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Mackinaw River Project

 A Collaborative Effort to Develop a Watershed Management Plan


Jim McMahon leading a landowner tour on the Mackinaw River


Jim leading landowner group on tour


The Mackinaw River Watershed, a 1,100-square-mile basin in central Illinois, holds some of the most diverse aquatic communities in the state. This river ecosystem is threatened by a landscape that consists of 85% row crops. The Mackinaw River Project was funded by Illinois EPA and managed by The Nature Conservancy.

Jim was hired by The Nature Conservancy to manage the effort to engage with and involve local community members in development of a comprehensive watershed management plan. The project was extemely controversial and encountered serious resistance from local landowners. However Jim was able to build relationships throughout the watershed. The first year of the project was spent building relationships. Then the planning phase began. Jim recruited 30 landowners who were influential in the community. Professional facilitator Larry Huggins was hired and the 18 month process began. Together this group of individuals was successful in both writing a plan to reduce agricultural impacts on river and also in winning over the larger community. What started out being very controversial became welcome in the area. The project ran from 1994 to 1998.

Jim, aided ecologist Steven Apfelbaum and land steward Vern LaGesse, designed and constructed numerous conservation projects throughout the watershed. These demonstration projects on private land included constructed wetlands and both forest and prairie restoration.

At the headwaters of the Mackinaw an ancient grove of Burr Oaks still remains. Known as Sibley Grove, the land was donated to The Nature Conservancy. Restoration included the removal of drainage tiles and controlled burns of the forest understory and surrounding wetlands and prairie. Truly a symbolic donation Sibley Grove was a turning point in the Mackinaw River Project's success.

The Mackinaw River Project became one of TNC's premier efforts in community conservation, the notion of protecting landscapes by involving local stakeholders. Unfortunately the leadership of the Illinois Field Office did not have the patience to endure and once the watershed management plan was completed they were ready to move on to other things. This of course led to disappointment among the stakeholders who had worked so hard. TNC continues a minor effort in the watershed but failed to fulfill its promises to local landowners. 








Sweetwater LLC

Water Filtration Systems

designed by ecologist James P McMahon



You can enjoy healthy water by choosing the correct water filtration system.

Most people don't - in their haste to make a purchase and due to the massive confusion and mixed messages delivered by companies making false statements on the internet, most people buy the wrong filtration system. I know it.


When Choosing a Water Filtration System, you must consider the following:


If your water source is public water provided by a city or private company ...  the water will contain harmful chemicals intended to protect you, such as chlorine, chloramine, and fluoride. It may also contain numerous other carcinogens. You must start with a review of your local water quality report before purchasing any water filtration system.


If you have well water, skip this page and go to

Well Water Treatment Systems

Again, in order to know which whole house water treatment system or drinking water filter to buy you have to start by looking at your local water quality reportYou want to buy the water filtration system or kitchen water filter that removes the contaminants in your water. Most people make a huge mistake by not doing this. Just buying a filter does not protect you! It has to be the right one for your situation.


Are you ready to purchase the right water filtration system?


Here's what to do:

Have I made this point often enough yet?

Obtain a copy of your city's annual water quality report, sometimes called a Consumer Confidence Report - here's how to find it: Water Quality Report - then call me and we'll discuss which whole house water filtration system or drinking water filter will achieve healthy water for your family. That is my focus: healthy water for you.


Pick up the phone and call me during the hours of

9 AM - 6 PM Mountain Time, Mon - Fri

866-691-4214 (toll-free) and we'll find your water quality report together!


First determine which contaminants are in your water and which type of water filtration technology will remove them. I do this by looking at the water report supplied by your local city or water company. You can do it all on your own by buying my Ultimate Guide or signing up for my free Five Steps to Healthy Water email series. Or you can call me.


Together we will look at your water report and determine which whole house water filtration system or drinking water filter will best meet your needs.  I cannot make a recommendation without speaking with you. And I can't make a recommendation without reviewing your local water report, unless of course you live in a city I sell to all the time.


These are some of my products which you will find in more detail on their own product pages as listed here:


My Urban Defender whole house water filtration system is as effective as systems sold by the major brands that cost four times as much.

To learn more about the Urban Defender please visit my whole house water filter page.


Or, you can request pricing and specifications here: Send me pricing and specifications for the Urban Defender.


You can combine the Urban Defender with other home water filtration options, such as specific contaminant removal, such as fluoride or arsenic or nitrates, and Ultra Violet light, for more complete protection from the contaminants in your water supply.

There is no better whole house water filtration system for municipal water. 


Terminator Whole House Filtration System

I also sell the Terminator whole house water filter which is intended for single person households or retired couples in small homes or homes with low water use. The Terminator is far more effective than the cheap downflow without backwash or the upflow carbon filters offered by some major brands.  The


Don't be fooled by the low cost whole house water treatment systems that don't backwash. Read my blog on how these companies are deceiving you: They're junk. You get what you pay for.


Read why a downflow system with backwash is better than the upflow carbon filters which cost less.



“My Urban Defender whole house water filter has changed my life. I love it!”

Aileen Gee, Falmouth, MA

"...not only is our water clean, fresh and smooth tasting but it even feels better. Beyond the physical attributes supporting the quality of our new water, there exists a real sense of confidence and peace of mind in knowing that the water we consume and absorb in a variety of ways each and every day is pure and healthful. Your recommendation of The Urban Defender whole house water treatment system along with the polishing affect of the triple water filtration Kitchen Defender under sink water filter really seems to fit the bill."

John Ciulla; Airmont, NY

"The best tasting water I've ever had. It's way better than any bottled water.

Jim has provided impeccable service. His genuine interest in the quality and taste of our water is reassuring. Additionally, Jim has continued to follow through to check on our service needs and has responded quickly to all of our requests. My wife and I give him our very highest recommendation."

Dan Walden; Corona, CA

 "We bought a whole house water filtration system from Jim and now our water is perfect!"

Beckie Moses, Lilburn, GA


Kitchen Defender® Kitchen Water Filter:

There is no better under sink water than my Kitchen Defender - effective yet affordable. Learn more about it on my kitchen water filter page.


Independent testing showed total removal of chloramine, chlorine byproducts, and fluoride. Other tests have shown only a reduction of fluoride, which depends entirely on local water chemistry.

The Kitchen Defender water filter is also available with UV light and in a commercial version for use in restaurants, hotels, and businesses.

The Kitchen Defender produces high quality drinking water that is reminiscent of a natural spring water.



"Dear James, Thank you for your prompt attention and service in my recent purchase of a water filter. I am in the customer service profession, so it is especially nice to work with someone who understands what it means to ‘exceed expectations’. You certainly did that for me. I appreciate the knowledge and help you provided me in my unique water situation and could not be more thrilled with the performance of the unit you had custom built for me. I am looking forward to sending all my friends and clients your way as I truly believe pure drinking water is the #1 foundation for good health. Warmest regards,"

Meredith Martin; San Francisco, CA

"I just had my Kitchen Defender under sink water filter installed. It's FANTASTIC! After flushing the system for a good 20+ minutes I am excited to say I LOVE THIS WATER. It is hard to believe that the nasty county water was transformable into such great tasting water. I did a lot of research on choosing the proper water system for my home and really appreciate your approach. It makes sense to buy a system that targets the specific problems of my water rather than a generic system. Thank you for all of your help and fantastic customer service."

Pam Velez, Tampa, FL

Just a note to let you know we got the new carbon filter for our Kitchen Defender. We already had the calcite replacement and I installed them both today with no problems. You had asked about the Ph of the water. I tested it before the replacement and it measured at 6.8. After it tested at 7.6 which is the highest the test kit I have can measure. The water now tastes great again. Thanks.

Duane Orlaske, Windsor, CT

I've been meaning to write and let you know that the water tastes great! The difference in the water is just amazing! We are so happy with the Kitchen Defender under sink water filter, and showers are awesome without feeling like you're in an indoor swimming pool (with the chlorine smell, I mean). Thanks again for all your help! Best wishes,

Monica Ely, Lafayette, CO


Sweetwater's Custom Reverse Osmosis System and Water Purifier:

I sell a 5 stage custom Reverse Osmosis water purifier that I recommend for removing nitrates, removal of some metals including chromium 6, fluoride, arsenic, radioactive metals, and unregulated pharmaceuticals in drinking water.

You may learn more about it on my reverse osmosis system and water purifier page.

Many people object to the use of reverse osmosis because it removes the natural minerals in water along with the contaminants. I invite you to read my article: 'Minerals In Water' to learn why you may need a reverse osmosis system. Really, you have to remove these contaminants and the minerals can be replaced through diet.

Click here to request my Reverse Osmosis System and Water Purifier Specifications and pricing.


"Before getting a whole house water treatment system from Jim, I used a pitcher water filter and would occasionally drink tap water. With my new RO water purifier from Sweetwater, I fill bottles to carry with me wherever I go and LOVE the water! I’m HOOKED on pure clean water and my body can feel the difference!"

Stephen Pierce, Monmouth, OR

"Jim -we did the “water test” and it was a no-contest winner for the RO water! The Urban Defender whole house water filter does a good job but the RO water purifier takes it up another notch to truly, bottled water quality, or should I say better than bottled water?"

Craig Umphrey, Terre Haute, IN


In some cities a whole house water treatment system is all you need. In others, the contaminants in your water require that you have both a whole house water filter and a under sink water filter or water purifier. If you must prioritize for budget reasons, then I suggest you start with the kitchen under sink filter.  Learn more by emailing me for this short discussion:


Equipment for Specific Issues

For people who have a specific home water filtration problem they wish to solve, I provide a full line of high quality water treatment systems to remove iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide odors, neutralize acid water by raising pH, Ultra Violet light for bacterial contamination, arsenic, mercury, nitrate, fluoride or other specific contaminant removal.

You can learn more about many of these water treatment systems on my well water treatment page. I also have a wide variety of water filtration, sediment filters and water softeners.

If you're thinking of buying a water softener, email me for a tip on how to buy the right softener for your needs: How to buy the right water softener or call me and I'll sell you the right one.

The systems I sell uses natural methods to remove specific contaminants. Call me for product details, specifications, and cost. In order to help you with these products we must be able to discuss the details of your water quality. If you have a well, see my well water treatment page. If you have a special water filtration problem, call me to discuss your needs. I also have extensive technical support backing me up so we can be sure to provide you with the whole hose water treatment system that will meet your needs.


Energy and Holistic or Natural Water

For those clients who are interested in a holistic approach and the concept of revitalized or restructured water, I carry the Water Revitalizer. I use this product in my home. The concept behind its design is based on the theories of Viktor Schauberger, an Austrian whose work was published in 1932 and 1933. His theories maintain that water holds an energy in its natural state. If you've ever sat and watched the water in a stream, perhaps you'll agree...the water swirls and turns, always shifting in a circular motion. Schauberger suggests that this natural flow form is eliminated by putting water in pipes and treatment with chemicals such as chlorine. Water with this natural energy is thought by some to be more healthy.


Reading Your Water Report

OK, so I've told you to obtain your water report and perhaps you've done so and you have no idea what it means. You're welcome to call for my free 20 minute phone consultation to figure out what to do. Or, if you plan to purchase equipment from someone else but want my opinion of what to buy, you can pay my consultation fee of $150 for a city water report. (Purchase it here: Water Consultation) and we'll make sure you buy the right system. And for those who want a third option you can listen to a recorded call of me interpreting the Durham, NC water report for a customer here: Reading Your Water Report

NOTE: You are most welcome to email a copy of your water report to me. Be sure to follow up with a phone call so that we may review it together. I will gladly go over it and tell you which whole house water treatment system or under sink water filter I recommend specifically and what they cost. I do not analyze water reports by email as I need additional information from you in order to make a recommendation.

You can email your report to me at


Installation and Service

I work with clients across the country. I represent a variety of manufacturers and assemble custom water treatment systems when appropriate. We'll look at your water report and determine what you need. I won't sell you the wrong product. A licensed plumber can install the equipment I sell. I recommend that you work consistently with one plumber and use that person for all your system maintenance. If there is ever a problem with any of the home water treatment system that I sell you, then I'll work with that plumber and you to resolve it, taking advantage of the manufacturer warranties. This is precisely the same approach that you would use to deal with a water heater or any other fixture in your home.

I provide phone support during installation. I will make myself available to assist you and your plumber and I am most certainly interested and available to aid you should any equipment problems develop in the future. The equipment I sell is intentionally straightforward and not inclined toward operational failure.

Perhaps the number one reason people choose to do business with me is because of my approach. I sell high quality effective water filtration systems to people who want healthy water for their family. Sometimes people still feel that dealing with someone locally can provide them with better product support. It has been my experience that your local provider will often sell you the wrong product for your needs and service will be by someone who knows nothing about the home water filtration system you bought. To think that a local provider is a better choice is truly an illusion. It might have been true at some time in the past, but not anymore. If you find a local person who can provide an equal product and service, use him.

“I am 100% satisfied with your service. A local person would not have done as much. I have to admit that I was concerned, ordering from a person online, giving you my credit card, that the product would show up at all. When it did I could see that the construction of the product is good. The aluminum housing is strong and durable, the UV cylinder is stainless steel, the plastic is schedule 80…this unit will last for a long time. I’m pleased all the way around”

Joe Provenzano, Chalmette, LA


Call me and we'll review your water report and determine what you need. I don't charge for this.

I do charge if you want to call up and use me to provide a second opinion (like going to a second doctor before surgery). I provide a one time consultation by phone for $150. You may find this extremely useful when you are reviewing equipment proposals from local companies. You may ask me questions about your water and if I can help you or direct you to an answer I will.

If you then purchase your whole house water treatment system from me I will deduct this fee from your purchase price. You may purchase a consultation here:

Water Consultation

Purchase the consultation and then call or email me to set up an appointment.

I am also available to solve problems or design water treatment systems for you on a consulting basis. This might be appropriate in the case of problematic water supplies or commercial applications. My fee is $150 per hour with a four hour minimum. This is more typical with private well water or unique commercial appliactions. Call if you'd like to discuss this.

"Jim shows a remarkable interest in improving our water - anybody's water.

He researched my water filtration problem through his own and outside resources and helped me determine what was wrong with my water and what was needed to improve the quality.

Thanks for your help, Jim "

Mary Leathers; Pine Grove, CA


All sales are by phone. I maintain personal contact with every customer. That way I can be certain that you are ordering the correct product. If you want to buy something online, you've come to the wrong place.

The water treatment systems I sell provide the most thorough level of contaminant removal available, using proven technologies. Whatever your situation: appropriately filtered, clean, healthy water is available to you for just pennies a day. You may obtain complete information on pricing and specifications for each of the systems above by emailing me using the appropriate link above.



My Ultimate Guide

I wrote The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Perfect Water Treatment System to aid people in identifying the contaminants in their water and the treatments to remove them.

The guide sells for $14.95 and you may purchase it here:

Purchase my Ultimate Guide


I have a blog where I answer questions posed by clients. A huge number of water quality issues are discussed on this site:


Replacement Filters - if you're a current customer looking to replace your filters you do that by calling me during business hours. I look you up in my files and sell you the correct combination of filters. I have no automated system to do this. By speaking with you the possibility of errors is eliminated.


“Don’t be the best in the world at what you do; be the only one in the world who does what you do.”

~ Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead


What's in YOUR Water?


James P. McMahon ecologist

My name is Jim McMahon and I help people achieve healthy water in their homes.

Let me help you solve the water filtration issues in your home.

"I appreciate your knowledge and passion for what you do and believe in. You analyzed my problem and found a solution. You have gone above and beyond what most companies today provide in customer service. And, all with a smile and can do attitude. You're the greatest!..."

Francine Hughes; Kayenta, UT


When you call, you'll reach me directly.

Together we will solve the water problems in your home.

866-691-4214 (toll-free)


Monday - Friday Try between 9 AM - 6 PM Mountain Time



My Pledge to You:

"Honesty and Integrity in providing what you need, along with good old-fashioned service and values."



The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman - A reminder about what's important



My Bottled Water Review

This is a list of the bottled water I would personally choose to drink when traveling.

First and foremost I recommend that you drink bottled water that comes from the region in which you live.  This eliminates excessive energy costs associated with transportation.

Next, I recommend natural spring water that has certain physical characteristics that I think are healthy.  To compile this list I have reviewed each of the company’s water quality analyses and looked for contaminants I would be concerned about.  Absent these, I look at pH, which in my view would ideally be 7.2 or higher (up to a point) and total dissolved solids (TDS) which in my view should be between 30 and 220.

Finally, if you can find a local spring water packaged in glass that is better than plastic.  The benefit of plastic and the reason it has become so common is that it lightens the payload of the trucks that move the product around, thus saving transportation energy.  And it doesn’t break.  Still, glass won’t leach chemicals into your water.  Plastic might.  Pthalates and Bisphenol-A may leach from plastic bottles.  These contaminants should be taken seriously and drinking water from plastic bottles should be limited. To be on the safe side, keep any water bottled in plastic out of the heat.  In my view, low pH (meaning purified water) increases the likelihood of leaching. A recent study has also determined that bottled water contains up to hundreds of thousands of tiny plastic particles from the bottle itself. No one knows what health impact these may have. If you really care about drinking good contaminant free water buy the appropriate drinking water filter for you location

There are numerous criticisms of bottled water and in particular water bottled in plastic.  I think that bottled water has an appropriate role when traveling and in a few other instances.  These suggestions are not meant as an endorsement of bottled water or to belittle the criticism, though some of the criticisms are exaggerated or biased.  Drinking bottled water is a lot better for you than drinking soft drinks.

The following are spring waters that I recommend you drink when traveling:


Northeast –


Summit Spring – Natural Maine Spring Water – apparently this water is untreated in any way.  The test results show a pH of 6, which is low, and a tds of 59.



Poland Spring Natural Spring Water, owned by Nestle’, bottled from springs in Maine. pH may be acidic to slightly alkaline. TDS is low.



East and Southeast –


Deer Park Spring Water, owned by Nestle’, was originally bottled from a spring in Deer Park, MD, but is now bottled from springs ranging from Maine to Florida and Tennessee.  pH is acidic to alkaline. TDS is good. Nitrates are marginal in one or more of the sources. 





Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water, owned by Nestle’, bottled from 3 springs in Florida. pH is alkaline. Tds is good.  Nitrates are high, suggesting ag or septic contamination, at 2.1 in one of the sources. 



South – Georgia and Alabama


Springtime Artesian Water – apparently still a relatively small bottled water company, Southern Beverage Packers, Inc. in Appling, Georgia, bottled from ‘the deep crystalline rock aquifer’ in the Appalachian Foothills.  They provided me a test (via snail mail) which shows a pH of 6.5 and tds of 120.  Traces of fluoride, manganese, and barium.



South/Midwest –


Mountain Valley Spring Water – bottled in glass, originates from springs in Arkansas. pH is alkaline (8) with a tds of 220. pH is a tad high. Based on their water quality report and glass packaging they would receive my highest rating.


Ice Mountain Spring Water – originates in a variety of springs in MI, PA, MD, and TN.  pH varies from acidic at 6.2 to alkaline at 8.2. TDS varies from 40 to 230.  These characteristics are all acceptable although it would be nice to have a specific report for each local source. 


Upper Midwest –


Arctic Sol – originates from springs in Jackson County, MI.  A family owned business as of this writing. pH is 7.2 and tds is 320 (somewhat high).   


Rocky Mountain States –


Biota Colorado Pure Rocky Mountain Spring Water, sourced from a spring outside of Ouray, Colorado. pH is 7.3, TDS is 200, calcium and sulfates are a tad high but Biota gets my highest rating. NOTE: Biota has now been found to be contaminated by surface influences. No longer for sale as far as I know. 6-7-23


Eldorado Natural Spring Water, sourced from a spring in Elodorado Canyon outside of Denver, pH of 7.2, TDS of 88, would qualify this water for my highest rating except that it is bottled in plastic.


AquaVista - owned by Aqua Vista Bottling Company in Worland WY. Water is from an artesion well at the base of the Big Horn Mountains. I'd seen a water report in the past that made me decide to add it to this list but I do not find it now on their website.    





Ozarka Spring Water, now owned by Nestle’, bottled from a number of springs in east Texas. pH is low, tds is good, nitrates are borderline at 2.0 in some of these sources. 



California –


Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, owned by Nestle’, originally bottled from springs in the San Bernadino mountains, but now sourcing from numerous springs in California. pH is slightly acidic to alkaline and TDS ranges from low to 260, which is slightly high.     


Northwest -


Earth H2O, owned by Sweetwater Co Inc, a small business based in Culver, OR. Water is bottled from Opal Springs. pH is 8.2, so alkaline, and TDS is 100. I prefer a lower pH. Distribution region is the Northwest. "The water is in 100% recycled PET bottles that we produce here at Earth2o."



Notes to the Reader:

I have not been paid to develop this list. 

The Nestle’ company owns a number of the bottled waters I recommend due to their having purchased independent brands over the years.

While this is unfortunate it has nothing to do with the quality of the water and therefore has not influenced my selection. I am not endorsing Nestle' or any other company or thier practices. What I am doing is letting you know which bottled waters I would drink based entirely on their contents.

I have personally looked at the water quality of each bottled water I recommend. These are, or were, available online.

Another company, DS Waters, has also been buying up local spring water companies. Unfortunately I’ve called this company at least a half dozen times and can only reach a salesman.  They have one generic report for all of their bottled water and are apparently incapable of providing greater detail. Therefore I am unable to recommend any of their brands even though some might be good.

The idea of bottled water has been criticized heavily by some environmental groups including Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  Both of these groups exaggerate greatly the alleged dangers of drinking bottled water and have really scared the public into thinking it is dangerous.  Bottled water is rigorously tested and generally safer to drink than tap water, which is carcinogenic. My view is these groups should focus on criticizing soft drinks which really are harmful to your health.

When some people suggest that bottled water is just tap water, that is true but has been treated with filtration including carbon filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light. That makes it purified water.

Drinking bottled water is expensive both economically and environmentally.  I only drink bottled water when I travel and then only when I don’t take my filtered water from home with me.  It is for this reason that I have provided you with this brief guide on the waters I would select myself.

There are numerous bottled waters.  If a particular brand is not on this list, then I do not recommend that you buy it.  If you know of a brand that you think should be on the list you can email me the link to its water quality report and I’ll consider adding it unless I’ve already considered it but I don't have time to respond to individual queries about bottled water. In my view the best water is appropriately filtered water from your tap. 

Here is a more detailed description of the differences between various types of bottled water. I use these criteria in determining what I recommend: 

Which Bottled Water Is The Best?



James P McMahon, ecologist


This library is intended to aid you in making informed decisions about the water in your home.


Sweetwater's water purification library
- a protozoan that exists in surface water

One scientist estimates that as many as 25% of the U.S. population is infected with cryptosporidium.


"If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed."

~Chinese Proverb


We've polluted our rivers and streams which are also the source of our drinking water. These articles will prove it to you, providing solid scientific evidence. Please protect yourself.

Prescription Drugs in your water supply - CBS News Video

What to Do About Drugs in Your Drinking Water

Be sure to also visit Sweetwater's Blog where you will find dozens more articles about drinking water and health



You'll find the following topics on this page:

Papers - papers by different authors about how various contaminants in drinking water affect health.

In the News - news items pertaining to water contamination

Press Releases - press releases issued by me about water purification

Resources - links to resource pages

Healthy Living Products - products for a healthy lifestyle

Information Products - opportunities to learn more

Ask a Question - ask me a question.  I'll answer you and also post the answer on my blog, or post it yourself:   Sweetwater's Water Purification Blog.   You may email me here: I have a question


A short video on the problems of our water today:

Is Your Water Safe To Drink?


Papers About the Dangers of Tap Water

Papers about the health effects of various contaminants as well as effective means to remove  them using a home water purification system.


The Negative Health Effects of Chlorinated Water

Pex or Copper Pipes in your house - an article by Green Builder

How to Make Your Tap Water Healthy - January 2, 2011

Pesticides and Lymphoma: Pesticides Cause Cancer

How to Remove Pesticides from Drinking Water - published by me July 2010

Cocaine, Spices, Hormones Found in Drinking Water - November National Geographic article

Triclosan - the dangers of a common anti bacterial agent found in soap

Chlorine Creates Toxic By-Products - a study released by the U of Illinois on March 31, 2009

The Dangers of the Alkaline Water Ionizer Fad 

Which Bottled Water Is the Best? - a comparison of the physical characteristics of bottled water

Comparison of Mineral Content in Bottled and Tap Water - Society of General Internal Medicine

In Defense of Bottled Water - why are environmentalists in such a tizzy over bottled water?

Pure Water: There's No Such Thing As Pure Water

Low Levels of Arsenic Linked to Diabetes - August 2008

The Health Effects of Chlorine - a paper on the various health effects of chlorinated water **

Chlorine is unhealthy: Chlorine Article by NTL

Trihalomethanes (a byproduct of chlorinating water) Induce ColoRectal Cancers - Trihalomethane Study

Chloramines Are More Toxic Than Chlorine: Chloramine Study

How Much Is Too Much Poison In Your Water?: Poison In Your Water

Questions to ask before you drill a new well: Does Your Well Driller Practice Safe Sex?

A paper that illustrates how mercury in water is increasing: Mercury is Spreading

EPA's mercury warnings for various fish species: US FDA - Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish

A paper on the effectiveness of various methods to remove arsenic: Arsenic Removal

An article discussing the relationship between alum or Aluminum in water and Alzheimer's Disease

Is hard water good for your heart?  Is Hard Water Good for You?

Are kidney stones due to drinking water or diet: Kidney Stones and Drinking Water

Minerals in Water - A short description of Common minerals in drinking water and how they affect your health

The Structure of Water - A Stanford University Study which shows the molecular structure of water. This provides indirect evidence for the idea of revitalized water.

There are Cosmetics In Your Water - reprinted from Natural Life Magazine with citations

Deepak Chopra on Aging - reversing or slowing the aging process

Tal Ben-Shahar on Happiness - take these six simple steps to being happy

In the News - Articles About Drinking Water Contamination

Amoebas in drinking water a double threat - January 31, 2011

US says too much fluoride causing splotchy teeth - January 7, 2011 fluoride levels reduced

Sweetwater's Comments About What You Can Do About Hexavalent Chromium In Your Water

Environmental Working Group Map of Cities with Hexavalent Chromium

Study Links Fluoride to Pre-term Birth and Anemia in Pregnancy  ** Sept 2, 2010

Colorado Oil and Gas Drilling Causing Water to Burst Into Flames

Male Fish in the Potomac River Carry Eggs Due to Chemicals

Male Bass in the Susquehanna River Carry Eggs

Your Daily Shower May Deliver a Faceful of Bacteria

People Who Drink Water Have Healthier Diets

Airborne Contaminants Raining Down Across the West

The Chemicals Within - Newsweek**

Lead Linked to Premature Aging **

Heat Causes Chemical to Leach from Plastic**

Hydrogen Sulfide Gets a New Look From EPA**

Medical Myths - 7 Medical Myths Even Doctors Believe **

People are reacting to chloramines in their water

Tap Water Linked to Bladder Cancer in Men **

Pesticides Found in Rivers and Streams Throughout the U.S.

Pesticide Use Linked to Childhood Leukemia

Pesticide Use Linked to Male Infertility

Public Data Shows Chemicals in Tap Water

Mercury Blows Across the West from Nevada Gold Mines

Pharmaceuticals in our drinking water

Traces of Cocaine in the River Thames

Even Low Levels of Common Contaminants are Dangerous to Your Health **

Ten Common Toxins to Avoid **

Pesticide 'Soup' Linked to Amphibian Deaths

Cancerous Growths in Catfish in Maryland Rivers

Report Sparks Fears Over Lead in U.S. Drinking Water

Bottled Water: Nectar of the Frauds

Contaminants in Bottled Water - from the plastic bottle

Development May Spread Old Pesticides

Pharmaceuticals in Rivers Raise Concern

Prozac in Drinking Water

Evidence Suggests That Low Levels of Toxins (as allowed by EPA) Remain Dangerous to Human Health **

Swimming in Chlorinated Pools May Increase Risk of Hay Fever

Chlorine in Pools Tied to Lung Problems **

Perchlorate Found in 97% of Breast Milk Samples **

High Mountain lake in Rocky Mountain National Park contains high levels of mercury

Wastewater Treatment Plant in Boulder, CO Changes Downstream Male Fish into Females

Most Tap Water Is Polluted by Municipal Infrastructure **

The Effect of Fluoride on Horses - a You Tube video

Housework Linked to Asthma


Which Water Filter is the best? - article

Jim's You Tube Channel - video

There's No Such Thing As 'Dead' Water - Is Reverse Osmosis Water Dead?


Quote Of Interest

University of Illinois: "What we soon realized," says Sayers, "is that your colon is like a singles bar.  Bacteria are passing around DNA like there's no tomorrow."

Caffeine was found in more than 160 of 216 samples in water as deep as 640 feet.

"It was everywhere," Schuman said. "There's an effect (from) humans on the sound and it's almost ubiquitous. It's not just at the end of the (discharge) pipe."  Read More Here: Vanilla in Your Water

We need to change our ways and stop treating the Great Lakes like a toilet,"  the report concludes.  Sierra Legal Defense Fund  Read more here: Sewage Threatening the Great Lakes

Regarding the recent disclosure that male bass in the Potomac River carry eggs:
"If scientists have not yet determined what pollutant is causing a reproductive health problem in fish in the Potomac, how can anyone say it is not in our drinking water?" he asked.
Read more here: EPA chided over 'intersex' fish concerns

Fluoride: "Though the review found that adding fluoride to drinking water helps fight cavities, University of York research fellow Paul Wilson called the overall quality of studies his group analyzed "really poor." Many were biased or used outdated scientific methods, he says, so it's impossible to say whether fluoride is safe or a threat. "There is currently a lack of reliable evidence to make a definitive judgment either way," he says."


An interesting development related to that last quote:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 — The Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday that it was recommending new restrictions on thousands of uses of pesticides because of their adverse effects on public health.  Read more here: EPA Restricts Pesticide Uses





Did you know that at 1 part per billion the approved and commonly applied pesticide Atrazine can cause frogs to grow both male and female sex organs?  **

Does that sound like something you want in your water?


Associated Press (March): But simply detecting the presence of a pesticide does not always mean there is reason for concern, said Jay Vroom, president of CropLife America, which represents pesticide developers and manufacturers. He emphasized that the use of pesticides by farmers, ranchers and others is strictly regulated by federal and state laws. 

See the remainder of this story here: Pesticides Found in Rivers and Streams Throughout the U.S.


Consumer Reports (February 2006): "A growing body of research shows that pesticides and other contaminants are more prevalent in the foods we eat, in our bodies, and in the environment than we thought..." 


Note: There's no doubt at all that Consumer Reports is an excellent source of research information pertaining to cost.  I have found their research to be superficial in those cases where my expertise lies and so have to conclude that their advice is often faulty.  In the case of this article, they provide some serious warnings about some foods, suggesting organic alternatives.  I agree.  Their comments about government definitions are good and a serious issue confronting legitimate organic producers today.  But their suggestions about what to purchase I find questionable.  It all comes down to your supplier and who you trust.  For instance, Consumer Reports leaves the impression that 'free range' poultry products may be a scam.  I buy and use free range poultry all the time from a supplier I rely  on. As usual the larger companies are taking advantage of weak definitions to sell weak product under the guise of misleading words.  There are good suppliers providing excellent organic product using the definitions as they were intended.  The key: know who you're buying from and whether you trust them or not.


Resources - links to resource pages

National Pesticide Database - a comprehensive listing by the USDA of pesticide use by state and crop type

Organic Consumers Association - an organization actively working to promote and protect organic standards

Typical Family Water Use Statistics - by the American Waterworks Association


Healthy Living -links to healthy products that may help you.

Natural Cleaning Methods for Your Home - Free tips and products you can use

Non-chlorinated swimming pools - a link for those of you who are interested in swimming without chlorine.  This company has asked if I'd be interested in selling their product.  You can convert an existing chlorine based system to this ionization technology for only $795.  If you're interested in buying, give me a call.


Information Products

Five Steps to Pure Water - my free email series that will teach you how to achieve healthy water in your home. 

My Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Appropriate Water Treatment SystemYou may purchase my guide for $14.95.  My Ultimate Guide will show you how to identify the contaminants in your water  and treat them appropriately - Purchase My Ultimate Guide

Reading and Understanding Your Water Quality Report - Look at an actual water quality report and listen to a live recording of me discussing with a client the contaminants listed and how to treat them...  Understanding Your City's Water Quality Report


 Check back often.  This page is updated regularly.

"What's in Your Water?"

Sweetwater's Resource Library provides substantial research on water purification and water treatment
James P. McMahon

I study and read and hardly rest, often multi-tasking, in my quest for knowledge to share with you: my valued client.




 To view my experience and credentials:

Biography and Resume


The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman


A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs ... I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!  You should start by fishing longer every day.  You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.

"And after that?" asked the Mexican.

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.  Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can  then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City!  From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps 25 years," replied the American.

"And after that?" the Mexican asked.

"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing.  "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions?  Really?  And after that?"

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."


***Know where you're going in life … you may already be there.



I’ve placed this little story on my site for the purpose of reminding myself and letting you know that if I make only one or two large sales per week, along with a number of small sales, then I can both serve you, my customer, completely and to our mutual satisfaction and I can enjoy my life and remain true to my goals.


James P McMahon, The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman

James P McMahon ecologist

"Life Can Be Like This."



I don't take American Express