I have to give up reading “what experts say.”
It seems I am a sucker for an expert, though what they have to say usually throws my happy heart to the wolves. Especially with this latest message from those Authorities about Everything.
They are saying that in small communities we may be rolling the dice with every glass of tapwater.
Big city water in Canada is fine; the consumer base is large enough to afford the expensive services entailed by having people with a degree of microbiological knowledge on staff as well as the engineering skill and the supporting infrastructure needed to make water safe.
Harry Swain, a director of the Canadian Institute for Climate Studies said 80 to 90 per cent of the water-treatment facilities in smaller communities are too small to be safe or efficient.
“Every little place has its own jealously guarded water systems, most of which have inadequate treatment,” said Swain.
Pages and pages of information concerning small town tapwater, and all I really want to know about the Watson Lake system is, who jealously guards it? How? And from who?
“Canadians are naïve if they believe water treatment systems will pick up harmful bodies,” said Alice Hontela of the University of Lethbridge, who has a Canada research chair in ecotoxicology. She went on for pages and pages, too, speculating about whether or not human fertility issues, sperm count in males decreasing, problems with learning disabilities in children, allergies, asthma and some cancers could be due to what we are drinking from the home tap.
When I thought it all over, I concluded she is right about Canadians being naïve; my own naivety began almost the very day I got my citizenship papers.
As you may remember, I had a few concerns about living in a small northern town: a climate that could kill me, wild animals that could kill me and a populace that, according to Statistics Canada, was violent enough to kill me.
In listing all the positives, clean air and safe drinking water were up near the top of the list.
This new information convinced me it was time to buy bottled water.
Having the media relentlessly inform me about the deadly hazards implicit in plastic bottles, the first prerequisite was water in a glass bottle.
Glass being substantially heavier than plastic, and prone to breakage, I was surprised and pleased to find, at TAGS, San Pelligrino’s Acqua Panna in one litre glass bottles. Not cheap, but hey! Load those dice in favour of good health. I ordered two cases of the stuff, as well as buying all they had on the shelf.
By the time my case lots of bottled water arrived, the Authorities on Everything had come up with a whole new scenario vis-a-vis drinking water, particularly bottled water and most particularly water in glass bottles. Even more precisely, San Pellagrino’s glass bottles of drinking water.
The glass bottles of San Pellagrino are washed and rinsed before being filled — using two litres of clean water to prepare the bottle for the one litre that is sold in it.
Half the cost of most bottled water is transportation; my glass bottles of safe drinking water were going to cost Mother Earth the Earth.
What to do?
I e-mailed our very own Authority on Everything — Bruce Hatch. Remembering how neatly he solved your terror of black plastic garbage bags, I knew he would help me with my fear of drinking water.
He did: he sent me a book called Messages from Water written and illustrated by a Japanese doctor named Masaru Emoto who has figured out how to make water not only good, but happy.
He began his journey of discovery by photographing droplets of frozen water (also known as ice) and then taking pictures of them using a dark field microscope with photographic qualities.
He photographed some water from pure springs and some water from rivers featuring lots of industrial waste.
Not too surprisingly, there were enormous differences between the images; the nice water had beautifully formed crystalline patterns of geometric designs in dazzling white while the bad water had crystalline patterns that were distorted, greyish, and randomly formed.
Dr. Emoto took this information further: he played music to water and then photographed it. Metallica’s Kill Them All resulted in the messy crystals; Beethoven’s Pastorale produced the perfectly formed ones.
Going still further, our intrepid researcher arranged pictures around jars of water. For instance, some jars had pictures of Hitler, some had Mother Theresa.
Guess what happened?
His final experiment was to write words on the jars. Positive words, especially “love” and “thank you” got pretty crystals and negative words like “I will kill you” got ugly ones.
The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs, all impressively depicting the difference between the glad water and the sad water.
I immediately got to work, using a felt pen to write happy-making words like “chocolate”, “dog”, “French fries”, “pajamas”, “George Clooney” on my glass bottle, filled now with tap water.
Out of curiosity, I filled another bottle and wrote less pleasing words, such as “spruce beetle”, “flip flops”, “spinach”, “Pap test”, just to see if the water would look repulsive to the naked eye.
The two bottles stood, at some distance from one another, of course, for twenty-four hours before I ventured to taste the transformed water.
There was no visible difference that I could discern, but the flavours were markedly different.
The water in the nicely
worded bottle tasted pleasingly of apples, but the water in the nastily worded bottle tasted of overnight bubble gum.
I was not able to return my case lots of bottled water, but have decided to store them in case of an earthquake or some other disaster demanding a hoarded supply of drinking water.
Meanwhile, I drank my purified-with-good-words water and felt quite pleased with myself for searching out a solution both simple and inexpensive.
Then Pete came home.
When I showed him our new method of keeping safe and healthy, he laughed.
It was not a few guffaws, or even a slightly prolonged roar, it was the worst kind of laugh: the on-the-floor, curled up in fetal position, gasping, eyes and nose leaking kind. The unforgivable kind; the kind that means someone thinks you are an idiot.
His first two days home were days of cool silence. He did me the courtesy of reading the book, though I suspect he merely looked at the pictures; I could hear the pages turning faster than Pete, or anyone else, can possibly read.
On the morning of the third day he installed a device that filters the tap water as it comes out.
In the afternoon, we talked.
I decided to ignore his trembling lips when we discussed Emoto’s research and conclusions, and I generously agreed the filter was an easier way to deal with the drinking water issue.
Tomorrow we are going to Whitehorse to the animal shelter — we are getting a dog!