Tap water can make you sick if you are over 55. That’s the conclusion of a University Of California Berkley School Of Public Health study. The study tracked the rates of gastrointestinal diseases in 998 elderly participants. It 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 = 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 a stomach illness. 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. The group that had the working systems received non-working systems. Six months later the results were evaluated. Researchers say 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 include 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 are at increased risk for pathogen-borne illness. Estimates suggest that about 25% of the U.S population faces an 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. The University of Berkley study clearly demonstrated the value of proper filtration and UV light treatment in the prevention of illness. Water filtration systems are common, but systems that also treat water using UV light are 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.