Healthy Hydration: The Evolution of Clean Home Drinking Water
Jul 13, 2012 - 5:09:17 PM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - We all know that water is essential to human life. Throughout history, humans have figured out ways to collect water from lakes, streams and rainfall to keep hydrated and healthy. Since the beginning of time, people have been devising methods to capture, store, filter and distribute water –making water available in homes for drinking, bathing and agriculture. As society has evolved, so has water – with each century bringing a new type and trend.
To many people’s surprise, bottled water came before in-home “tap water.” Companies began bottling mineral water as a luxury and “curative” in glass bottles as early as 1800, sold as 'miracle cures' at the springs where the water was bottled. People would visit the springs and purchase a few bottles to take home with them. In 1872, the first bottler - Saratoga Springs - opened its plant on the same site on which it is still bottled today, New York's Adirondack Mountains.
The limited availability of mineral water in glass bottles gave way to the popularity of natural water in plastic bottles, and there is quite a different reason for the purchase of bottled waters today – the perceived health benefits of not having extra chemicals added (like tap water). Bottled water can contain water from a variety of sources, including spring, sparkling and filtered. While water from these sources isn’t exposed to the same chemicals and gives people peace of mind about the quality of water they are drinking, there have been concerns over the authenticity of certain water branded as “spring water,” as well as a growing concern over the “one-and-done” use of plastic bottles on the environment. One such example happened in 1999, when the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released findings from a four year study on bottled water, claiming that one-third of the bottled waters tested contained levels of contamination.
The introduction of indoor plumbing in the late 19th century gave us the ability to provide water access directly in the home, lessening the risk of mass contamination found in well water. In order to ensure that the water consumed from the tap was and is still suitable, chemicals are added to the water to do a number of things. Specific chemical compounds are often added during the treatment process to adjust the pH or remove contaminants, such as chlorine to kill biological toxins. Though tap water is now regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974, the materials used to convey the water (cooper, steel, plastic) can cause issues like lead leaching, infusing water with mineral impurities or contaminants.
While tap water is still the most widely used, the potential for contamination and added chemicals caused many people to move towards bottled water, or look for other ways to “purify” their drinking water directly in their own homes.
Reverse osmosis water
As we become more eco-conscious about both our waste output and water input, many people are turning back to methods for altering their tap water to make it “clean.” Hitting its popularity stride in the 2000’s, a recent trend has been in-home reverse osmosis systems. An addition to your home kitchen faucet, a reverse osmosis system filters your water through a membrane to strip out unwanted minerals, providing cleaner water at your fingertips. Researchers from UCLA successfully produced fresh water from seawater in the mid-1950s, but the process was not suitable for mass consumer use for nearly 50 years.
Though the membrane does filter out contaminants, it also strips water of the good, healthy minerals, making the water acidic. With people looking for more hassle-free ways to obtain cleaner water, people are now turning to other in-home technologies to ensure easier access to healthy water. Reverse osmosis home systems also use a lot of water - recovering only 5 to 15 percent of the water entering the system (the remainder is discharged as waste water.)
Alkaline ionized water
The latest evolution in water is at-home water ionizers that produce antioxidant-rich alkaline ionized water. Water ionizers – either connected to the faucet via the counter top or under the counter - provide mineral-rich, clean water, allowing you to separate wanted and unwanted minerals. New advances in at-home water ionizers are now providing advanced filtration systems that leave you with highly-oxygenated, antioxidant-rich water (provides more antioxidants than a glass of orange juice!). Water ionizers provide pH-balanced water with smaller molecules clustered together in a hexagonal shape for quicker absorption and easier movement throughout the body, helping you stay more hydrated for a longer period of time and keeping your body environment less acidic.
As science and technology continue to present new advances in the quest for the perfect glass of water, the next 100 years will no doubt bring about a new trend. Regardless of the type of water you decide to drink, all experts will agree that it is important to stay hydrated for optimum health.
About Tyent USA
Focused on creating the finest water ionization systems in the world, Tyent USA strives to ensure that all products are utilizing the latest technology to create the healthiest water in the world.
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