A study conducted by researchers from the University Of California Berkley School Of Public Health has found that drinking tap water is associated with a higher risk of stomach illnesses in persons over age 55. The study, which tracked the rates of gastrointestinal diseases in 998 elderly participants, was conducted in upscale Sonoma County. The tap water in Sonoma County is considered to be of high quality; the water comes from a protected source in the mountains, and is properly treated. Sonoma County tap water easily meets all Federal and state water quality standards.

Half of the participants in the study received water filtration systems that filtered the water to remove impurities and used UV light to kill bacteria. Half of the study’s participants received non-functioning water filtration systems. Six months into the study, it was found that participants with non-functioning water systems had a 12% higher incidence of stomach illness than those with functioning water filtration systems. Participants in the study were asked to record incidences of vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and cramps.

Researchers then swapped the working and non-working filtration systems between the two groups. The group that had the non-working systems received the working systems, and the group that had the working systems received the non working systems. Six months later the results evaluated and researchers saw that instances of stomach illnesses had dropped 12% in the group that now had the working filtration systems. Likewise, stomach illnesses reported by the group that received the non-working units rose 12%.

Millions infected by tap water every year

There are an estimated 18.4 million cases of stomach illness caused by tap water in the US annually. Pathogens such as bacteria and viruses that escape treatment efforts are generally blamed for diseases caused by tap water. Another study on illnesses associated with tap water showed that serious diseases related to a stomach illness called chronic sequelae can occur weeks or even months after a stomach illness. Chronic sequelae related to stomach illness includes cancer, diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune dysfunctions.

The elderly are not the only group at risk for diseases caused by tap water; pregnant women, young children, the chronically ill, and people undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, as well as others are at increased risk for pathogen-borne illness. Estimates suggest that about 25% of the U.S population faces increased risk of illness from tap water.

UV light protection makes tap water safer

Ultra Violet (UV) light has been used for years to kill bacteria and viruses in water used in hospitals and laboratories, and the University of Berkley study clearly demonstrated the value of proper filtration and UV light treatment in the prevention of illness. While water filtration systems are common, systems that also treat water using UV light are relatively rare. UV light technology has only recently been adapted for the consumer market.  LIFE Ionizers is one of only two ionizer companies to offer UV light treatment as an option on its water ionizers. The Berkley study recommends that sensitive individuals use proper filtration systems to avoid water-borne illnesses.

The contaminants or other substances removed or reduced by this water treatment device are not necessarily in your water. Call us today at (888) 688-8889 or click here to receive a free analysis of your local water quality report to find out if bacteria has been found in your water supply.