Hyponatremia, or Water Intoxication


Drinking too much water left a woman with a urinary tract infection seriously ill, and doctors said water intoxication can kill you. The case in point is a 59-year-old London woman who, in an attempt to “flush out her system,” drank water so copiously that she developed hyponatremia, also called water intoxication.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low. Sodium is an electrolyte, and it helps regulate the amount of water that’s in and around your cells.

In hyponatremia, one or more factors — ranging from an underlying medical condition to drinking too much water during endurance sports — causes the sodium in your body to become diluted. When this happens, your body’s water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. This swelling can cause many health problems, from mild to life-threatening. (more…)

Not Afraid to Look


Since April, 2016 thousands of demonstrators have been camping out at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. These peaceful water protectors—representing more than 200 Native-American tribes, plus many nonnative allies—are demanding a halt to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens the water and sacred land of the Standing Rock Sioux. Tensions are escalating—on the night of Nov. 20, North Dakota law enforcement deployed water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets against the unarmed group in subfreezing temperatures. (more…)

Trump’s Pledge to ‘Open Up the Water’ for Valley Farms: Easier Said Than Done

by Craig Miller

“We’re gonna solve your water problems.” –Donald Trump.


California Drought Expected to End After January Inauguration

President-elect Donald Trump might have trouble living up to one of his more sweeping campaign promises in California.

On the stump in Fresno last May, he made headlines for declaring, “There is no drought” here.

It’s a bit unclear from his remarks whether he was voicing an opinion or simply reporting what some farmers told him at a pre-rally gathering. Either way, he was badly mistaken.

Though conditions have improved over much of the state since then, about 73 percent of California remains in some level drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and nearly 43 percent is still classified in “extreme” or “exceptional” drought, including much of the San Joaquin Valley. (more…)

Water Treatments that Work and Those that Don’t

by Gene Franks


The eminent water treatment specialist Peter S. Cartwright, a man of long experience and unchallenged expertise in the field, recently published a two part article in Water Conditioning and Purification magazine (October and November 2016) that concentrates on some of the shady areas of water treatment. Mr. Cartrwright skips the obvious health-related humbugs like “alkalizers” and concentrates on the technical aspects of genuine water treatment issues like scale prevention, TDS reduction, and removal or inactivation of bacteria and cysts. (more…)

The Emergence of “Emerging Contaminants”

The EPA in 2006 made a deal with eight American companies that make or use perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) to stop doing so. These chemicals are parts of a larger class of chemicals  known as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which in turn falls under the larger group heading of “emerging contaminants.” Emerging contaminants are defined as materials having “a perceived, potential, or real threat to human health or the environment.”

The companies say that they have complied, but the EPA has made little progress in setting up any real standards or guidelines about the dangers of lifetime exposure to the chemicals.

There is a need for such determinatation, since these man-made chemicals have been linked to a disturbing array of health effects, including obesity in children, reproductive problems and cancers. Used as a surface-active agent in a slew of products from coating additives – like Teflon – to cleaning products, these compounds don’t break down under typical conditions and are extremely persistent in the environment, says the EPA. (more…)

Drug Take-Back Program Aims at Protecting People and Water from the Outrageous Amounts of Leftover Drugs


Cook County, Ill., adopted an ordinance that will provide more than 5 million residents with convenient access to safe drug disposal. The ordinance makes Cook County the largest jurisdiction in the U.S. to require drug companies to safely dispose of unwanted medications, and adds to the two states, nine counties and two cities in the U.S. with similar drug take-back laws.

More than $1 billion in leftover drugs are thrown in the trash, flushed or consigned to medicine cabinets each year. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S., and nearly 70% of people who begin using prescription drugs non-medically get them from a family member or friend, often from medicine cabinets. Drugs left in the home also put seniors, children and pets at risk for accidental poisoning. When flushed or put in the trash, over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can contaminate drinking water and harm aquatic species.

Source: Water Quality Products.

Water News

October, 2016

Now, link free for your reading pleasure.


Police from five states were brought in to protect pipeline interests from unruly water protectors group pictured above sitting in a prayer circle in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

A Texas state legislator is proposing a vast underground water storage system that would keep the state in water during a drought of up to seven years. (more…)

 The Pure Water Occasional for August October 31, 2016

In this Halloween  Occasional, you’ll read about Blue Baby Syndrome, Native American water protectors, boil water advisories, boil water notices, the world’s deepest underwater cave, and a high scoring water polo match. Nitrates, PFOAs, acetic acid, well contamination by horse manure, flooding caused by hurricanes, and PFG contamination in Colorado caused by the Air Force. You’ll learn that water reservoirs cause greenhouse gases, which countries top the list as water consumers, how to reduce chlorine and chloramines and how to lower pH of alkaline water. You’ll hear about the Staten Island siphon, a one million gallon water leak, a strange case of attempted murder by chlorinated water, Andrew Young’s views on “Fluoridegate,” the role of clinoptilolite in water treatment, and see a stunning US river basin map. And, as always, there is much, much more.

The Pure Water Occasional is a project of Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette.

To read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette’s website,  please go here.  (Recommended! When you read online you get the added advantage of the Gazette’s sidebar feed of the very latest world water news.)


With a Sprite shower filter, you’ll sing better in your Halloween shower costume.

Nitrates in drinking water are becoming a growing concern

Adapted from the Des Moines Register.

As nitrate levels in the water of Iowa’s cities continue to climb, many are beginning to question the safety the 10 ppm federal allowable for nitrates in drinking water.

State sources in Iowa say that the water supplies of about 260 cities and towns are now highly susceptible of becoming contaminated by nitrates and pollutants — about 30 percent of Iowa’s 880 municipal water systems. The state data centers on the cities reporting nitrate levels of 5 milligrams per liter or higher, a warning sign that nitrates are approaching harmful levels. (more…)

Chlorine and Chloramine Reduction

How flow rate affects media longevity and pressure drop

by Gene Franks


Pentair’s ChlorPlus 20BB

I’m going to make some generalizations about water treatment that are based on information from a single advertising brochure: Pentair’s ChlorPlus Series information sheet. The sheet gives performance data for two Pentair cartridge series, the ChlorPlus carbon block filters in four standard sizes and the unique CRFC radial flow carbon series in two high-flow sizes.

Here is some basic information you deduce from the Pentair sheet:

Carbon reduces both chloramine and chlorine.

Although specialty carbons are often used to enhance chloramine reduction, any carbon filter will remove chloramine if you give it enough contact time. This is contrary to information supplied by some anti-chloramine groups which would have it that chloramine is “impossible” to remove. And, in answer to another frequent question, filters that remove chloramine also remove chlorine.

Carbon lasts much longer when treating chlorine than it does when treating chloramine.

The ChlorPlus 10 (9.75″ x 2.5″ drinking water size) is rated for 50,000 gallons at 1 gallon per minute (gpm) when treating chlorine and only 1,000 when treating chloramine at the same flow rate. This fifty to one ratio is typical. (more…)

Outdated Sewage Technologies Are Still in Wide Use in the US

The Romans developed a technology, still used today, called combined sewers. It is effective at what it was designed for–moving sewage and stormwater off city streets and out of the city as quickly as possible.

London copied this technology beginning inthe 1800s and many US cities built these combined sewers from the 1850s to about 1920. The combined sewage and stormwater was discharged directly into rivers and lakes accomplishing the designed purpose of getting it out of the city as quickly as possible.  This was considered good enough at the time, and treatment was added later in some systems.

For systems that have added treatment, the combined sewer system works fine–when the weather is dry. But when it rains, combined sewers receive stormwater faster than treatment plants can handle it. Some of this combined sewage makes it to the treament plant, but if there is too much rain, as there often is, the treatment plant can’t handle the overload and excess combined discharge simply goes to the river or lake. In a word, some of the discharge, raw sewage from homes, flows untreated directly to the lake or river.

There are more combined sewers still in use in the US than one would imagine.  New Jersey, for example, has almost 300.

When water suppliers speak of the need for “infrastructure upgrade,” getting rid of combined sewers is one of the things they’re talking about.