Is It Safe to Drink Natural Water?

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July 15, 2010


Sharon welcomed the listeners and talked about the importance of water in life and life in water. She said that it is imperative for everyone to realize the importance of water, to drink plenty of water and to carry water with them if they are unsure of a water source. Dehydration, or lack of water, is out of control in our world and causes or contributes to ailments from allergies to obesity.

Guest: Art Bernstein, MS

Is It Safe to Drink Natural Water?

Art Bernstein, MS (Gold Hill, OR). Writer and naturalist. "Water in the wild - is it safe to drink?"

Art Bernstein is a naturalist and forester who has written numerous books on hiking and nature. He has been Sharon's guest over 50 times. His latest book is Weird Hikes - Second Edition from Globe Pequot Press, due out in March, 2011.

Art's topic was safe water in the wilderness and his main point was that drinking unpurified water in the wild is never safe, under any circumstances. The two main diseases one can catch from water, the H pylori bacteria and the giardia single-celled protozoa, are both spread through fecal material, from cattle, horses, squirrels, chipmunks, etc. The stomach disease "giadrdiasis" runs its course in four to six weeks while H pylori can grow in your stomach for decades, causing chronic acid reflux disease, ulcers and stomach cancer (or nothing). H pylori can be cured with very harsh antibiotics.

Water is easily treated through filtering or boiling and bottled water is recommended over refillable canteens when hiking, because canteens can pick up bacteria and algae.

Dysentery and malaria and also spread via drinking water.

Categories: CBS; Health and wellness; outdoor recreation; water and sanitation; 2010