Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink

Reader Contribution by Blythe Pelham

It always starts with the planting of a seed, however small. Many years ago, a close family friend planted such a seed in my normalized brain. At the time, I heard it (even though he may not have thought so) and it fell into one of the crevasses of my brain. Several years later, a different friend shared another piece of wisdom along the same lines and it nuzzled in next to the first morsel.

Time moseyed along, my mind slowly gathering more bits and pieces in that little but growing crevasse… and then, Flint!—followed very quickly by The Water Protectors. Still, I sat in my supposedly safe little world where my husband and I fetched our water in 2 and 3-gallon jugs from a neighboring town that we deemed to be more carefully treating the drinking water.

A quick sidestep takes us to recent treatments by a chiropractor due to our being in a minor car accident. We’ve had quite a bit of back and forth with him about our various beliefs and findings, each sharing tidbits new to the other. During one such visit, imagine our shock when he proclaimed that we should never use the very water we had been fetching (without his knowing that we were already partaking). “That city fluoridates their water.”

You might guess our car ride home was full of questioning conversation. As soon as we could, both my husband and I were sitting side by side, eye-deep in research. While he was chasing down the fluoride pathway, finding great articles like the one I quote below, I was busy tracing tangential trails about chlorine and chloramine (also detailed below).

That particularly noteworthy article about fluoride has the catchy title, 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation. It contains such points as:

• The chemicals used for the fluoridation of water are considered to be hazardous waste.
• The fluoride dose cannot be controlled for each individual.

• Fluoride deficiency” is not responsible for any disease.

• Many symptoms of arthritis can be traced to fluoride.

• Fluoride’s toxic effects seem more prominent in minority children.

• Bottle-fed infants receive the highest fluoride doses.

Believe it or not, those aren’t even the scariest parts. I’ll leave it to you to don your hazardous gear and trudge through the rest. It might just scare the bejeebies out of you! However, read on… once you get past the next bit, I do offer up hope and solution—at least for some of us.

My pathway took me to several articles about the chlorination of our water supplies. One morsel (below) grabbed my attention as soon as I saw it because I often smell the chlorine while I shower. The ingestion part hadn’t bothered me because I believed our “good” water (you know, those fetched bottles with the fluoride in it) didn’t have much left because it always sits for a few days before consumption.

Well, holy moly and color me misinformed! It seems many places use chlorine gas and/or  chloramine, a liquid that is much easier for them to handle. And, chloramine does not evaporate or settle out.

One post I read quotes a source stating, “… the combination of what your skin absorbs and your lungs inhale during a 10-minute shower is greater than the amount you would ingest drinking eight glasses of water from the same tap.”

I understand that disinfectants are a necessary evil. I don’t believe that most locales are doing anything other than continuing to follow traditional practices in the most cost-effective ways. However, that doesn’t mean that we—the uninformed public—need to continue to suffer the will of others.

What can we do? This gets a mite tricky since there are so many variants. Obviously, it’s tougher for citizens without sufficient income and people in multiplex housing situations. That’s where all of us can use our voices (and postcards) to help educate our politicians and community workers so we can find better solutions.  Let’s all become Water Protectors!

On a more individual basis, for those who are able, we can add whole-house carbon filtration systems to lift out all that chlorine and chloramine (among other things) and Reverse Osmosis units to remove the fluoride (and more). The relief and satisfaction that comes from knowing that we’re neither inhaling chlorine nor ingesting a host of other detrimental extras is more than worth the cost to us. As a bonus, the improved taste is marked in our case.

If you’re less able to make larger changes, get something smaller in the meantime. Save up for the bigger solution, while using a smaller countertop unit. Even the smallest fix can move you and your body in a healthier direction.

Moral of the story: Plant seeds everywhere, eventually they sprout. Speak up and speak out. Let’s change that title to Water, Water Everywhere for All of Us to Drink!

Photos by Blythe Pelham and Carly Hosford-Israel

Blythe Pelham is an artist that aims to enable others to find their grounding through energy work. She is in the midst of writing a cookbook and will occasionally share bits in her blogging here. She writes, gardens and cooks in Ohio. Find her online atHumings and Being Blythe, and read all of herMOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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