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People need water more than food; this is a scientific fact. In a documentary aired by the Discovery Channel, an old couple that suffered an accident on a road trip revealed how several hours of drinking dirty water or not drinking at all can both seriously damage the body. The woman who refused to drink dirty water suffered kidney failure, which also affected the curvature of her spine and affected her other internal organs. Meanwhile, her husband suffered explosive diarrhoea and violent vomiting due to the dirty water he chose to drink. Both spent a great amount of time in the hospital for recovery, but dehydration and water poisoning had greatly compromised their health and left effects they will carry for the rest of their lives.

Indeed, it’s hard to be left with two such terrible options, and it’s during such a time when people realise how truly vital clean water is — not just to health, but to life itself. These days, however, it’s hard to be sure that the water that reaches houses is completely safe for consumption. There had been numerous water testings conducted in various communities that revealed how tap water has all sorts of harmful bacteria that can lead to serious medical conditions. 

One of the most disturbing discoveries is the presence of NTM or non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in tap water. These are small, rod shaped bacilli found in the environment that can cause infection or flare-ups of pre-existing health conditions. The mycobacteria had been found in drinking water distribution systems like taps and other dispensers. The great danger is that it can cause anything from lymphadenitis, to pulmonary disease resembling tuberculosis, skin disease, or disseminated disease. 

NTM are able to survive in water distribution systems because of their ability to resist chlorine, the chemical typically used to disinfect water and make it potable. Likewise, it’s important to note that biofilms – microbial life on surfaces, like the interior lining of faucets, showers, and water dispensers – and protozoal interactions help NTM proliferate.

Since NTM are impervious to the power of the usual solution that makes water safe to consume, it’s crucial to test the quality of water released from different dispensing systems in your home. This way, replacements can be made or stronger recommended cleaning agents can be purchased to prevent the formation of harmful bacteria in water dispensing features. Water testing kits can test everything from the presence of Legionella bacteria in your water to NTM; you send the samples to the lab (included in the kit is an arrangement for a courier collection)and then you will be provided a thorough analysis and interpretation of analysis results, plus recommendations to rectify any results which show harmful bacteria are present. 

Water testing kits are an affordable investment to ensure your family’s health and to have the certainty that whatever health issues your family’s suffering from is not being caused by contaminated water.

+Duncan Hollis