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January 31, 2020

The results of laboratory tests of drinking water in the United States commissioned by EWG (Environmental Working Group) were released last week. It found that PFAS contamination of drinking water was far more prevalent than previously reported. Scientists now believe PFAS (known as 'forever chemicals' because they don't break down and they build up in our bodies), is detectible in all major water supplies in America. What can be done about it, especially when, in recent years, the medical community has called for most people to drink more water?

The amount one needs to drink depends on age, gender, height, weight, activity level, environment, pregnancy/breastfeeding and overall health. Because 20-30% of our daily water intake comes from food, a water intake calculator may be helpful to determine the correct amount of water you need to drink. This is not a one size fits all formula. Newborn bodies are comprised of about 78% water, while those of the elderly contain only about 55%. Adult males are comprised of about 60% water and require about 3 liters a day, while adult females are about 55% water and require about 2.2 liters a day.

Ever since our ancestors first crawled out of the sea some 400 million years ago, hydration has played a central role in of our evolution. Nevertheless, modern humans often drink fluids containing alcohol, caffeine, and sugars instead of pure water. A 2016 hydration survey in Germany, Spain and Greece revealed that only about 60% of the participants were properly hydrated, while about 20% of the participants were dehydrated and an equal number were overhydrated. Acute, chronic and occasional dehydration is dangerous, and in all circumstances reduces both cognitive and physical performance dramatically. While rare, and typically self-inflicted, overhydration can also cause health problems and lead to death.

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Making the decision to drink more water is great, but how you go about it makes all the difference to you and our planet. Buying bottled water is the worst strategy to meet your daily hydration needs because you will be introducing even more plastic back into the environment and very likely into yourself. In 2018, the World Health Association reported that 90% of the world's most popular bottled waters contained microplastics. The number of plastic particles in these waters was roughly twice the amount found by the same team in a study of tap water in 2017. In this study, which did not include China, 94.4% of US tap water samples contained microplastic fibers. This was the highest level tested and some 22% higher than Western European samples. Moreover, American tap water demonstrated the highest concentration of microplastics per 500ml, which was 2.5 times the level measured in Europe.

You may already use a water filter pitcher or a household filtration system, but chances are neither is protecting you from modern contaminants, especially if a natural or man-made disaster has compromised your municipal water supply or you have received a Boil Water Advisory Order. To overcome these challenges, you need something special, and thankfully, Epic Water Filters of Boulder Colorado offers a range of affordable BPA free solutions to keep you properly hydrated no matter where you are or what quality of water is available to you. They make reasonably priced under the sink home filtration systems, countertop pitcher filters and portable bottle filters that dry up the competition.

Epic offers two advanced interchangeable filters for their tabletop water pitchers. The Epic Pure filter is designed for urban residents who are not typically threatened by bacteria and viruses in their water. The Epic Nano is the best choice if your water supply has been compromised or naturally hosts bacteria and viruses. Both filters remove an amazing 99.999% of over 200+ tap water contaminants without removing the crucial trace minerals that we need for good health. Both filters are antimicrobial and will filter out Giardia and Cryptosporidium. They also remove Calcium, which can help sufferers of calcium based kidney-stones.

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Epic uses a patented solid block filter made from coconut shell-based pyrolyzed activated carbons which have millions of different sized pores smaller than 2 microns. This technology allows all Epic filters to meet and exceed NSF Standards 42 and 53 for contaminant reduction while the Epic Nano (and Outdoor filter below) achieve even greater filtering. Epic filtration is the slowest on the market and worth a few extra minutes to achieve excellent results. If you are using another filter brand - don't give it away - but do recycle or reuse it. After filling the top reservoir of my Epic Nano pitcher, I only need to wait about 8 minutes before it has filtered another batch. However, I always have water to drink because I fill my glass storage jug first. I like to refill the pitcher while the kettle is on the boil. 

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If you love to bring your favorite reusable water bottle to work, town or the gym, Epic has "The Answer." This is a smaller version of their pitcher filter that you insert right into your favorite bottle. This product converts many specific Hydroflasks, Nalgenes and other bottles into portable water filters and offers a choice of drinking cap lids. For life off-grid or exploring the wilderness, the Epic Outdoor bottle filter will protect you from bad bugs (viruses, bacteria and cysts) found in rivers, lakes, and wells. You will need a little more effort to draw water from the Outdoor filter so stick with the Urban filter unless you need the extra protection.

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Before using either bottle filter for the first time, or after storage, let it soak in the bottle for 30-45 minutes to achieve saturation. Use only warm water to clean your Urban and Outdoor filter sets and do not freeze, use soap, hot water or salt water. The Urban and Outdoor bottle filters replace at least 550 and 750 disposable plastic water bottles respectively during their lifetime, which is about 100 gallons each, after which you can recycle them.

Visit epicwaterfilers.com and buy direct. Their lifetime warranty, free shipping and no hassle returns have you covered. Your American made Epic products will arrive in minimal 100% compostable packaging. You can save 20% on replacement filters by joining the Clean Water Club through which you can set the automatic re-order time online to suit your needs. If you select a pitcher, run two batches of water through it to prime the filter before drinking the third batch. For best results, two adults will need a new Nano or Pure Pitcher filter every 3-4 months or 150 gallons. When a filter is exhausted, just unscrew it from the pitcher insert, open the filter housing to remove and compost the carbon material and then recycle the filter housing. Smile, you've just displaced over 1000 plastic bottles!

If you think your old Brita is still worth keeping watch this video - but have a sick bag handy. When you are done wasting money on filters that do not protect you, switch to Epic and convert your old pitcher into a water storage container by removing the filter and insert. Order your Epic filter system today and say goodbye to: chlorine, lead, microplastics, TTHMs, pesticides, Roundup, trace pharmaceuticals, fluoride, PFOS, industrial pollutants and more.

I purchased my Epic Nano Pitcher in March 2018 and have used it nearly every day since. I have not been in contact with anyone at Epic and have not received any endorsement or compensation from them - or any of their resellers. I just want the employee-owners here at Sun Light & Power and all our friends to know how much I have enjoyed the great tasting water and how well this filter works. I am excited because I just ordered "The Answer" Urban bottle filter kit with an additional Outdoor filter for my 36 ounce wide mouth Hydroflask. You'll want one too after reading my deep dive on water pollution.

We will update you with more information in the coming months. Meanwhile, you can help heal the environment and safeguard your health by supporting Epic Water Filters. Epic is a proud supporter of the Inland Ocean Coalition, a movement that builds land to sea stewardship by engaging inland communities.

Seamas Brennan is Marketing Coordinator at Sun Light & Power.

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