Quote of the Day: Dangerous Water

 

Water is everywhere. If you turn the tap in your kitchen or bathroom, what flows out of the faucet is drinkable water (at least in most places).  City water all over America is normally inexpensive and available for people and animals to drink.  Depending on where you are, the tap water may be “hard” or “soft,” with those terms referring to the level of minerals in the water.  When we lived in Minneapolis, the city water was relatively hard, so we had to use more detergent than normal to get our clothes clean, and in the shower we had to use more soap and shampoo.  When we visited my husband’s relatives in rural North Dakota, the water there was so hard that the animals could not drink it, unless they had been born on the farm!  There was so much salt in the well water the family used that we needed to use bottled water to brush our teeth and shower!  The house had its own water-softener, and it was very expensive.

On the other hand, the water here in western Washington is so soft that they have to add minerals to it to make it palatable!  When we came back to Seattle in 1974, we got a rude awakening when we did our first load of laundry, and discovered that we only needed to use less than half the detergent than we used in Minneapolis!

I was fascinated by an article I read in the Wall Street Journal about the manufacturing of computer hard drives.  It seems that, in the process of making the hard disks and the semiconductors that are part of them, they need to use what is called “ultra-pure water.” Here is a description of that water: [italics mine]

The semiconductor wafers from which microchips are cut have to be built in several steps, and each step creates nanoscopic debris that must be cleared away.  To accomplish this, manufacturers use ultra-pure water, an industrial solvent that is simply water with everything else removed: minerals, salts, even parts of dead cells and viruses.  Making 1,000 gallons of ultra-pure water requires about 1,400 gallons of ordinary water.  …

Water this pure is not fit for human consumption.  Technically it isn’t a toxin, but it is such a powerful solvent that it pulls the electrolytes out of your body as it passes through you.  If you drank enough of it, you would die.  Still, many people have tasted it out of curiosity.  Reports on its flavor vary, ranging from “flat, heavy and bitter” to “literally the most boring thing I’ve ever tasted” or “the absence of taste” itself.

It’s hard to imagine water that would kill you because of what’s NOT in it.  But it exists, and is called “an industrial solvent.”  And I learned a new word, “nanoscopic,” for particles that are smaller than microscopic!

[originally posted at RushBabe49.com]

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  1. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    That’s why if you read the labels of bottled water, you’ll probably find something about how minerals were ADDED for flavor/drinkability.

    • #1
  2. Captain French Moderator
    Captain French
    @AlFrench

    Portland also has very soft water. Its Bull Run water is known for its purity. That was a selling point when Portland attracted the wafer manufacturer Siltronic to build a factory.

    • #2
  3. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    The medieval alchemist Paracelsus was onto something when he stated “The dose makes the poison” 

    Pure water or even distilled or deionized water is not suitable for washing sensitive areas like open wounds and your eyes.  Water with too little stuff dissolved in it is hypotonic and will diffuse across cell membranes, even potentially rupturing the cells.  You need an isotonic solution for that.  One common isotonic solution is normal saline, 0.9% sodium chloride in water.  It’s going to burn a lot less than pure water, and IV bags of normal saline are often used for rapid rehydration.  Our awesome Ricochet medical professionals can tell you more.

    • #3
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    10-year hospital pharmacy tech here.  I am totally familiar with normal saline and D5W, the most common IV fluids.  I once prevented a new tech from reconstituting an antibiotic with Potassium Chloride instead of sterile water.  Certainly saved a patient, and that tech’s job.

    • #4
  5. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    If one drinks pure water it will leach out sokuabkes in your body via osmosis. Drink enough and it can harm you. The same is true of regular water, though the amount you have to drink is huge (like 6-8 gallons a day). I remember a case where some parents punished their child by making them drink water and the child died.

    Water softeners save you a lot of money as well. From using half the detergent/soap to West and tear on your pipes. When we installed on where I live (Central Texas) after living in our house for a few years, I spent the next few months cleaning the faucets and shower heads to remove the particulate that clogged them as the soft water leached from where it had built up on the pipes. 

    • #5
  6. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    We have great well water.  Hard, but we have a softener for each building with living spaces.  It’s good enough that I really miss it when traveling.  Drilling is more art than science, as many neighbors have well water with different problems, iron or sulfur taste being the most common.  The main well is over 50 years old; the secondary well at our windmill is about 25 years old.  We were especially happy to be on our own well after the big freeze a couple of winters ago when virtually all municipal water systems failed.  The nearest town water system went 5 days without city water.  I still have some of the canned water that Anheuser-Busch donated to all the fire departments.  That water is super pure but tasteless.

    • #6
  7. The Cynthonian Member
    The Cynthonian
    @TheCynthonian

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    If one drinks pure water it will leach out sokuabkes in your body via osmosis. Drink enough and it can harm you. The same is true of regular water, though the amount you have to drink is huge (like 6-8 gallons a day). I remember a case where some parents punished their child by making them drink water and the child died.

    Water softeners save you a lot of money as well. From using half the detergent/soap to West and tear on your pipes. When we installed on where I live (Central Texas) after living in our house for a few years, I spent the next few months cleaning the faucets and shower heads to remove the particulate that clogged them as the soft water leached from where it had built up on the pipes.

    We have relatively hard water here in my part of AZ.  Most of my neighborhood is on private wells.  Our water has a lot of calcium and lime in it.   Tastes pretty good, though!   My brother-in-law decided his water softener was too expensive to run and turned it off for a couple of years.  He’s just finished replacing practically every faucet in the house as they were all clogged with mineral buildup.  He turned the water softener back on, of course.

    • #7
  8. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    If one drinks pure water it will leach out sokuabkes in your body via osmosis. Drink enough and it can harm you. The same is true of regular water, though the amount you have to drink is huge (like 6-8 gallons a day). I remember a case where some parents punished their child by making them drink water and the child died.

    Water softeners save you a lot of money as well. From using half the detergent/soap to West and tear on your pipes. When we installed on where I live (Central Texas) after living in our house for a few years, I spent the next few months cleaning the faucets and shower heads to remove the particulate that clogged them as the soft water leached from where it had built up on the pipes.

    We have relatively hard water here in my part of AZ. Most of my neighborhood is on private wells. Our water has a lot of calcium and lime in it. Tastes pretty good, though! My brother-in-law decided his water softener was too expensive to run and turned it off for a couple of years. He’s just finished replacing practically every faucet in the house as they were all clogged with mineral buildup. He turned the water softener back on, of course.

    When we installed our water softener they threw in a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU) for free.  I love it and had it run to the fridge for in the door water and the ice maker.  I used to drink 4-6 .5L spring water bottles a day and now drink from that.  My wife says that it doesn’t taste as good so I still have to get her the spring water bottles.

    • #8
  9. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    We have great well water. Hard, but we have a softener for each building with living spaces. It’s good enough that I really miss it when traveling. Drilling is more art than science, as many neighbors have well water with different problems, iron or sulfur taste being the most common. The main well is over 50 years old; the secondary well at our windmill is about 25 years old. We were especially happy to be on our own well after the big freeze a couple of winters ago when virtually all municipal water systems failed. The nearest town water system went 5 days without city water. I still have some of the canned water that Anheuser-Busch donated to all the fire departments. That water is super pure but tasteless.

    That’s just Budweiser with truth-in-labeling. 

    • #9
  10. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    We are spoiled out here, with our wonderful-tasting water.  It comes from local rivers, and their watersheds are heavily protected from contamination.  When we travel, we always comment on the taste of the water.  We have never found anyplace with water that tastes as good.  We had real difficulty in Israel, as we needed to keep well-hydrated in the hot weather, but the water tasted very bad.  Ray drank bottled iced tea, but I had a problem finding something I could drink.  I could never find bottled still water-all their bottled water was mineral water.

    • #10
  11. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    RushBabe49:  When we visited my husband’s relatives in rural North Dakota, the water there was so hard that the animals could not drink it, unless they had been born on the farm!

    Same in southern Colorado when I was a kid.  Relatives brought water to drink with them.

    When deployed to the middle east we only drank bottled water.  There were multiple brands available and I soon had my favorite brand by taste.

    The municipal water here is bad tasting.  We use Britta filters to make it palatable.

    I used a Reverse Osmosis filter for many years for my marine fish tank.  You then add a specific amount of salt mix (with other elements) so that marine fish and corals can live in it.

    • #11
  12. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa
    @RayKujawa

    I use a CPAP machine with a humidifier. You use distilled water in the humidifier. If you use tap water or drinking water, you get to see remains (residue) if the water is allowed to evaporate. That stuff would go straight into your lungs. You can use filtered water in a pinch. I take my machine on trips, even when we used to fly. Finding distilled water when you’re travelling is a pain (because you can’t take water from home on the airplane). You usually have to buy a gallon. It’s easier to take from home when you drive, but I went through more than a 33 oz bottle on a twelve day trip to Colorado this year. I discovered that at higher elevations, the water evaporates faster. I put a rubber band around the neck of the bottle so I wouldn’t confuse it with other bottles used for drinking water. I’ve read that drinking distilled water is not good for you.

    • #12
  13. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    I am glad Ricochet isn’t too pure.  It has just enough minerals to keep it from killing me. 

    • #13
  14. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    I am glad Ricochet isn’t too pure. It has just enough minerals to keep it from killing me.

    Are you referring to those micro hallucinogens that Rob Long adds to the Ricochet water?

    • #14
  15. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    I am glad Ricochet isn’t too pure. It has just enough minerals to keep it from killing me.

    Are you referring to those micro hallucinogens that Rob Long adds to the Ricochet water?

    It’s the only way for some people to think he makes sense.

    • #15
  16. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    If you drank enough of it

    OK.

    • #16
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    I am glad Ricochet isn’t too pure. It has just enough minerals to keep it from killing me.

    Are you referring to those micro hallucinogens that Rob Long adds to the Ricochet water?

    “I see a biiiiiiiig tent, and there’s all these conservative principles and everyone, like, agrees about what they are …the colors, man!” 

    • #17
  18. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    TBA (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    I am glad Ricochet isn’t too pure. It has just enough minerals to keep it from killing me.

    Are you referring to those micro hallucinogens that Rob Long adds to the Ricochet water?

    “I see a biiiiiiiig tent, and there’s all these conservative principles and everyone, like, agrees about what they are …the colors, man!”

    and not just “conservative principles,” but actually the way HE thinks!

    The colors, man!

    • #18
  19. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    TBA (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    I am glad Ricochet isn’t too pure. It has just enough minerals to keep it from killing me.

    Are you referring to those micro hallucinogens that Rob Long adds to the Ricochet water?

    “I see a biiiiiiiig tent, and there’s all these conservative principles and everyone, like, agrees about what they are …the colors, man!”

    Yeah, it is amazing in the tent.  

    • #19
  20. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    I am glad Ricochet isn’t too pure. It has just enough minerals to keep it from killing me.

    Are you referring to those micro hallucinogens that Rob Long adds to the Ricochet water?

    “I see a biiiiiiiig tent, and there’s all these conservative principles and everyone, like, agrees about what they are …the colors, man!”

    Yeah, it is amazing in the tent bubble.

    • #20
  21. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    I attended graduate school at the University of Miami back in the 1960s. The water is southern Florida had a large amount of sulphur in it and tasted awful. I do remember that much about it. The very Cafe Negro that I drank with my Cuban friends was about the only thing you could make with that water that didn’t taste of the sulphur. 

    Now, here in Washington state I have been delighted with water that makes wonderful espresso, and tastes sweet and refreshing out of the tap without any need for filtration. I have had my espresso machine for more than ten years and it remains fully functional without any additives or special cleaning agents. Softening agents and drier sheets are completely unnecessary. Having traveled in many places where even tooth brushing had to be done with bottled water, I am ever appreciative of this.

    • #21
  22. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    This post is part of the Quote of the Day group writing project on Ricochet. Thanks, @rushbabe49 for closing out August with another great topic for discussion! Here’s the September QOTD Signup Sheet if you’d like to participate.

    • #22
  23. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    kedavis (View Comment):

    That’s why if you read the labels of bottled water, you’ll probably find something about how minerals were ADDED for flavor/drinkability.

    I remember reading somewhere that 100% pure water tastes weird . . .

    • #23
  24. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    If one drinks pure water it will leach out sokuabkes in your body via osmosis. Drink enough and it can harm you. The same is true of regular water, though the amount you have to drink is huge (like 6-8 gallons a day). I remember a case where some parents punished their child by making them drink water and the child died.

    Water softeners save you a lot of money as well. From using half the detergent/soap to West and tear on your pipes. When we installed on where I live (Central Texas) after living in our house for a few years, I spent the next few months cleaning the faucets and shower heads to remove the particulate that clogged them as the soft water leached from where it had built up on the pipes.

    We have relatively hard water here in my part of AZ. Most of my neighborhood is on private wells. Our water has a lot of calcium and lime in it. Tastes pretty good, though! My brother-in-law decided his water softener was too expensive to run and turned it off for a couple of years. He’s just finished replacing practically every faucet in the house as they were all clogged with mineral buildup. He turned the water softener back on, of course.

    When we installed our water softener they threw in a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU) for free. I love it and had it run to the fridge for in the door water and the ice maker. I used to drink 4-6 .5L spring water bottles a day and now drink from that. My wife says that it doesn’t taste as good so I still have to get her the spring water bottles.

    RO (reverse osmosis) water is very pure, and, as a result, very aggressive. You can’t use any type of metal piping with it, as it leaches not so good stuff out of the pipe and you end up with worse water than before. The Israelis use RO on a grand scale to make pure water out of sea water.

    • #24
  25. garyinabq Member
    garyinabq
    @garyinabq

    I am in the water treatment business and see some incorrect information here.  Hard water is not because the overall mineral content is high but more specifically calcium and some magnesium.  A softener trades these for either sodium or potassium, hence the need to add the pellets.  The overall mineral content is then the same, just soft minerals instead of hard.  Hard water causes many problems but is not a health concern in any way.  For some people, they need to restrict their sodium intake, so they could either use potassium or get a reverse osmosis system that would reduce the level of sodium (and everything else) to a low level.

    Regarding very pure water like a lab would need or the chip manufacturing facility mentioned, water like that is indeed aggressive to metal plumbing as pure water wants to dissolve things into it, but it is OK to drink as your body balances that out quickly so the pure water that enters doesn’t stay pure for long.  Distilled or deionized water are examples of very pure water and reverse osmosis not quite as pure but you can drink any of those without a problem.  The bottled water that is made by RO and then remineralized is done for maybe improved taste or maybe improved marketing.

    Claims are made for “alkaline” water but save your money because your body balances out the ph and different parts of your body have different ph anyhow.

    • #25
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