Question to an expert: Is it really necessary to drink rainwater?

By | July 8, 2021

We are used to searching online for ANSWERS TO MOST OF THE QUESTIONS OF EXCITING US . In the new series of materials, we ask just such questions: burning, unexpected or common – to professionals in various fields.

We have dismantled several myths associated with drinking water, and found that carbonated water is safe for the stomach and the kidneys, drink while eating is possible and necessary, and no rules in “two liters of water per day” and does not exist . And yet, many are worried about the quality of water: since we drink it and use it to prepare food every day, can we do it with maximum benefit? We asked an expert about the trend towards “natural”, untreated water and whether rainwater is really the cleanest.

In pursuit of “natural and therefore useful” people go to amazing extremes. Take water: filtered, “charged”, “structured”, “living” and “dead”, “hydrogen”, with “negative oxidation potential” and even “dietary” – all kinds of varieties are not on the market. It would seem that nothing else can be invented, but now a new trend is being developed – “raw water”, in its most native form, without sterilization, filtration and other processing. One of the manufacturers’ website promises such miracles that one wants to immediately spend $ 36.99 on the first ten-liter bottle (refilling will cost almost half the price). Other companies are proposing to act more radically and arrange “water independence” for themselves by purchasing a plant for collecting extremely natural atmospheric moisture for several thousand dollars. There is no doubt that fashion will quickly come to our country.

Here again we are dealing with a classic logical error, in which any natural phenomena and “gifts of nature” are declared safer and more useful for humans than artificial ones or processed by “chemistry” and “physics”. Often, “naturalists” reason like this: the universe is so wise that it endowed potatoes with the ability to accumulate starch in tubers so that we can feed on them, and cows were created by nature so that we receive natural fertilizer for potatoes.

If you try to shake this seemingly slender system by asking where nature has assigned solanine, a toxic substance contained not only in the inedible fruits of potatoes, but also in its edible tubers (these are the same green areas on the skin), and also specifying, that a mass of pathogens of dangerous intestinal infections can nest in cow dung (for example, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, which killed several dozen Europeans in 2011), supporters of naturalness usually quickly switch to the scheme “I have no counter-arguments, so let’s go straight to the insults.”

This is most directly related to water. Not all water is drinkable, even if it is running. According to the WHO, 2.1 billion people in the world simply lack access to safe water in their homes, and about 4.5 billion lack adequate sanitation. As a result, 361,000 children under five die each year from diarrhea alone. Open springs, from which the collection of “raw water” is supposed to be, is a dangerous and unpredictable thing.

Of course, raw water is alive, in the truest sense of the word. It contains a lot of viruses, bacteria and protozoa, most of which are absolutely harmless. However, even single representatives of the microcosm are enough to spoil all the blissfulness of the picture. For example, in Moscow water bodies , Vibrio cholerae is regularly caught – fortunately, until it has time to multiply to the required concentrations. And then there are dysentery amoeba, shigella, salmonella, “fighting” variants of E. coli, noroviruses, rotaviruses and others. So “raw water” without proper treatment, at least filtration and disinfection, is not the healthiest choice. Adepts of the new trend argue that treatment with “chemistry” and “physics” kills the “soul” of water, turning “living” water into “dead”. But the paradox is that “living” water has a much better chance of making its consumer dead.


The adherents of the flow argue
that treatment with “chemistry” turns “living” water
into “dead” water . But the paradox
is that “living” water has a much better chance of making
its consumer dead.

An additional argument in favor of rainwater is the fact that humans have collected it throughout their history. But in fact, this does not in any way confirm its usefulness. Supporters of the benefits of rainwater say that its characteristics are close to distilled, because it condenses in clouds from water vapor. At the same time, they somehow miss the moment that not only steam rises into the air , but also dust, soot particles, microorganisms, exhaust gases and much more. On the way from the cloud to the ground, rainwater collects it all. Researchers – based on the results of numerous observations and analyzes – agree that rainwater cannot be considered safe to drink because it contains too many dangerous microbes, including the so-called faecal flora. The risk is even greater if water is stored for later use without proper treatment.

Another important nuance: if rainwater is collected from the roof, then it is additionally ” enriched ” with asbestos, lead and copper, although building standards try to minimize them in roofing materials. The treatment of collected water is also not so simple: chlorination or iodination does not eliminate harmful chemical impurities, and many microorganisms have long developed resistance to chlorine. This also applies to boiling.

By the way, there is one point that does not correlate with the concept of usefulness from the point of view of fans of everything natural, who often argue that all diseases – from influenza to cancer – arise from acidification of the body. Therefore, it is recommended to constantly alkalize it, and “living” water, which can be prepared in special devices for many thousands of rubles, also has an alkaline reaction.

But rainwater does not fit into this concept, because it has an acidic reaction. Blame for this are nitrogen oxides, which are especially actively formed during a thunderstorm – under the influence of powerful electrical discharges. And then from heaven flows, albeit weak, but still a solution of nitric acid. By the way, this is just perfectly explained from the point of view of wise nature – this is how the nitrogen cycle is carried out , and this is one of the important ways of delivering it to the soil.

It turns out that even among the supporters of “living” and “natural” water there are disagreements – and here we can predict the emergence of new variations like rainwater with alkaline pH, which will be completely “miraculous”, especially in terms of sales. Just business, nothing personal.

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