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Is That Water Drinkable? Fast Test May Hold the Answer

October 12, 2017 | 645 views
A new and swift way to test water potability is the subject of discussion in an Ars Technica article, which details the old, arduous process for detecting E. coli in drinking water, versus a new test that can tell you in minutes whether the diarrhea-causing bacteria are in your water. The only problem is the new test is still in the testing stages and not sensitive enough yet to be commercially useful. The new process, so far, is also very expensive so it’s probably going to be a while before it’s actually on the market.

With half the world drinking contaminated water, a rapid potability test would certainly be welcome in both developing and industrialized countries. The World Health Organization says that nearly 2 billion are drinking water contaminated with feces — but agriculture runoff, accidents and improper disposal of drugs also contaminate waterways around the world.

And worse, this pollution not only is affecting the health of humans, but also plants and animals on which we depend for our food supply. Factory farms are undoubtedly the greatest contributor to water pollution in the U.S., posing multiple threats to humans, plants and wildlife. Aquatic creatures are dying at higher than normal rates, and are born disfigured. Frogs with six legs or male fish that lay eggs are just two examples.

Even if you live in a municipality where you get treated water, you still aren’t necessarily getting “safe” water. Research has demonstrated U.S. drinking water is contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, antibacterial products and medications, many of which can’t be filtered out at water treatment plants — not to mention that many still ADD fluoride to your water, which is a poison in itself.

It is best to adopt the idea that your tap water is less than pure. One of the most comprehensive water testing kits I recommend is from National Testing Laboratories. To assure you drink and bathe in the least contaminated water possible, it is best to filter at the point of entry to your home and at the point of use, such as your sink or shower.

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