Monday, May 3, 2010

Creepy Crawlies in the Water

Questions concerning water have been numerous and frequent, so here's to low down.

Mexico's water is so famous there is a name for the condition you get if you drink it.  It's called Montezuma's Revenge.  Now I know a lot of people in the States are leery of drinking the water that comes out of their kitchen sink, but here in Mexico it really isn't potable water. If you are unfamiliar with the term "potable" here is a good place to start.  The World Heath Organization  or WHO, also has a lot to say about safe drinking water and possible treatments.  The second leading cause of death for children under 5 in developed countries is diarrhea, which is in largely caused by unsafe drinking water and unsanitary living conditions.  To learn more about this and a good treatment click here.  Eventually, there is the possibility of working in more remote areas, were potable water is even more of an issue.  According to the WHO, solar pasteurization is very effective in creating potable water with out the need of fire, which is what spurred all the solar oven experiments.  We plan to work on another solar oven at some point in the future.

In American, even the water used to flush the toilet is potable, however here the locals even fear the creepy crawlies in the water.  By creepy crawlies, I mostly mean amoebas, parasites, viruses and or heavy metals that are harmful to the body.  Many ask why the water that comes out of the faucet is not in better condition, one word - expensive.  It is quite expensive and maybe even a little excessive to even have potable toilet water. 

So what to do to keep all those creepy crawlies from getting......well you get the idea.  Common sense does most of the guiding here. There is a two fold way to combat the nasty little creators.  First try not to consume them.  Second, make sure you have enough good bacteria in your gut to combat them...otherwise know as probiotics.  Here are some of the lengths we go to, to ensure we are consuming the least amount possible.  First we purchase purified water.  It is potable and affordable, we are thankful it is readily available from reliable sources.  Also, we soak all our fruits and vegetables that will not be peeled or cooked in a water treated with colloidal silver solution, which kills the things you are trying to avoid and is harmless to the human body.  Well, you would have to use a lot of it to have ill effects anyway, so stick to the instructions.  That is it you can translate them, if not just dump some in until you feel good about the situation at hand. Some sources say to soak vegetables in a very diluted bleach solution before the colloidal silver solution, but we have found this unnecessary.  The trick is to not give in to the temptation to then rinse your now sterilized produce in unpurified water, but instead allow in to dry. Colloidal silver solution is readily available in almost all stores here, and for that we are grateful.  I have seen more natural ways of sterilizing produce like a concentrated vinegar spray, but I'm going to stick with what's not getting us sick.  I know, very unlike me, but colloidal silver solution is not harmful, it's proven and having an amoeba or parasite does not sound very appealing.  So, I'll let someone else do the experimenting on their family on this one. ;)  Now, some suggest washing your dishes or even clothes in purified or potable water, but we have not found this necessary in our area.  There are some areas were you are unsure if sewage may have been dumped directly into the water, in these cases, I would probably boil water for washing and bathing.  

The other thing I have seem suggested, is to brush your teeth with purified water.  This is probably prudent, but we just brush spit, gargle with Listerine (most of the time) and hope for the best.

So that's the low down on the water situation and my defensive stance.  Next time I'll write about my offensive strategy of bumping up the friendlies with our diet. 

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