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High-quality water has to be… tasty

Experts answer the question: what should people drink every day?
01 November, 00:00
Photo by Ruslan KANIUKA, The Day

One’s water balance should be normally filled up with 2.5 to 3 liters of water every day. People who want to be healthy have to care about what they “wash” their organism with, what they nourish their brain with since it is made of water by 98 percent and water fills every cell of the body. The fifth meeting of “Aqua” press club held with the assistance of BonAqua TM was called “In search of the ideal water.” This topic is very large since the audience tried to choose the best water out of the wide range of bottled, mineral, sparkling, artesian, spring, melt, filtered, sanctified, oxygenated water and water with silver or silicon. Probably, there are several kinds of the best water. The point is to know which water to choose and how much and when one should drink it.

According to Vitalii Korzun, head of the Laboratory for Special Foods and Nutrition Epidemiology at the Marzieiev State Institute of Hygiene and Medical Ecology at the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Science, the artesian water from the pumps is the best for everyday consumption. It especially concerns Kyiv that, in his opinion, has no reason for complaint about the quality of water.

“If possible, people should drink good water and use it for plants and even for fish in the aquarium. Good water is the water people have been drinking for millennia. It is not distilled, mineralized or chlorinated water. The salinity of good potable water must not exceed 1 gram per liter. It is the upper limit. The best is 150 to 180 milligrams per liter. If water contains less than 50 milligrams, it does not still thirst and is not tasty. Any water has its taste. If the water is good people drink it with pleasure. The water from deep artesian wells or country wells has the best natural characteristics. However, now many peasants have forgotten about the requirements for wells building: special place, materials used and many other details.

That is why the quality of this water might not meet the standard. I am speaking about the regions where the ecological situation is more or less good since, for example, in the south of Ukraine there is not much surface water but the depth water (practically pure in Kyiv) might contain serious toxins,” Korzun explained. “We collected water samples in the Kyiv pumps in Dniprovsky district and in Troieshchyna where the quality of water is believed to be the worst. The content of iron exceeded only in four pumps out of 40 (the standard is 0.3 milligrams per liter and we found 0.4-0.45 milligrams). This excess of iron might scare people since water gets yellow and sediment appears. It is not a problem since the thing is that iron bicarbonate oxidizes when contacting the air, becomes tricarboxylic iron and precipitates,” Korzun says.

According to the experts, the scientists using modern technologies to study water assert that natural water has minerals and organic substances dissolved in it that are extremely important for living organisms: fluorine, iodine, calcium, etc. This water cannot be modeled; the water can only be improved by throwing, for example, a silver coin or a piece of flint into it. However, only high-quality water should be enriched, not the one from the tap. The same goes for melt or bottled water: it cannot be used on a daily basis.

Filters make a separate issue. The experts from the Institute of Hygiene and Medical Ecology opine that one should not use filters thoughtlessly: people should know what they filter and what they will get; the distilled water is dangerous since it washes minerals out of the organism.

The experts also warn from using tap water. In Kyiv tap water includes artesian and river water, but depreciated pipes and chlorination worsen its quality and cause risks for health. Chlorination is especially dangerous since chlorine interacts with organic substances present in the tap water and generates chloramines that are toxic substances leading to serious illnesses. By the way, boiling gives nothing. Due to the lack of funding Ukraine cannot start disinfecting tap water in a more civilized and safer way: “silver” it as they do in Europe or use the ozone treatment common in the US.

“A couple of decades ago the quality of river water in Ukraine worsened because of industrial complexes but now (since most of the industrial complexes are closed down) the most significant ecological affect is caused by agricultural complexes and milk- and meat-processing enterprises. Besides, water is polluted by residential waste waters. Creating new schemes of water purification and disinfection is a long and laborious process. Our treatment plants that used to work well are depreciated and put out the poorly purified water not to mention treatment facilities at industrial complexes. In France, according to their standards water from an industrial enterprise that goes to a river has to meet drinking water standards,” nutritionist of higher category, fitness dietitian, head of the Nutrition Hygiene department at the Ukrainian Scientific and Research Nutrition Institute Vladyslav Slastin says.

Experts opine that now the main task for Ukraine is not treating water but at least preventing its further pollution. The government has to pay serious attention to it. It is clear that the environmental pollution should be controlled since the main affect on water is the anthropological one. First of all it concerns oil products that pollute lakes and rivers with their toxins; it is a burning issue for Ukraine.

Even the Prosecutor General’s Office took an interest in the quality of water. Thus during the recent meeting the Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka declared that 88 percent of our rivers are in a disastrous condition. According to him, the basins of the Dnister, Danube, Sothern Buh, Siversky Donets and rivers of the Azov Sea region are the most polluted.

“The Sea of Azov is an ecological disaster zone. Formerly there were 114 kinds of fish in it and now this number has decreased by six times. The condition of the main Ukrainian waterway, the Dnipro, is not better,” Pshonka declared. He also drew attention to the fact that although the Ministry of Regional Development knows about the threatening situation with drinking water in some regions, it has not allocated “a single hryvnia” for the reconstruction and technical re-equipment of water treatment plants. This situation is due to the absence of comprehensive problem solving. The Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of Ecology and Ministry of Public Health are responsible for the people’s access to potable water of high quality. While they are going to do something people have to know how to find harmless, or better, useful water.

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