Water everywhere, but not a safe drop to drink.
It's something many of us take for granted - that the water we drink is safe and clean.
Not safe for me, my family - false security
However, many people overlook the potential dangers of water contamination. It could happen during a crisis or develop over time, which is why I'm reaching out today.
I want to explore three crucial points to consider about your water and why you need powerful filtration - every day.
LIFE-GIVING AND DEADLY:
HOW TO PREPARE FOR WATER CONTAMINATION
To get water, most of us just turn on the faucet. We're led to believe the water is clean and safe to drink.
The truth is, water contamination is far more common than you think.
Millions sickened from tap water
In fact, in the U.S. alone, there are up to an estimated 32 million cases of acute gastrointestinal illness annually from public drinking water sources, according to the CDC. That number does not account for water from private well and other sources, which means that the frequency of disease is likely higher.
The Environmental Working Group reports that more than 200 million Americans are drinking cancer-causing tap water, particularly in the form of Chromium-6, or the "Erin Brockovich chemical." This affects all 50 states.
Further, Harvard released a study that 33 states have unsafe levels of harmful industrial toxins like PFAs in drinking water. These PFAs help manufacture everything from non-stick coatings on cookware to military weapons. They cause a wide range of issues, from cancer to high cholesterol and obesity.
Beyond just facts and figures, there are three crucial lessons to consider when thinking about how to best prepare for water contamination.
Contamination almost always happens in a full-blown crisis. Two of the lessons today will explore scenarios where that can happen.
However, my third and final lesson will illustrate that most often, water contamination happens without warning and goes on undetected or unmanaged until people get really sick or even die.
My hope is that these three crucial ideas will convince you to invest in a powerful water filtration system that can handle any scenario and any kind of contamination.
Let's get started.
All is Foul in War and Water
This lesson focuses on history, which we can always learn from.
We all know war is ugly. In every war, there are casualties. Yet, losses on the battlefield are only one part of it.
War pretty much guarantees water contamination. War zones are chaotic places. Camps are mobile. Sanitation supplies may be slim or non-existent. Operating in hostile and underdeveloped territories. Water contamination has affected American soldiers in almost every war and conflict in our history, from the Revolution on to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Water - a major cause of death
Most notably, dysentery took the lives of nearly 100,000 Union and Confederate soldiers in the most deadly war in our history (in terms of American casualties), the Civil War. Another estimated 65,000 died due to typhoid fever. These diseases were often caused by water contamination.
Most of us are lucky enough to be civilians, or retired military personnel, so why I am I telling you this?
And into your drinking water it goes
Well, the reason is because almost every crisis eventually turns into a war zone-like atmosphere. War is the most accurate depiction of a crisis where you may have to bug-out.
Not only do people get desperate and violent, turning the streets into chaos, but almost every system we depend on will turn off. This includes our water treatment and supply. Even if water is coming out of the tap in a crisis, it may be full of waste, chemicals and more. If electrical power goes out for a long period of time, this contamination only takes a few days.
If society devolves into madness, you can bet your water is contaminated. The only way around it is to secure a new source of water and use powerful filtration to ensure cleaner, safer water. If you are resourceful (and lucky) enough to find a water source, you can't take your chances without filtration. The likelihood the water you find is contaminated is so much higher.
But remember, it doesn't always need to be a full-blown crisis for your water to become contaminated. We won't always have the benefit of a "high-alert" situation to prompt us to filter our water. Often, contamination lurks without us knowing - before it's too late. More on that in our third lesson.
Before that, our next lesson comes from Mother Nature.
When Mother Nature Poisons the Water
Flooding is common
When severe weather or a natural disaster strikes, physical damage is often the most immediate, tangible destruction we observe.
But in these situations, water contamination is extremely common and long-lasting, especially with flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes.
In these situations, water treatment and supply can become incapacitated or literally inundated - rendering them ineffective.
Notices do not reach everyone
That's why you see boil-water advisories and bottled water being a number-one requested relief item for victims of emergencies.
Unfortunately, these measures can be too little too late for people who are stranded due to the storm and have limited water available to them. They may not have received the boil-water notice and could turn to drinking contaminated water out of desperation.
As mentioned before, the major risk for water contamination in a natural disaster is the shutdown of water treatment facilities. This can happen if the facilities are flooded, but also due to power outages and physical damage.
Many of these facilities are old. Too old. They are vulnerable to Mother Nature's havoc. We know we can't count on the government to update and fix our infrastructure in a timely manner anytime soon.
Nor can we count on them to provide relief with expediency. That's why true patriots and concerned patriots need to look to self-reliant, efficient solutions. Something that works without the need for electricity, pre-treatment and works on the widest range of contaminants. More on that in a moment.
Waste not, drink not
Our final lesson is that it doesn't require an unrelated crisis to cause massive water contamination. Sometimes toxic water is the crisis all on its own. And as many stories tell, it often goes unnoticed, denied, ignored, covered up or worse until it's too late.
One story from this year really struck me to the core. Here's the line that gripped me:
"We're constantly being told,
this is basically your own crap."
The above quote is from Nina McCoy, a retired teacher from coal-mining country in Martin County, Kentucky. Many of these small towns suffer from poor water infrastructure, often piping wastewater into streams which are then collected for drinking water.
To combat the sewage problem, more disinfectants like chlorine are needed - much more than normal.
This is where it gets really bad. Excessive disinfection can cause nasty byproducts like trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, which have been shown to cause cancer and other chronic illness. That's why the Martin County Water District has been warning consumers of possible cancer risk since 2002. That's a long time without a fix.
We can't afford risky tap water
It's one thing for a product like a cell phone to have a cancer warning. But the water you drink every day? For fifteen years?
It is precisely these kinds of scenarios that are popping up all over the country. Aging infrastructure and bureaucratic mismanagement are only making the problem worse.
Not only that, but toilet-to-tap systems are becoming increasingly popular, especially in drought-ridden places like California. Yes, it re-uses scarce water. But as I've already illustrated, treatment is vulnerable to failure, and excessive treatment can create new contaminants that cause cancer.
The situation in Martin County, Kentucky is not an isolated event. You may have noticed I haven't mentioned the crisis in Flint thus far in this Scout.
Far from alone
In my mind, the only thing unique about Flint is that it made national headlines. Communities across the country experience contamination and rarely make it past the local news. We already knew that government was corrupt and inept before Flint.
We also knew major contamination was an issue well before Flint became a household name. The 2000 e. Coli outbreak in Walkerton, Ontario killed 7 and sickened 2,000 of our neighbors to the north.
403,000 sicken by water in Milwaukee
If that's not close enough to home, do you recall the Cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee in the early 90s? Milwaukee does. This invisible parasite was making 403,000 people sick with uncontrollable diarrhea for weeks before it was discovered. Schools and workplaces suffered sky-high absenteeism and the shelves were empty of anti-diarrheal medication. But tests for viruses and bacteria showed nothing, until they tested for parasites.
Why it's important to be proactive.
The best way to avoid any form of water contamination is ensure your own ability to produce clean, safe water.
We spent years developing the solution. A groundbreaking filtration system that could be used in a crisis and every day. A system that targeted not only a wide range of contaminants, but the technology to reduce and remove them at an extremely high rate.
The Alexapure Pro is a gravity-fed filtration system - which means it requires no electricity, and works in a crisis in which the power is out.
It works with any fresh water source - streams, lakes, rivers dirty puddles. As long as it's not saltwater, it can make the water much cleaner and safer.
Here's the best part: the groundbreaking filter technology behind the Pro can target 200+ of contaminants and reduce them by up to 99.9999%. This includes:
- Bacteria, viruses and parasites
- Heavy metals like lead
- Disinfectants like chlorine and fluoride
- Pesticides and pharmaceuticals
- And more. Click here to see full test results.
The Pro can hold up to 4 filters,
but a single filter has a capacity of up to 5,000 gallons.
Revolutionary Alexapure Pro filtration
At pennies a gallon to produce clean water, it's ideal for everyday use. You can add more filters to increase the flow rate and the longevity of the filters. This longevity is why many Pro users store extra filters for emergency purposes as well.
Remember, a crisis can be like a war zone, which means bad water. Natural disasters also bring bad water as a consequence. Finally, always be vigilant and ready for contamination as its own silent crisis. That's why we need water filtration all the time, because you never know what might be lurking before the water reaches your pipes.
I hope you find these lessons helpful in your personal preparedness and self-reliance journey.
Have a safe weekend. Stay prepared.
Scott Kerrigan, MPS Preparedness Advisor