Cocaine in Our Water Supply (Can Water Filters Help?)
You read that right.
You could be drinking cocaine.
It’s not just cocaine, though.
Other drugs can find their way into your drinking water as you read this.
You may be the farthest person from any drug addict and you can still be ingesting these dangerous substances in miniscule amounts. Learning how these drugs make it into your coffee mug, smoothie or juice tumbler is the first step to getting rid of them.
Where Do We Get Our Drinking Water From?
This is the root of the issue. More than half of the water that comes through your kitchen tap is sourced from rivers. Some of the biggest examples are the Tolt and Cedar rivers.
The water from these sources goes through filtration systems that pump the water to your house, where it finds its way into your glasses.
You also have wastewater treatments that purify the water we’ve already used. Drainage systems from our toilets and kitchens are treated and placed back into our drinking water systems.
Remember the fact that we don’t renew water at all. Through displacement and filtration, we end up with clean water. That answers the question, “Where do we get our drinking water?” The next thing you need to know is how drugs find their way in the water.
What is in Our Drinking Water?
The good news is that we have effective measures to clean our drinking water. The bad news is that we have to improve this system. Although water filtration methods in plants and dams can get rid of parasites and bacteria, they haven’t been trained to get rid of prescription drugs in water supply.
People drink, absorb, release and dispose drugs on a daily basis. You’ve done the same as well. Those antibiotics, vitamins and other forms of medication find their way out of your body via your urine and feces. These, naturally, get flushed down the toilet or down the kitchen sink, where they’re returned to the water filtration systems in your locality.
Let’s not forget about illegal drugs that slip past the radar and get flushed down the toilet once someone is done using them. That’s how you get pharmaceuticals in water supply.
Based on studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, trace amounts of various drugs have been discovered in over 25 samples taken from various states in the US.
You could have ingested some of that as you read this right now. It’s not just illegal drugs and other over-the-counter items. You can also get hormones in water supply. Although it may not sound as dangerous to humans, this can cause some serious side effects to aquatic life.
You may not be taking in high doses like a bona-fide drug addict, but there’s no telling what you’ll be drinking on your next toast. It could be cocaine today, Viagra tomorrow. Are you feeling like having some estrogen tonight? Although these come in trace amounts, your body might not be able to filter everything out when the time comes.
The more startling news is that there were more than 50 drugs in drinking water. These results range from Tylenol, ibuprofen and even cocaine. You could have taken in trace amounts of someone else’s “good time” without even knowing it.
What’s even more startling than that is that this could have been going on before the year 2000. That’s 15 years of having pharmaceutical drugs in water supply.
The Problem with our Filtration
It’s true that your local filtration systems work. The problem is, they don’t work well against drugs. They work well against parasites, minerals and other 1990’s-inspired scares about drinking water that was trying to increase the hype about mineral water.
That’s the problem with filters. They’re only designed to take care of a certain kind of contaminants, but are useless against anything else. You can think of them as the pesticides of water purification.
The more resistant a pest becomes against a certain pesticide, the more you’ll need to upgrade your pesticide. The more complex water contaminants become, the more you’ll need to upgrade your filtration system.
Expecting the government to act on a study conducted by an NGO might take some time, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with drugs in water supply for the rest of your life. You can take the initiative by installing your own water filter that will take care of the drugs in your own drinking water.
How Does a Water Filter Help?
While water filters aren’t a new idea, the technology backing them continues to specialize.
Today, you even have water softeners that are capable of removing calcium and magnesium from your water.
You also have different types of filtration methods that can get rid of numerous contaminants that area already in your drinking water. The most effective process in the market right now has to be reverse osmosis.
Also known as RO, this reverse osmosis method involves pushing your drinking water against a film that can absorb contaminants. Using a specialized membrane that can filter out drug particles and other unwanted presences, reverse osmosis filters are some of the most effective home treatment installations you can have.
Unfortunately, they aren’t the most affordable ones as well. You could spend as much as $700 on a sing-source filter. That means it doesn’t cover all the taps in your house. Some of these may even come with their own taps, keeping away from your household pipes.
Worth the Trouble?
You bet your bottom dollar they are. Let’s return to the fact that we aren’t getting any new water at all. Every drop that’s been used has been used somewhere else. The only thing that changes about water is what’s in it. That’s why it’s so important to take care of how you treat your water.
While large wastewater treatment plants and river dams can take care of purification on a large scale, it’s up to you as an independent consumer to take the necessary measures to protect the people in your household from drinking cocaine or any other drug for that matter.