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Water Filters – Drink in the Possibilities! 

16 October

Our great City’s water and sewerage infrastructure delivers safe, high-quality water to households and businesses across the Gold Coast.

Whether you choose to further filter your household’s tap water is up to you. As is the choice of filtration system you use.

But maybe like most of us you take your clean tap water for granted. Maybe you’re not sure what’s actually in your water supply, whether it needs filtering, or which is the best filtration system for you and your loved ones.

Then, read on. We’re about to take a deep dive into our Gold Coast water supply, our drinking habits, the benefits of water and proper hydration and the benefits of filtration and the options available for doing so.

You’re gonna want to ‘drink all this in’ so, get comfy.

What’s in our water?

How many of the following ‘ingredients’ do you think we might find in our water? It certainly doesn’t sound like a recipe for anything that’s supposed to be good for you, now, does it?

E-coliFluoride
ChlorineBacteria
ProtozoaPesticides
NitratesAluminum
ArsenicLead
MercuryNickel
Asbestos

Truth is, all of these nasties could very well be lurking in your next glass of refreshing tap water. YUM!!!

Thirsty yet?

And, if you’re following the recommended consumption of 8 glasses a day, think about how many of these could be coursing through your system right now!

2 Glasses of Water

Health concerns – What risks does our drinking water hold?

While the benefits of drinking water in a controlled environment definitely outweigh the risks, the potential risk remains. Here’s what could potentially be lurking in our drinking water:

1. Contaminants and additives

Tap water may contain impurities, both natural and artificial. Some are harmless, others affect what the water looks, tastes or smells like. However, others can give you an immediate infection or slowly damage your health over a long period of time.

Some chemicals (such as chlorine and fluoride) are added to your water in the treatment plant. There are ongoing discussions over potential health risks as a result of this. But the benefits of using the chemicals are still thought to outweigh any potential risk.

2. Microbiological risks

Supplying water that’s free from pathogenic microorganisms (those that can make you sick) is the most important task for water authorities.

  • Bacteria: Most pathogenic bacteria found in water come from contamination by human or animal faeces yet another potential threat is the bacteria growing in the water mains. Disinfection (usually with chlorine) usually kills all bacteria.
  • Protozoa: Cryptosporidium and giardia can cause severe illness, and their cysts can often resist disinfection.
  • Viruses: Some of the viruses found in water are potentially harmful. Disinfecting the water usually kills most of them, some viruses may survive and make you sick. In Australia, it’s not known how big a problem this is as the source of a viral infection (water, food or contact with another infected person) is difficult to trace.

3. Chemical risks

  • Pesticides and herbicides can leach into waterways in rural areas. Some are potentially carcinogenic and remain for a long time. While rare evidence of these chemicals have been found, our drinking water is usually free of them when tested.
  • Nitrate/nitrite – the main sources are sewage and fertiliser run-off. Groundwater supplies in rural areas are most likely to have high nitrate concentrations. Nitrate itself is harmless, it can be converted into nitrite, which could pose a problem to babies and young children.
  • Chlorine or chloramine is usually added to the water that passes through the treatment plant to protect against recontamination while the water’s travelling through the distribution system. Chlorine is used to control potentially pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.
  • Fluoride has been added to drinking water since the 1960s and 1970s as it has a proven record of reducing tooth decay. However, fluoride protection is now available from other sources and critics say fluoridated water is unnecessary.
  • Aluminium – Chemicals containing aluminium are used in a process called flocculation, which removes suspended particles from the water, making it clearer. While most of the aluminium used is usually filtered out of the water, small amounts may pass through.

Where does our water come from?

Photo of Gold Coast Coastline

The short answer is the Hinze Dam.

Here’s what Destination Gold Coast had to say about this local gem, the source of the Gold Coast drinking water:.

“South East Queensland’s AUD395 Million Hinze Dam was originally constructed in 1976, later raised 15 metres in 1989 and recently upgraded in 2011. The large embankment and un-gated spillway across the Nerang River provides water security and flood mitigation to the Gold Coast.

The catchment area of 207 square kilometres includes the Numinbah Valley and Springbrook Plateau, which pools into a 3700 acre reservoir called Advancetown Lake. This lake provides recreational users with walking and horse riding trails and is a popular stop off for lycra-clad cyclists passing through the Gold Coast Hinterland.

For anglers with a permit and electric outboard motor (sail or paddle craft) this is a playground for hooking golden and silver perch, saratoga, Mary River cod and Australian bass from either The Western (Nerang Murwillumbah Road) or Eastern Boat Ramp (Little Nerang and Range Roads).

There are four picnic and barbecue areas with nearby playgrounds for the kids and onlookers, plus a state-of-the-art educational interpretive centre perched above the parklands and lake.”

The following video is a great resource explaining Seqwater’s role in ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for South East Queensland. Have a watch here

The Gold Coast water network delivers quality water across the city.

The City’s water and sewerage infrastructure delivers safe, high-quality water to households and businesses across the city.

City of Gold Coast’s water and sewerage network and assets are worth more than $3.7 billion and include:

  • 269,221 drinking water connections
  • 3545 kilometres of drinking and non-drinking water mains
  • 55 drinking and non-drinking water pump stations
  • 58 drinking and non-drinking water connections
  • 10,006 non-drinking and recycled water connections
  • four sewage treatment plants
  • 253,318 sewerage connections
  • 3461 kilometres of sewer mains
  • 533 sewerage pump stations
  • five re-chlorination facilities
  • 38,084 hydrant points for firefighting, flushing of mains and operational purposes.

The health benefits of drinking water

Our own Dr Karl, examines the question, “Do we need eight glasses of water a day?” in this article.

Despite a lack of evidence, the advice from most authorities is that a sedentary person should drink at least eight glasses of water (about eight ounces each) per day. That totals almost two litres. Active people should drink more.

Besides maintaining proper hydration, “some studies show that drinking lots of water reduced the incidence of cancer of the bladder, colorectal cancer, urinary tract infections and urinary stones.”

Some reasons our bodies need drinking water are:

  • It forms saliva and mucus
  • It delivers oxygen throughout the body
  • It boosts skin, health and beauty
  • It lubricates the joints
  • It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues
  • The digestive system depends on it
  • The airways need it
  • It flushes body waste
  • It helps maintain blood pressure
  • It regulates body temperature
  • It boosts performance during exercise
  • It aids in weight loss
  • It makes minerals and nutrients accessible
  • It prevents kidney damage
  • It reduces the effects of a hangover!

So, drink on up!

The City of Gold Coast says, ‘Choose tap’

The City of Gold Coast is helping customers to enjoy a healthy, environmentally friendly and low-cost community lifestyle through its Choose Tap program.

The Choose Tap message is simple: tap water is the best choice for your health, the environment and your hip pocket. Additionally, by reusing a personal water bottle, drinking tap water is a convenient alternative to purchasing bottled water.

The Gold Coast water quality report is an interesting read.

Want more information on the water quality in your area, have a look at the latest report here:

Drinking water quality annual report

Why filter? The benefits of filtered water are many!

  1. Your tastebuds will thank you. Filtered water just tastes better!
  2. Water is essential to good health. The recommendation is 8 glasses a day, so why not make them 8 glasses of all the good and none of the nasties?
  3. Filtered water makes economic dollars and cents. Not only is a home filtration system cheaper than buying bottled water, it’s so much better for the environment!
  4. When you consume water over sugary soft drinks, the incidence of tooth decay goes down, way down!
  5. The environment will thank you – reusing the same glass or water bottle keeps plastic out of landfills and is so much kinder to our fragile environment!
  6. It’s good for your waistline. Drinking the recommended amount of water every day helps keep you feeling full and more importantly, it quenches your thirst but doesn’t contain all the unwanted calories of its sweet and sugar-laded alternatives.
  7. Your coffee and tea will taste the way it should! Filtered water makes everything taste closer to how it should because it doesn’t add flavours that just shouldn’t be there.
  8. It’s convenient. You have access to clean filtered water 24/7, from your own taps, right there in your own home – you can’t get much more convenient than that!

Let’s compare the top home water filtration options.

We have no shortage of water filtration options to choose from. Here’s a glimpse into a few of the most popular comparing their pros, cons and costs. What will work best for you? That’s up to you to decide.

OptionPriceProCon
Bottled water$10 per 24 bottlesEasy to use, transportable In its own containerCosts, have to continually replenish, bad for the environment
Undersink filter$180 – $600 initialFilters large amounts of water without cluttering up the counter top, or attaching to existing taps. Less likely to clog than jug or tap-mounted filters. Longest lasting option.Takes up under-sink space and requires plumbing modification. Most expensive option.
Jug filter$20 – $75 initialConvenient, small, and easy to use and replace filters.Some are slow, prone to clogging and have short filter lives, meaning higher ongoing costs.
Tap/faucet mounted$25 – $75 initialMost convenient at tap filters, small, and easy to use and replace filters. Easily swap between filtered and non-filtered water.Slows the flow of water and cannot be used on all taps.
Counter top$60 – $350 initialFilters large amounts of water without plumbing modification. Less likely to clog than jug or tap-mounted filters.Clutters countertops and cannot be used on all taps.

Other options include refillable lead-reducing pitchers, fridge water filtration options, and the individually filtered water bottles. So, there’s no excuse not to filter!

Dane’s product review video

Featured products/deals/special offers

Under Sink Hiflow Inline Water FilterUnder Sink Twin Cartridge Filter with Bench Tap

Some water facts that may surprise you.

    • During your lifetime you’ll drink around 87,000 litres of water – a third of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
    • Refilling a glass water bottle 1,740 times costs less than buying a single plastic bottle of water.
    • We exhale about a cup of water every day.
    • The maximum days a human can survive without water is estimated to be seven.
    • The average Australian spends approximately 4 months of their lives waiting for the kettle to boil.
    • A third of what the world spends on bottled water in one year could pay for projects providing water to every single person in need.
    • Over 25,000 litres is required to grow a day’s food for a family of four.
    • Women in third world countries spend 200 million hours every day collecting water for their families.
  • The highest price ever paid for a single bottle of water was an astounding five figures — yes, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most expensive bottle of water ever, a refreshing little beverage called Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani, sold for $60,000 USD – AUD equivalent about $83,500!.

More great reasons to choose tap

Did you know?

  • The average Australian uses 130kg of plastic per year
  • Plastic bottles are among the 10 most common rubbish items picked up on Clean up Australia Day
  • Less than 20% of plastic gets recycled, with 80% ending up as landfill or litter
  • Over 90% of the cost of a bottle can be traced back to the bottle, lid or label

The next time you’re thirsty, make the right choice for the planet, make the sustainable choice and choose tap.

But, make sure it’s filtered tap!

And, equally as important as choosing tap, make the right choice for you, your health and your tastebuds and make sure it’s filtered tap!

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