Visit the Sweetwater LLC blog
Visit the Sweetwater LLC blog
Connect with Jim on LinkedIn


What is Healthy Water?


James P McMahon



In an ideal world I would suggest to you that healthy water has been treated to remove contaminants but still contains low to moderate levels of naturally occurring minerals and a pH of 7.2 to 7.6. Unfortunately that ideal world no longer exists. We've polluted our rivers with sewage and agricultural waste and use these same rivers as the water source for downstream cities. If your water source is a river with cities upstream of where you live, then you have pharmaceuticals in your water. Learn more here: Drugs in your water

The first thing to do in your quest for healthy water is to find your local water quality report. And the first thing I look for in that report is the source of your water. Again, if it is a river, then either look at a map or think about what is upstream of you. Are there cities upstream? If so then you have pharmaceuticals in your water. Is there farming upstream? If so then it is very likely that you have pesticides in your water. Are there livestock facilities upstream? If so, then you have hormones and antibiotics in your water. Really, the situation is quite a mess. Since these contaminants are not regulated by US EPA they will not be listed in your water report. The report is useful nontheless because it tells you where your water comes from and does list the regulated contaminants. The only way to remove pharmaceuticals of any kind is by using a reverse osmosis system at the kitchen sink.

Another issue in water is mineral content. There is a lot of nonsense on the internet on this topic. Some people suggest you have to get minerals from water. You don't. Read more here. It's my view that mineral content (aka tds) should ideally be between 30 and 250 ppm. When looking at your water report look for total dissolved solids (tds). This equals mineral content. What you need to do to achieve healthy water depends on what's in your water to begin with. Mineral content can be too high. In Los Angeles, for instance, or any city with Colorado River water the tds will be between 450 and 650 or more. This is too high. High tds water is not hydrating to the cells. If your report does not list tds then call your water company and ask them what it is.

Next review the list of contaminants in your water very carefully. There may also be contaminants in your water that can only be removed using reverse osmosis. These include nitrates, radioactive metals, pharmaceuticals and high tds.

The benefit of drinking water from which the contaminants has been removed far outweights any benefit from drinking water with minerals. There are people posting statements on the internet that reverse osmosis is bad because it removes minerals. Well it is far more important to remove contaminants than it is to have minerals in your water. These naysayers have no idea what they are talking about. I suggest you ignore them. The presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water has been shown to affect cell function. And nitrates have been correlated with bladder cancer in post menapausal women at half the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL).

Another issue is that of chlorine or chloramine and their byproducts. When chlorine is added to water it interacts with organic material (like leaves or grass) to create other carcinogens. These are listed in the report as the trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. Chlorine can be removed by a carbon filter, either at the sink or the whole house. Chloramine requires a particular type of carbon. Regular granular activated carbon filters (GAC) do not remove chloramine. Also, many of the whole house carbon filters sold on the market today are too small to remove the trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. Water filter manufacturers only test for the removal of chlorine so their statements in this regard may be misleading.

If you have well water the first action you must take is to test your water. See my well water testing page. No one can help you buy the correct filter without first having the correct test. You have to know what's in your water before you know what filter to purchase.

Think of water as the fluid that hydrates your body...your cells. When you drink a glass of water you want to be nurturing your body in the best way you can. To me that means you will have removed chemicals, heavy metals, radioactive metals, all poisons, and maintained a pH that is only slightly alkaline, similar to the alkalinity of your blood.

Whether you have city water or well water, I can help you identify what's in your water and provide a treatment system to remove it, either whole house or at the kitchen sink, thus providing healthy water for your family. This requires forthought and analysis. If you just go online and buy a filter chances are you're buying the wrong one.


You can learn about all of my products and services, here:

Home Water Purification Systems


"What's in YOUR Water?"



James P McMahonEcologist


Sweetwater, LLC

Home Page:

Home Water Purification Systems

* * *



(C) 2017



Home Water Purification Systems Air Purification Consultations Buy my Ultimate Guide Resource Library

Water Purifiers Arsenic Iron Removal Commercial Healing Waters Rainwater

Whole House Water Purification Water Testing Healthy Links Biography Well Water Rave Reviews


I don't take American Express