Monday, November 19, 2007

Where's The Water?

Did you know that in most cities, especially larger ones, not everyone in the city is on the same water well? Unless it is an extremely small town (you know, the kind that you'd miss if you blink your eyes), it doesn't happen. Well, what's a water well? We hear about it but when most of us think of a water well, we have a vivid image in our head of a farm, and near that farm is a hole in the ground with a bucket hanging over it. That's how it was in the old days, but yes, most farms do have wells (just about all of them in fact), but do not have the buckets anymore. Water wells have gotten more sophisticated since then.

Tap water in most cases, comes from a water well too. However, since many more people are in need of water than a house on a farm, a pump that is attached to the water well will pump the water out of the ground and into an "elevation tank". The water wells used by the city tend to be deeper to supply the large number of people in need of water. The elevation tank is used to store water that has been pumped out of the ground to meet times of greater demand when alot of people are using the water at the same time (such as in the morning). When water that has been pumped from a well, it is raised (and stored) in this elevation tank, it automatically creates enough pressure, due to gravity, for the water to flow back down at a rate fast enough and through a main pipe, and into many other pipes branching off of it. In some cases, an elevation tank by be a great distance from the water well pumping water into it. In this way, water is distributed to the entire community. The elevation tank may be near the water well, or there may be pipes leading from the water well to the elevation tank. At times, more than one water well will pump to store water in one elevation tank. Most elevation tanks look like a giant mushroom, and will have the name of the city written on the side of it. You'll generaly spot a city's elevation tank miles away before you reach the city.

Most of us drink water everyday, but probably never wonder how it makes it from the water well to the inside of our home. If you have never thought about this, join in with the millions of your fellow citizens who hasn't. Yet, we bathe ourselves in, drink, and cook with thousands of gallons of water every year. In fact, it is the one thing we put in our bodies more than anything else. After all, the human body is mostly water. For most of us, the water we consume, whether through bathing, drinking, or cooking, has been on a long road trip. How long it has been travelling, we do not know. You know your water has been running around in the pipes if no matter how long you leave the cold faucet on, it never really has a cold feel to it. This is especially the case if you live in the South, where the ground can get pretty warm, and winters aren't really that cold. Also, some pipes run deeper in the ground than others, and the warmer the pipe the more "action" you'll have between it and the water.

How deep does your well go? Well, in larger cities it can vary greatly. Some wells will be as shallow as 300 feet and other wells will be over a 1,000 feet. A well driller will keep digging until one hits water. Through experience, the driller can tell if the water is fit for consumption or not. Some types of water that drillers have "hit" have better quality and can impart better health than other types of waters. That is why even for wells on farms, one family may hit bad water and another family may hit good water with life-promoting properties that for whatever reason, people seem to live long years from drinking it. Especially suspect this when you see alot of old people in a cluster. I have seen this many times myself, and it has become very, very obvious. The reason you may have not heard of this before is due to the fact that, the entire situation lies beneath the ground, and it would take the cooperation of the old people and perhaps even an intrusion into their peronal life. It is a very complex issue to try to explain.

As for your city's well water, no two wells are exactly the same depth, therefore, no too waters will be exactly the same. What lies between those rocks would take years to figure out. Some old folks believe water that has gone through a sulfur bed is it. I believe there's a ring of truth to this. My own research on people who were very old, more often than not, appear to have pointed to some type of sulfur that was in their water. This is just some kind of "extra special" water, but there are probably others. Note that, the water company is not trying to supply you with a fountain of youth, they are just trying to supply you with water that, according to their standards, is "drinkable". My observations indicates however that in some cases they (by chance) strikes water deep in the ground with lifegiving properties for some folks, and the people living the right distance and with type of pipe going to it reap the greatest benefits. This is especially the case if they grow their food with this water and cook mostly for themselves versus eating out of cans and processed foods which, by the way, was prepared with someone elses water and therefore, has gone through someone else's piping system. Between your pipes and there's, things can get really interesting. In some instances, they may even have better water, but the container its stored has negated some of this fact and the magnetic quality...well, good luck. Just remember this, water will always interacts with whatever its in (or flows through) until it reaches your body to interact with you.

So you may ask yourself, "How far do I live from the source of the water I am consuming?" I say this because it is alot better to consume a little of a bad thing at a short distance than alot of a bad thing because of long distance. Also, it is better to consume alot of a good thing a short distance than a little of a good thing from a long distance. This "distance" I speak of are imparted by the pipes and the material it is made from. There's a list of piping materials to choose from. Some may even have nutritional value to them and will further detoxify water(such as some clay pipes) and others may negatively impact your health (such as PVC and asbestos). To give you an idea of how extensive this piping network is, if you have a small city of 500,000 people, the city's underground system may have over 500 miles of pipes running beneath the ground and that is where your water is coming from. Unless the pipe is self is made up of a very very toxic material. This can be a bit tricky and not something your water company will want to be involved in, but you can get an idea. They may respond by saying, the water is all mixed up. This is partly true. Just ask them where is the nearest water well to you and where's the elevation tank. If they offer you a "water tour" , tell them you are not talking about wastewater (water you've already used), you just wouldn't mind knowing how long your water has travelled. They cannot tell you all the types of pipes your water has travelled though, and simply will not know. No one will know as a matter of fact unless they dug up the entire ground from your place to the water source. They are not the ones who down laid the pipes, and even though they may have an idea of all the types of water pipes beneath the ground that's not something they may be eager to share, especially if they are aware that there are some very unwanted types, such as asbestos pipes, and they have not all been removed in some neighborhoods. What is interesting, most of us will attempt to filter the water in our kitchen sink, but we consume a huge percentage of water through bathing.

The farther away from a water well (or elevation tank) you live and receive your water from, the "older" your water is going to be and the longer it has been collecting "pipe material". There is no getting around this because people can't live equal distances from the same water source. Every time a new home is built, they simply tap into a water main and unless they have problems with pressure they can care less how long the water travels through those pipes. Starting from the water main on your street, if you were to follow it, it'll lead to a network that will take you all the way to the water source, which is the water's elevation tank in most cases, and it others, straight to the water well. The further you live away from the water well, or its elevation tank, the more likely your water can end up going through several different kinds of piping materials.

What does it matter if water sits in pipes? The pipes are clean right? It is not the "cleaniness' that is the issue, it is the pipe itself, and the chemicals that have been added to your water that were meant to kill bacteria, not interact with the pipes. When water is "treated" for your health benefit to kill bacteria or bleach your teeth with fluoride, a serious chemical reactions takes place between these chemicals and the pipe, especially fluoride as it is one of the most corrosive elements (meaning it reacts with things is comes in contact with), and that's why it kills germs very well. The chemical reactions can especially take place if the peipe is unable to build up a "scale" or protective coating, such as PVC. However, it is for this reason PVC is preferred because it is cheap, flexible, not biodegradeable so you don't have to replace it, and worthless to steal for metal thieves. Depending on the expertise and knowlege of your water company, they can make or break your health, but the real culprit is the one noone is watching..the reactions between the water and those pipes.

When you turn your water faucet on it may or may not be "fresh". What do I mean by fresh? I mean water that has been sitting in the pipes, picking up pipe material. Here is an example. Say you live 4 miles from the elevation tank but this is where your water is coming from. That is a long way to travel and that's alot of pipes that water has got to go through. If bleach has been added (such as chlorine or especially fluoride) your water can start off by leaving an elevation tank, go through some big fat PVC or cast iron pipes or some other type of pipe, then travel through say some copper pipes, go back into PVC piping, even travel through some asbestos piping (some cities haven't removed them all), go through a cast iron water main pipe on your street, then through a copper pipe to your home, then through more PVC piping in your home, through a small copper pipe to your hot water heater, or simply through more PVC piping to your cold faucet. You have alot of potential for "pipe collection". The newer the community, the more likely you're going to have alot of PVC piping beneath. There are many other types to be found under the ground that is carrying water. It can depend on if a pipe has burst and has been replaced in the past (whic nowadays they are almost always replaced with PVC), or it may depend on if a new "popular" material was being used at the time a community was being built. If copper was popular (and affordable) at the time, then it may be copper. There was a time when asbestos piping was popular and affordable, and was placed beneath the ground. Because asbestos is so outright toxic, some cities has made the efforts to replace them quickly, while other cities are still trying, one pipe at a time. At any rate, unless you live near the water well, you water may have travelled through several differnt kinds of piping by the time it makes it to you. All the while this water has travelled, it has to bypassed electrical grounding, electromagnetic radiation, there may be a hole in one of the pipe somewhere and is exposed to the ground beneath, etc. Indeed, in many cases your water has travel through 'some rough' places. There is a very elaborate network beneath your feet call "underground pipe city" and it is competing with another network beneath called "underground electric city".

Your water company will give you a water report for free, but remember, this water report is the quality of the water when it left their facility. Thus, this is only half of the story. The pipes take over after that, and there is no water report for this, this part is your responsibilty. This is important because sometimes, (as if the corrosion from pipes isn't enough) sewage can contaminate your drinking water and you can't taste it. The water company is aware of all the propblems that can arise between the water source and your home. Some residents may become aware of this issue only when something doesn't taste right. Most of the time however you can't taste it. The pipe can be in your home, or anywhere along the extensive network of pipes beneath the ground. The water company have their own list of things to test for, but an expert chemist in the materials industry would probaly know every harmful compound that should be tested for, as pipes themselves are made up of a long list of materials and metals that can affect our pineal gland, kidney, heart, liver, etc. Our water company is not a science lab and that is beyond the scope of their expertise. In small quantities, we do not feel it, but over time, and especially of us who are getting larger dosages, this pipe material begins to affect our health. The more we age, the quicker the impact it will have as we begin to lose the ability to detoxify these substance.

People use water throughout the day, and it is drawn from the elevation tank as needed and then that elevation tank fills up again during times of low usage (i.e. overnight). The fluoride and chlorine is generally added right when the water has been pumped from the water well, and before it goes to the elevation tank, and the levels of this bleach or whatever else is added, is checked daily. Sometimes accidents do happen because we are human. Can you make a perfect cup of coffee every morning for thousands of people? No.

If one neighborhood is using an excessive amount of water, the city will tap into a water main in another part of the city, thus now you are getting into water from another well, and you're drinking "mixed water". Now, how far you live away from the well you receive your water from, and the type of piping that water has to run through can have a huge impact on your health. If fact, the impact is so big, I did some research and found that it seems to be the number one factor behind people living to very ripe old ages. The evidence is astounding. For more on this, "Habits of very old people".

Wells can run pretty deep and you will begin to get into a fair amount of "magnetic water" once it goes beyond a certain depth. Yes, water starts out magnetic when it comes out of the ground in most cases. What happens to it after that depends on the pipes its running through and how long its been 'sitting'. Some people never drink magnetic water because every ounce of water that enter their house is "old water" because the water has been running around in the pipes all day, everyday. Furthermore, the water may be exposed to electromagnetic fields as it makes it to your home. For example, if you live in an apartment or townhome, you know electric wires run through those walls, think about the effect that is having on your water. The further up you live, the further up that water has to climb. Your already " piped up, and sometimes "dead water" now gets to sit in your pipes.

Some people's who are keenly aware of the importance of the nourishment of water, live on well water, but then somehow their wells get contaminated. You may not know of the contamination unless it is blatantly obvious. I was told about one case of well contaminations when suddenly many of the babies in the area developed blue baby syndrome. Someone had contaminated the ground with nitrates and the nitrates eventually made it into the groundwater, which is where that hole for the water well is pumping from. Situations like this is unfortunate, because many times these people may have been living quite healthy for many years then someone contaminated their well and they had to "tap" into the cities water. When these people with contaminated wells "tap into the city water guess what? They are going to tap into the nearest pipe that has water in it, which may only be a few hundred feet away. The problem is however, the water may have come from somewhere closer to the city and now there water is travelling a much longer distance.

The design of the water system for a city can get really interesting. Some times you'll find a well that pumps water into and elevation tank just a block away. Other times you'll find the well in one spot and the elevation tank clear across town. It depends on whether or not its "feasible", i.e its visiblity and the cost is a factor. How would you like to see your elevation tank right in the middle of downtown? If you are lucky, your water travels a very short distance before it gets to you. Some people stay very close to the water well, and the pipes was laid down when the city was still small, and their water never makes it to the elevation tank, and they get fresh well water from the deep down under day in and day out.

What about the rain? Well, when it rains, a part of the rainwater (maybe 25% of it) ends up in the ground and gets "recharged". The rainwater flows through rocks and beds, purifying itself as it goes through and picking up magnetic qualities. The deeper it travels to the center of the Earth, the more magnetic it will be. It can go through several types of rocks, different beds in the ground, pass over fossils of animals that have died years and years ago, depositing contaminants along the way and picking up new material. Unfortunately, some of this new material can very well be some chemical that was dumped on the ground in such high amounts and of such a quality, it can't be purified. If you are on surface water, this does not apply to you. It is no telling what is in surface water, it is more likely to have a higher amount of bacteria, viruses, and even human feces, as surface water may come from lakes, rivers, and streams. It has not gone through the natural purification and recharge process that occurs with groundwater. The purification is done entirely by your local water company, and we're talking about some "serious" processing that has to be done to make surface water "drinkable".

You can help keep your groundwater of better quality by thinking about what you pour down the drain, and toss on the streets. Whatever the ground is contaminated with, a part of it will eventually make its way into your groundwater. Also, many of us do not think about it, but many of the foods that have already been prepared for you in some way in the grocery store-it took water from someone else's piping system to prepare them. We generally read the ingredients, which are the only things the maker of these products knowingly put in it and even they generally don't know about the water in which they are using to prepare it, no more than you know about all the pipes your own water has travelled through. The water used to prepare these products however will either add or subtract from your health. Curiously enough, many old people cook their own food.

Of course, all of ther U.S., there are issues of water shortages due to droughts, so every effort the water companies make, is to try to conserve water. Some people ask the question "The Earth is mostly water, how can there be a water shortage?" Well, the Earth is mostly saltwater. Humans have to drink freshwater, like some fish have to live in freshwater. Saltwater is unfit for human consumption, and the cost of to try to purify the water would be unaffordable.


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