whole home water conditioner softener

As a new homeowner, you’ll likely face a common question: do I need a water softener? After some research, you’ll likely come across some info about a similar piece of equipment called a water conditioner. The differences between the two can be confusing, but making the right choice can have a significant impact on you and your family’s health and your home’s appearance and value. 

Many areas across the country – especially Southern California – have “hard water,” which means your tap water has exceptionally high mineral content.

Hard water is not particularly unhealthy, but it’s capable of causing some costly problems for your home. The most costly issues include scaling, pipe blockage and even pipe leaks. 

Your Home’s Health

Scaling is the buildup of minerals to form a deposit called lime scale. Hard water mixed with soap forms nasty soap scum, which leaves a bathtub ring on your surfaces. 

hard vs soft water

The difference in scaling between a showerhead with hard water and soft water is obvious.

Excessive scaling can lead to clogged pipes, which decrease water flow rate to your faucets and showerheads and can even affect the life of toilet flushing units.

hard water damage

A pipe clogged with hardness minerals.

Eventually, the scaling in your pipes will allow less water to flow through. Showerheads will dribble instead of spraying and faucets will deliver a weak stream of water. Buildup in your faucets can also lead to faulty shutoff mechanisms and dripping faucets.

The third costly effect of hard water is when dissolved minerals eat through pipes causing leaks and water damage in your home. It’s important to realize this potential issue early, because there are water pipes throughout your home and even a small hole can result in VERY costly damage.

hard water pipe damage

Pipe with a significant leak due to hard water.

 

Your Health and Happiness (and Sanity)

The effects of hard water are not limited to your home and plumbing fixtures; it can also affect your quality of life. Hard water requires more soap or detergent and water for showering and laundry.

åAdditionally, mixing soap and hard water on the body can cause what’s referred to as a “curd,” which can remain on the skin after rinsing, clogging pores. This serves as a breeding ground for bacteria, rashes and dry skin irritations.

Hard water also leads to mineral deposits in your hair, making it harder to untangle post-shower.

So What’s the Solution?

Now that you understand the multitude of issues surrounding hard water, let’s discuss the best way to get rid of hard water in your home. A water softener may be the more popular option, but I’m going to explain to you why a water conditioner is the better option for your home, your health and your wallet.

Water Softeners vs. Water Conditioners

Both water softeners and water conditioners solve the problems associated with hard water. The two are significantly different, though, in 3 main ways:

  1. Water Quality
  2. Simplicity
  3. Price

Water Quality

The biggest difference between water softeners and water conditioners is water quality. The reason is pretty simple: water softeners DO NOT filter your water and water conditioners do.

Water softeners use what’s called “ion exchange,” which swaps hardness mineral ions for sodium, reducing the water’s hardness. The problem is that softeners only focus on hardness, not contaminants such as chlorine and carcinogenic disinfectant byproducts like chloroform. 

Chlorine is generally the most noticeable contaminant in tap water (due to the large amount added in at a municipal level in order to disinfect water). It is also quite dangerous and damaging to your health and beauty. Chlorine can cause cancer over time when ingested and is notorious for drying out skin and hair. In addition to being dangerous to the body, chlorine can contribute to pinhole leaks in your pipes.

Without a conditioner, you will not be able to remove chlorine and other dangerous contaminants – you will simply have softer, dirty water.

Simplicity

As I mentioned above, water softeners use a process called “ion exchange,” which is about as complicated as it sounds. It requires electricity (which drives up cost of operation) and maintenance such as buying, hauling and adding salt periodically. In addition to being physically trying and time-consuming, adding salt also requires upwards of $200 per year.

Ion exchange is also not eco-friendly in any way. The process requires waste water to be expelled through a special drain. Research showed that this briny waste water was actually affecting area water supplies, leading to the recent ban of salt-based water softeners in cities such as San Diego and Los Angeles. That’s right: if you live in Southern California, you are likely outlawed from even purchasing a salt-based water softener.

Water conditioners do not use any electricity, saving your energy bill. They also create zero wastewater and require no maintenance aside from annual filter changes. Additionally, water conditioners use significantly less floor space in your garage and make no noise.

On an aesthetic level, conditioners produce water that mixes well with soaps and detergents, allowing you to use less of each, saving you even more money. Conditioned water also feels better in the shower, whereas softened water leaves a distinct “slippery” feel on the skin. 

Price

Of course, one of the most important aspects of any home improvement purchase is the price. What is it worth for you to have clean water and fortified investments in your kitchen and bathroom fixtures? Obviously, many companies will use this argument to justify ridiculously-priced items. But water conditioners are actually priced significantly below water softeners.

The Evolution Whole Home Water Conditioner starts at only $795, compared with softeners in the thousands of dollars, plus maintenance costs. Conditioners also save you from the electricity and water costs associated with a complicated softener. 

Most importantly, though, a Water Conditioner preserves the health of you and your family, as you can be sure the dangerous contaminants found increasingly in tap water supplies will be eradicated at the source. 

Call 619-356-3766 or email info@evolutionhealthworks.com today for more info about how a Water Conditioner can help improve your life and the value of your home!

What’s the Deal with Fluoride in My Water?

fluoride

The controversy over fluoridated water is making news lately, as more and more concerned citizens question their local governments about the benefits and possible drawbacks of adding fluoride to drinking water.

In 1945, dental researchers and city officials in Grand Rapids, Michigan agreed to fluoridate the city water supply for experimental purposes. After eleven years, the results were staggering; tooth decay rates had dropped 60%.

Ever since, cities across the country have adopted fluoridation. The American Dental Association and other prominent public health organizations endorse the practice wholeheartedly.

In a situation becoming more familiar in our information-heavy world, though, people are speaking out and challenging institutions on the benefits of fluoridation. Similar to the anti-vaccine and anti-GMO movements, there is a spectrum of dissent ranging from legitimate concern to government conspiracy mongering.

It’s hard to argue with the wealth of information proving that fluoridated water has improved dental health, but it’s also important to acknowledge that many beneficial public health policies have detrimental side effects.

(For example, adding chlorine to public water supplies for disinfection purposes was one of the great inventions of the 20th century, improving life expectancy for millions. But chlorine reacts with natural materials in water to create dangerous, cancer-causing disinfectant byproducts.)

Fluoride’s drawbacks are documented at length across the web, but few have been widely accepted. A recent British study showed a link between water fluoridation and thyroid issues (hypothyroidism). One undisputed fact is that an excess of fluoride (fluorosis) causes tooth decay. There is minimal evidence of fluoride as a carcinogen.

The real issue with fluoride in public water supplies is informed consent.

Americans have always been fiercely individualistic; the explosion of the internet has magnified this trait. Citizens can now pull up information on other countries’ fluoridation practices quickly and realize that the U.S. adds fluoride more widely than any other country in the world.

People can also look up the fact that fluoride is a chemical, one being prescribed to them without consent. This issue is also at the core of the anti-vaccine movement, but there is one very important difference.

If you don’t vaccinate your child, others are at risk of catching a disease from him or her. If you don’t opt to fluoridate your water, you are not putting anyone else at risk.

This is the core of the fluoridation issue today. People deserve the option of what they consume, especially if it has the potential to affect their health.

All Evolution Healthworks drinking water products reduce fluoride content by 65%. For those wishing to remove more than two thirds of fluoride, we offer an additional filter attachment to remove 99.9% of fluoride.

How Meditation Can Relieve Holiday Stress

woman-meditating-ocean

We all know the holidays can be hectic. Traveling at peak times, shopping for last minute gifts and trying to eat and drink healthy can result in a great deal of stress. These aspects of the season are troublesome, but they’re not going away.

We believe that the holidays are supposed to be about enjoying family and friends, so we want to share a tip for how to relax and relieve holiday stress with an age-old trick: meditation.

Meditation dates back thousands of years to ancient India. It was embraced by Hindus and Buddhists before being carried along the Silk Road to Islamic cultures and eventually the Roman Empire. Western Christians also embraced meditation, and eventually in the mid-20th century, secular forms of meditation developed as well.

Millions of people now practice meditation both for spiritual and personal growth and inner peace. It comes from the Latin word meditatio meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder.” This is exactly what it is: taking time out of your crazy day to just breathe and think.

Most people are reluctant to get into meditation because it seems weird and difficult. Trust me, I felt the same way; I always had an excuse not to try it.

The great thing is, though, that you can make meditation whatever you want for yourself.

I’m going to share two great starter meditations with you so you can get your feet wet. I guarantee if you take the time to relax and try these, you’ll find some instant relaxation and stress-relief.

Here is my favorite meditation, first shared with me by my friend Tyler Wagner. It’s only 15 minutes, so you don’t even have to move around your schedule! The speaker is Alan Watts, a famous philosopher known for interpreting Eastern religion and how it can be therapeutic for the mind.

Another great option is the app Headspace. It’s totally free to do their “Take 10” program, which is ten days of ten minute meditations. It’s extremely easy to do first thing in the morning, at lunch time or even right before bed (I prefer lunchtime because it allows me to reset midday). From there, you can opt to pay for a longer subscription or just keep doing Take 10.

Again, I guarantee just doing these quick, guided meditations will immediately relieve your stress and help you relax. It’s amazing how much we can gain by just taking a few moments and breathing.

Happy holidays from Evolution Healthworks! We hope you all have a great, stress-free season with family and friends.

When You Need Water the Most

drinking water

In many diets, the main focus is the content – what we should be eating or drinking. This is understandable; many studies prove that diet accounts for 80% of weight loss to exercise’s 20%. It’s worth mentioning, though, that there is another important variable in any diet or health program.

It turns out that when you consume food, water or juices is just as important and which ones or which types you consume.

It makes sense if you think about it. What good would it be to eat a high-protein meal at 3 am? Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to drink all your filtered water directly before and after a workout. Our goal is for all of our customers to have the cleanest water possible, but also to drink it at the right times to maximize the health benefits. Below are some tips about the best times in your day to drink water.

First thing in the morning

You wouldn’t go eight hours during the day without water, would you? We sure hope not. So it makes sense that having a glass or two in the morning will help relieve your body’s thirst from the long night asleep (and possibly drooling). Water in the morning also helps kickstart organ function and clear out the residue and free radicals from the calories your body burnt overnight. If you’re really looking for a jolt, we recommend chilled water (with filtered water ice cubes, of course).

Before meals

We’ve discussed before how drinking water before a meal can help you avoid overeating. This practice has a few other benefits as well. Pure water moisturizes the stomach lining, helping prepare it to digest what may be acidic or brittle food. This same principle applies to the time between meals. You can keep yourself from unnecessary snacking by drinking water throughout the day.

When you’re sick or recovering

One of the times water can be most helpful is when you’re ill. Drinking plenty of water helps wash germs and viruses out of your body and keeps your hydrated if you have been vomiting or having diarrhea. Think of a patient with an IV – this is how you should consume water, consistently throughout the day.

This is especially important if you’ve been to a hospital or doctor’s office where other people are sick and spreading germs.

Drinking water also helps when you’re on medication (only, of course, if your medication allows this). The constant flow of clean, filtered water helps dissolve and spread the meds through your body during and after your sickness.

The bottom line

The best way to maximize the benefits of drinking water is to incorporate it into your daily routine and make it a habit. For more tips on how to do this, check out 7 Easy Ways to Drink More Water.

 

7 Easy Ways to Drink More Water

filtered water

Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to forget about staying hydrated. After all, drinking water isn’t exactly the most fun thing to do. Research suggests that the easiest way to learn new habits is by incorporating them into your existing routines.  This is what we’ve done with these 7 easy ways to make sure you’re staying hydrated!

1. If you eat, drink

An easy way to start drinking water more often is to have a glass before every meal. It’s a simple transition, because most likely you drink something while you’re eating. Drinking water also helps you eat less, so your waistline will thank you. This trick applies to drinking as well – try having a glass of water for every cocktail or beer you order. It’ll help with your hangovers!

2. Take it with you

You can’t drink water if you don’t have access. Carrying your own water bottle is a great way to avoid costly, wasteful bottled water. It’s also important to avoid plastic, which can leach harmful BPAs. Our Evolution Healthworks Glass DrinkSafes are perfect on-the-go bottles because they have a neoprene sleeve with handles.

3. Eat your veggies!

You don’t always have to drink in order to stay hydrated. Many vegetables and fruits are packed with water, so you can stay hydrated without chugging all day!

4. Set an alarm

If you’re anything like us, you and your smartphone are inseparable. Let’s face it: phones are becoming our appendages, so we might as well use them to our benefit. It’s simple – go to your Calendar app and set alerts for several times tomorrow (i.e. 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm) with any label – maybe a Wave emoji? Then, click on the Repeat option and set it to Every Day. Now, as you’re Buzzfeeding your day away, you’ll be reminded to stay hydrated!

5. Make a game out of it

Like playing games? Of course you do. Like competition? Of course you do. Studies have shown that adding a social or competitive aspect to your goals leads to much higher levels of achievement. Think Weight Watchers meetings. Or people posting their workout numbers on social media every day. Adding this layer of social pressure leads to much better results.

Now you don’t have to throw it in everyone’s faces, but you can start a mini-competition between yourself and a few friends. Just set some stakes (first round of drinks?) and keep track. Whoever hits 8 glasses a day for the longest wins!

6. Get your money’s worth

Here at Evolution Healthworks, we’ve had numerous customers tell us that they started drinking much more water after they purchased one of our home water filtration systems. We all like to get our money’s worth. If you buy a gym membership, you’re going to use it. The same goes for drinking water systems – the only difference is its much easier to drink more water than it is to go to the gym. Even better, you’ll see results much faster.

7. Reward yourself

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that we’re all humans. The reason you’re dehydrated in the first place is because life is hectic and it’s easy to forget to drink water. So when you succeed, make sure to reward yourself. We’ll let you decide how to do this, but whatever it is – make it worth your while to stay hydrated!

Shampoo, Narcotics and Birth Control: Things You Didn’t Know You Were Drinking

drug water

When was the last time you drank shampoo? How about painkillers or birth control? Statistically, you consumed all of the above recently, whether you wanted to or not.

Researchers have found antiseptics, pharmaceuticals, detergents and a number of other products everywhere they’ve looked for them in our water supplies.

According to a study published by the EPA, the nation’s water sources tested positive for dangerous pharmaceuticals such as oxycodone, high-blood pressure medications and antidepressants.

Water treatment plants are not required to test for or monitor levels of these so-called “emerging contaminants” in our drinking water. Some of the products – such as shampoo and dish detergent – have been in our water supplies for decades, but skyrocketing rates of prescription drug use and abuse in the U.S. are leading to other contaminants that didn’t used to pollute our water.

In fact, a recent Mayo Clinic study determined that nearly 70% of Americans take prescription drugs. Many people flush their old and unused pharmaceuticals. The only proper way to dispose of old prescription or over-the-counter meds is to take them to a pharmacist. This doesn’t prevent all pharmaceuticals from getting into our water, though. We also urinate and otherwise excrete trace amounts of drugs and antibiotics into drains and toilets.

While emerging contaminants are not currently regulated, but this does not mean they don’t pose a risk. It’s unclear how emerging contaminants in drinking water affect our health, but it’s an area of growing concern among health officials.

One medication of which we know some effects is birth control. This is because hormones work at very low concentrations in the human body, suggesting that birth control can affect our bodies even though it shows up in low concentrations in our water. This possibility was highlighted recently when fish in the Potomac River were found to have both male and female sex glands after exposure to estrogen.

Humans have been lucky to not experience such extreme consequences, but the fact that fish are absorbing pharmaceuticals from human wastewater and suffering mutations suggests problems down the line. It may also come full circle, as we are likely to consume the same contaminants with our seafood.

While healthy adults have sophisticated detoxification processes that may protect them from emerging contaminants for the time being, pregnant women and children are much more susceptible.

Home drinking water filters are a good way to cut down the amount of emerging contaminants in your tap water, according to Timothy Bartrand, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Drexel University, Philadelphia, who worked with the National Science Foundation (NSF) on drinking water research.

We encourage you to ask your water authority what it is doing to keep you safe from emerging contaminants. The number for the San Diego County Water Authority is (858) 522-6600.

Also, consider using an Evolution Drinking Water System in your home to not only cut down on emerging contaminants, but also add vital trace minerals to your family’s drinking, cooking and coffee/tea brewing water.

 

 

The Next Water Revolution

city water

Drinking water has evolved in three major shifts – or revolutions – over the past 2,000 years. Each of these revolutions either made water vastly more available or potable for a large number of people.

In his book, Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World’s Most Vital Resource, David Sedlak discusses the three water revolutions of the past 2,000 years as well as the next one – Water 4.0 – that needs to happen for the sake of societal health and safety.

The author explains that today, “continued population growth and climate change stretch the ability of urban water systems to meet our needs.” The process of devising and financing a solution will be anything but east, but Sedlak is confident there is a way. 

In today’s post, we’ll discuss Sedlak’s 3 water revolutions as well as the one we need to start planning for today.

Water 1.0

The Romans are known for a number of astonishing accomplishments, but one we don’t often hear about (maybe because it’s not sexy enough for a Hollywood blockbuster) is how the behemoth ancient civilization managed to provide anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million people with drinking water.

Ingenious Roman engineers devised a system of gravity-harnessing aqueducts to bring water into the city from surrounding rural areas. Not only did they build this solution to solve the issue of water shortage, but the Romans also built a sophisticated sewer system to handle runoff. This revolution paved the way for the expansion of civilization over the next 1,900 years.

Water 2.0

The boom of the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century saw the emergence of water wheels and steam engines. This led to toilets and the vast amount of waste created as a result. Rather than disposing of waste in the fields, urban toilets sent human waste down the sewers, from where it entered bodies of water and traveled downstream to some less fortunate communities.

The corresponding rise in typhoid fever and cholera necessitated the need for another water revolution. This time, the engineers behind water’s advancement were from MIT. They formulated a system of filtering with sand, which surprisingly eliminated most disease from drinking water. Similar improvements used chlorine to further disinfect the water. Water 2.0 was born, effectively increasing the average American lifespan by 15 years.

Water 3.0

While the second water revolution allowed for drinking water to be treated, there still was not a widely available technology for treating wastewater. Thus, industrial centers and large municipalities simply disposed of sewage in rivers and lakes. Waterfront cities such as New York, Cleveland and Chicago reeked and fish died at an alarming rate.

In an ultimately successful effort to curb the expansion of water pollution across the country, the federal government passed the Clean Water Act in 1972. This landmark legislation allocated federal funds toward the construction of sewage treatment plants. Water 3.0 saved the health of The Great Lakes and numerous other bodies of water across the country.

Water 4.0?

Sedlak explains that we are now in need of a 4th water revolution, one that is likely going to be more complicated – and more expensive – than its precedents.

Many of the water utilities constructed 40-50 years ago are aged significantly. As with many societal problems, the roadblock in front of water reconstruction is cost. The growth of population has led to a consequential strain on water systems built for far fewer people.

In the Northeast, many cities have experienced raw sewage overflows when snow or rain fills treatment plants to their limits. The Southwest is experiencing a problem on the other side of the spectrum; areas such as Arizona and California are suffering from drought and water shortages.

The problem for both regions is that climate change models suggest that the areas experiencing overflow will only get wetter and the drought-stricken regions will only get drier.

Three areas in which Water 4.0 has already begun to take form are desalination, water recycling and decentralization.

Desalination – the process of treating seawater to make it potable – will be a significant, but not nearly a majority of San Diego’s water (7%) starting next year. Water recycling, in which wastewater is either treated to drinking water standards or at least to a level that it can be used for watering crops, is also popular in Southern California. Decentralization likely will be a prevalent technology across the country, especially given the amount of Americans living in suburbs. This practice would involve the construction of smaller water treatment facilities outside of the large ones in city centers.

Sedlak says that Water 4.0 will happen one way or another, the only question is whether we will be proactive in preparing our water systems. The sad truth is that more often, civilizations wait for catastrophe to allocate the necessary funds for water system improvements.

 

 

 

 

Why is San Diego’s Tap Water So Bad?

san diego water

If you didn’t already know (and if you live here, you know) San Diego has some very subpar tap water. In fact, it has some of the worst tap water in the country, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It’s a shame that such a beautiful city nestled up to a pristine blue ocean has tainted drinking water.

It’s easy to complain about the water here, but it’s also important to understand why the water quality is so poor and the effects it can have on our health and well-being.

This information is pertinent for many people outside of San Diego, too. There have been a number of incidents in the past year compromising drinking water supplies across the country.

Why San Diego?

With the ocean down the street, it’s easy to forget that San Diego is actually in a desert. If you know one thing about deserts, it’s that there is very little water. We’re still some time away from desalination plants (like the one in construction in Carlsbad) being a significant source of drinking water. Thus, we get our water from thousands of miles away.

Our two main sources are the Colorado River and the California State Water Project in Northern California. There are a number of issues with each of these sources.

The Colorado River provides the majority (60%) of San Diego’s water. It runs through canyons and rocks which deposit volatile organic chemicals.

20% of San Diego’s water comes from the California Water Project in Northern California, the hotbed of agriculture for the whole country. The problem with this is the vast amount of fertilizers used on these farms. Fertilizers contain nitrates and nitrites, which make their way into the water table and into our tap water.

These problems aren’t unique to San Diego, though. A five-year study by the EPA found more than 300 contaminants in tap water across California. And worse, California water authorities were cited for 5,514 federal and state violations over that five-year period.

 

What are the effects of contaminated tap water?

Everything. Pollutants in your tap water are just as bad as they sound.

Below are some of the worst offenders present in San Diego’s water along with their health effects.

  • Arsenic – Skin damage, circulatory problems, increased risk of cancer
  • Asbestos (from the cement in water mains) – Increased risk of cancer and intestinal polyps
  • Lead – Impaired mental and physical development in children, attention and learning deficits, high blood pressure
  • Nitrates/Nitrites – Oxygen distribution problems, Blue Baby Syndrome

What can we do?

It’s easy to be alarmed at the quality of our tap water, but it’s important to take steps toward making it safer. The government is too strapped for cash and too slow-moving to take the initiative, so it’s up to us to manage our own water.

1. Contact your county health department for a report on your local water quality and to learn about any recent violations.

2. Read our guide to Comparing Water Filters to understand the different options you have for getting clean, healthy water in your home.

3. Call 619-356-3766 to speak with a water expert about how you can get the Certified Healthiest Water in your home today.

Helping You Compare Water Filters

compare water filters

As awareness of the importance of clean water in the home rises, more and more people are starting to consider what water filter is right for them.

With this increase in demand, water filter suppliers are flooding (so to speak) the market with products. This can lead to confusion, especially when companies make over-the-top claims.

We don’t want to confuse you – we want you to compare the different water filters available on the market so you can decide what’s best for you and your family. Below are some simple explanations of water filter options.

Carbon Filters

Activated Carbon products are the most common filters on the market. You probably know them better as pitchers or attachments on your sink. These are helpful if you’re renting or staying somewhere temporary. They take care of foul odors and tastes, but do not remove bacteria or microorganisms.

Other than lacking in how much junk they can remove, the main downside to carbon filters is that they don’t last long. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever had a filter pitcher blink red at you after a month in the fridge.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

RO systems became popular because they are very powerful and filter almost all dissolved solids in tap water. They are usually installed under the sink, which is nice because they don’t take up counter or fridge space. There are a few problems with RO, though. While it filters lots of bad stuff from your water, it also removes good stuff such as healthy trace minerals. This can pose some serious health issues down the road. Another issue is that RO systems create a large amount of waste water, almost 5 times as much as they do filtered water in some cases.

Remineralizers

The best alternative to RO’s mineral-deficient water is remineralized water. They are harder to find, but quality water filter companies often have a remineralizer included in their filtration systems. It’s important to make sure that you aren’t just adding minerals to unfiltered water, though.

 

Ionizers

These are the worst offenders when it comes to ridiculous health claims. Multi-level marketing companies got a hold of ionizers a few years back and started selling them without integrity. These are not miracle-machines, but they do have significant health benefits.

Ionizers charge minerals in the water to raise its alkalinity. The resulting alkaline water (above 7 on the pH scale) has been shown to raise overall blood alkalinity, act as an antioxidant capable of killing leukemia cells and increase bone health. These are claims backed by accredited scientific studies, not commercial science.

It’s very important to make sure you only use an ionizer with a water filter, since there is no research on the effects of ionized contaminants. Also, since water can’t be ionized – only the minerals in it – it’s important to have a remineralizer included with your ionizer.

Whole Home Systems

The water you drink isn’t the only water you’re exposed to in the home. If you live in an area with poor water quality (see the EWG’s 10 Best and Worst Water Utilities here), a whole home water filter system would be a good investment because you’re at risk from showering in contaminants.

Hot showers open up your pores, allowing you to absorb contaminants directly into your bloodstream. Similarly, water vaporizes in the heat, leaving your vulnerable to inhaled pollutants such as trihalomethanes (a byproduct of chlorine disinfectants) or fluoride.

Many whole home water filter systems cost thousands of dollars, but there are many more affordable systems on the market that will provide you with much cleaner water.

Which one is for you?

You’ve seen the options – which one fits best for you? If you’re not yet sure, we’d love to talk.

Give us a call at 619-356-3766.

In health!

3 Reasons to Have Clean Water Throughout Your Whole Home

beautiful skin water youthful hydrated

We all know the importance of drinking clean water – it protects us from harmful contaminants and keeps us hydrated – but it’s also crucial that we filter the rest of the water in our homes.

Contaminants in our water can harm us in many more ways than just through drinking. Think of all the ways you come in contact with water throughout an average day.

Below are 3 reasons to filter every drop of water in your home. Enjoy!

1. Your skin absorbs contaminants freely

Your skin doesn’t only depend on the water you drink, it also reacts to the water in which you bathe. For the same reasons that water from the tap can be dangerous to drink, it can be even more harmful to shower in.

You see, our local governments add chlorine and other chemicals to the water supply to disinfect it, but this process creates byproducts that can wreak havoc on your skin and your overall health. When you shower, your pores open up and absorb these toxins, leaving you vulnerable.

2. You can inhale contaminants in hot shower water vapor

If you take hot showers (of course you do), you know that they create steam. If you breathe during your hot showers (of course you do), you’re inhaling compounds such as fluoride directly into your lungs.

Fluoride is added to the water supply by most major municipalities because it’s beneficial when used topically on our teeth. Recent studies suggest, though, that it has detrimental effects when ingested.

What is especially scary about this is the fact that vapors that you inhale hit your bloodstream significantly faster, meaning you could be more vulnerable to fluoride and other contaminants in your shower water than in your drinking water.

3. Whole home systems are affordable

It’s a no brainer that some type of whole home water filter system is necessary in any home. The problem is the confusing marketplace. Many companies will try to sell whole home systems for several thousand dollars.

The Evolution Healthworks Whole-Home Water System effectively removes chemical byproducts and other nasty substances from entering your home.

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons Reverse Osmosis is Bad For Your Health

reverse osmosis bad

If you’ve researched water filter systems for your home, then you are probably familiar with reverse osmosis.

For those of you who are not familiar, reverse osmosis is commonly described as the most complete way to filter your water. In some ways, this statement is valid. Reverse osmosis uses a membrane to very finely remove almost all dissolved solids from tap water.

This sounds like a great system, right? After all, the point of water filtration is to take out all of the bad substances and leave us with safe water.

It’s not that simple, though.

To get truly safe and healthy water, it’s very important to consider the adverse effects of drinking water that has no beneficial constituents.

The World Health Organization released a report summarizing some eye-opening findings about reverse osmosis and the “demineralized” water it creates. Below are 5 reasons from the report that reveal why reverse osmosis is bad for your health.

 1. It leads to mineral deficiencies 

Water is the universal solvent. When it is demineralized – or run through a reverse osmosis system – it aggressively seeks new metals and minerals to leach and absorb.

This becomes a problem when you RO water – it leaches beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium from your body.

Studies from around the world over a fifty-year period agree that water low in calcium and magnesium leads to a higher rate of bone fractures, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy disorders and some cancers.

2. It makes you urinate more

This might sound obvious – of course drinking water results in more trips to the restroom – but it’s more complicated than that.

Reverse osmosis water throws off water homeostasis in the body, causing a 20% increase in diuresis (aka need to urinate).

3. It negates the nutrients you get from food

Most reverse osmosis companies will advise you to use your demineralized water for cooking. While cooking with the right water can make a significant difference, this is NOT the case for reverse osmosis.

The study explains that cooking with demineralized water actually removes about 60% of the beneficial minerals from your food. Since the majority of our nutrients come from what we eat, cooking with demineralized water can be very detrimental to your dietary health.

4. It leads to more toxic chemicals in your water

Just as reverse osmosis water is likely to absorb minerals in your body, it is also highly aggressive to materials with which it comes into contact before entering your body.

It readily dissolves metals and organic substances from your sink’s pipes, coatings, storage tanks, hose lines and fittings before entering your glass.

Low-mineral water intensifies the leaching process, raising your chances of getting lead poisoning from your kitchen’s plumbing.

5. It’s less thirst-quenching

The report explains that since demineralized water throws off homeostasis in the body, it leads to more thirst.

What’s wrong with a little additional thirst? It means more of all the problems listed above. Welcome to the vicious cycle of reverse osmosis.

 

What’s an acceptable alternative?

It’s important to look for a Drinking Water System that reintroduces healthy trace minerals to your water, in addition to removing harmful contaminants.

The Aura H2O Water Filter not only removes 99.9% of contaminants, but also adds minerals such as calcium and magnesium back to your water. Also, the Evolution Healthworks system wastes no water, compared to the average reverse osmosis system that wastes about 5 gallons for every 1 it filters.

 

More info: The World Health Organization on Water, Sanitation and Health
Protection and the Human Environment