Being associated with the water industry- and by ‘associated’ I mean I deal with people in the water industry due to the fact my H2 tablet technology is a water additive, some of my stances are quite controversial and at odds with the marketing messages relayed. I tend to stand with the scientific consensus and use my critical and analytical thinking skills to ascertain when a ‘communicator’ is speaking on a subject they are not an expert in. This habit of ‘Ultracrepidarianism’ is a growing trend in both the skeptic community and the anti-science natural crowd community.
I tend to raise eyebrows by drinking tap water whether at home, at a conference at the gym or even at fine dining restaurants. Unless I need to, I opt for municipal sources rather than paying obscene prices and contributing to emissions and waste for bottled water- which is likely from a municipal tap source, anyways. On top of being typically the same as what comes from the tap, bottled water also contributes to our current water shortage. While industry claims they ‘only’ need 1.39L of water to make 1L, environmental groups and critics rightfully point out this is only part of the picture and that water usage to make the bottle, for production and transportation adding to the total water usage footprint. Bottled water also creates a burden on landfills, energy for recycling and potentially adds double the plastic contaminants to what you consume.
On the flip side, I have tended to resist against arguments to filter my water through various marketed methods. The fluoridation issue is complex and a line has been drawn in the sand. The benefits are well researched and validated. At the levels added, Water fluoridation is backed up by rigorous science and safety, and many cities that succumbed to public pressures over false fears have reintroduced it following consequences regarding increased cavities in youth. Others, such as Calgary, are following suit and commissioning studies to ascertain the impact of removal. As the National Post in Canada put it in their tagline to the article on Calgary “ The arguments over fluoridation are part of the tension over what science suggests is good and what conspiracy theorists on the internet believe”.
This quote is only partially true. The fears we hear about in the internet and from ‘activists’ are the result of conspiracy theorists who believe that fluoridation is a plot to dumb down the population, or other equally ridiculous narratives. These activists are ironically doing far more harm regarding their position than good. This is often the case with many topics. The loudest nut jobs will distract from reasonable arguments, rendering anyone with a reasonable question at risk of being associated with said nut jobs.
Flouridation spills and accidents need to be debated. While relatively rare, people have died from fluoride poisoning due to spills, including a case in Alaska in 1992. Others have become sick due to spills. The question becomes subjective, philosophically. What is one life worth compared to cavity prevention? Or several acute bouts of nausea from poisoning. What is the long term (if any) effects of those acute cases, and how can we quantify that against the greater good.
We need to remember that fluoride is naturally present in the water, also. Many programs in the developed world actually remove excess fluoridation from the water that was naturally present. This is not unheard of in other substances in water. Many minerals in our water are essential, and too little can cause issues as can too much. Proper levels of fluoride are undoubtedly beneficial. Which brings up accumulation in the water supply, food supply etc through use in Agriculture (our entire supply is fluoridated). Are we getting the right amounts? There is active debate on this, outside the conspiracy theorist crowd. The argument that because too much is bad that any amount is harmful is the same, but opposite scenario, fallacy that I have written about regarding mega dosing supplements. Excess fluoridation is bad- not getting enough is bad. Similarly, Vitamin A and E in excess leads to hair loss while the results on deficiency are less profound.
Personally, I am on the fence. While I can see the benefits for society, as someone who eats a great diet, limits my sugar intake and brushes my teeth with fluoridated toothpaste multiple times a day, I am unsure if I require extra. For lower income communities with poor dental hygiene and diets, it is likely far more critical. Perhaps it is a net benefit for me to filter out fluoridation, but would harm another city. Perhaps each geographic location needs to carefully consider the evidence for their specific demographic and water supply. Unfortunately, politicians and the loudest protestors are not the right groups to do this.
Chlorination is a slightly less tricky issue. The net benefit of chlorination on health is overall unquestionable; we need to kill bacteria and microbes in the water as a preventative health measure, and chlorination remains the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to do this. Despite it’s relative safety at low doses, chlorine has raised some questions regarding a potentially slight increase in cancer risk at high doses over long periods of time. While the connection is still very inconclusive, and the levels in drinking water throughout the USA and Canada being very low, it does add a bit to consider.
One of the dichotomies with popular opinion is we can justify extra protective measures for potential ‘doomsday’ scenarios, even when the odds are extremely low they’ll ever be needed. The excessive and debilitating cost of an event occurring is taken into consideration to justify a potentially ‘bad’ investment, statistically speaking. It has been successfully used for military spending, nuclear arms and protection from said nuclear missiles, and is being argued for regarding climate change as a retort to climate change deniars. Frustratingly, medical skeptics completely reject this philosophy when it comes to personal health, with many causing a huff about individuals spending money on products with green or inconclusive evidence, advising to wait until the science is established after decades. In fact, they tend to lecture and warn about this more than they do about subjects that actively contribute to poor health such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking cigarettes, eating a poor diet with a calorific surplus and insufficient exercise. I’ve seen it commented that ‘the harms are well established so there is no need to spend energy on further education’. I’d take a step back, look at society and contend that is not the case at all.
The reason I bring this up, is after long thought and contemplation on the subject I believe that further water purification fits the narrative above. Even if the odds that chlorination is linked to cancer are low, the relative cost to filter is minuscule compared to the potential risk of the long shot alternative. I’m privileged to live in Metro Vancouver, Canada, with perhaps the cleanest and purest tap water on the planet. Metro Vancouver relies heavily on UV Light and ozone to deal with antimicrobial contaminants, and while used in a very small amount I personally have never detected a hint of chlorine in the water.
Others are not so lucky. Most who are reading this are likely aware of the Flint, MI disaster. While touring across the USA on business I have been cautioned in many municipalities by the locals to ‘not drink the tap water’ as ‘serious upgrades are needed’. My sister and her husband live in Greater Los Angeles, and I’ve personally witnesses brownish red tap water sputtering out of their kitchen faucet with a foul stench to it. Needless to say they travel to pick up water from a store. Even in Canada when visiting my family in southern Alberta I can no longer stomach the tap water. I can smell the chlorine as it comes out of the tap. I can taste it the second it touches my mouth. I worry more for my family here than I do for myself in Vancouver.
While we remove bacteria from our water supplies, recent evidence has suggested that water supplies from different municipalities have differing affects on the populations gut microbiome, and potentially on inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD. Further, a recent study in Nature’s Scientific Reports found that Chromium and Cobalt found in drinking water could affect rodents gut microbiota. As many know, the class action lawsuit immortalized in film following the story of Erin Brockovich comes down to Chromium 6 levels in the water. Interestingly, Erin is endorsing the AquaTru currently, although that is beside the point I’m intending to make. As Robert and I talk about in our interview, bacteria is incredibly important- the right bacteria. Since we know so little about it, I am very cautious regarding it, and am wary of anything that could impact levels. For this reason I would argue- and will in an upcoming article- on the hazards of probiotic supplements until we collect more data (and much of the data we have is negative, currently). Reverse Osmosis will remove all bacteria and virus’s from the water, and the AquaTru has a small enough tank that none will build up before you drink it.
Why the AquaTru? As mentioned in the first paragraph I tend to defer to experts. Robert Slovak is a friend of mine and a true expert on RO and water purification. While much of our talks throughout our friendship is spirited debates on health topics we rarely see eye to eye on (which is a good thing in debate), when it comes to water purification I defer to him (although we don’t always agree on what needs to be purified out). When he told me that the AquaTru is the most sophisticated counter top unit he has ever seen, by a landslide, while being the cheapest, I paid attention. When he decided to rep it and work closely with the developers given his background as a prolific inventor in the area (holding many early patents), my interest became too much to restrain any more.
While I am actually still on the fence about personally buying an AquaTru for use in Vancouver (as I am trying to educate myself more on the pros and cons of fluoridation for my personal health), I AM buying one for my mother and grandmother, as they need it. I heavily advised my sister and her husband to pick one up. There is rarely a product, supplement or routine that is a ‘one size fits all’ ‘everyone needs’ scenario. While some may already have a water filtration system, and others may be privileged to live in municipalities like I do, most don’t. If your water is heavily chlorinated, or has old rusty pipes- or worse, lead contaminated pipes- the AquaTru is an affordable option that will act as a fantastic insurance policy for your health. At the very least, it will remove the taste of chlorine.
Watch my interview with Robert Slovak here:
Alex Tarnava: Well, Robert, how about we try this one more time.
Alex Tarnava: Now, as you all know, my name is Alex Tarnava. I'm the CEO and founder of Drink HRW and the [Up-a-Cup 00:00:11] hydrogen tablet technology. I'm here with a good friend, Robert Slovak. Funny enough, we already did this interview at Robert's house in California, but we're doing it again. We lost the file.
Alex Tarnava: Now, Robert, for those of you who don't know him, is a real pioneer in water technologies. He had a lot of the early patents on understanding [inaudible 00:00:33] RO Technology with his deceased brother that they developed for decades. Robert was instrumental in bringing hydrogen water to North America. He had the very first reactive tablet in North America to make hydrogen. And this industry is largely built on his work that others have built on, of course, and his initiative in searching for things like this. So I'm pleased to have Robert on this interview with me and ...
Alex Tarnava: We've known each other for a very long time, Robert. For years, I think you were one of the first five people I knew in hydrogen water and who knew about hydrogen water.
Robert Slovak: Well, let me respond by saying: happy to have such a effective and capable person to carry the excellence of the technology of molecular hydrogen into the marketplace.
Alex Tarnava: Thank you.
Robert Slovak: You're the guy.
Alex Tarnava: Thank you. So, basically, for my listeners, my followers, Now I ... I've been following water a little bit for the last several years and I've been listening to Robert. He's definitely an expert on water filtration, water contamination, all of these things. And when he basically recommended this AquaTru system to me, I listened. Right? Because Robert, this isn't his system. He has numerous patents, and he said that it's by far the most sophisticated while being the most inexpensive countertop machine he's ever seen. Is that accurate, Robert?
Robert Slovak: Absolutely accurate. I'm told its original creator and conceiver the idea that it was the only RO system I've ever seen, but I'm jealous I didn't have a contribution to it. Even though I ended up having some contribution to it for little improvements. That's all.
Alex Tarnava: Yeah. And I know that you've been talking with them and working with them pretty closely the last little while. And you've been in my ear, telling me how good it is for quite a long time now. And, over time, I started listening and thinking about it more and more. And thinking, "You know what, I know a lot of people in my life who need this." And I know you and I have talked and when you've tried to get me to put one in my house for benefits, I decided, "Well Vancouver drinking water is basically close to distilled. It's less than three PPM TDS. You can't smell any chlorine in it; it's mostly UV and such.
Alex Tarnava: But the more I think of it, the more I think about my platform, my ... I think about others who aren't fortunate enough to live where I do with clean drinking water. I even think of my home town and my family in Lethbridge. Lethbridge, Southern Alberta. I can't drink the water when I go there. I smell the chlorine coming out of the tap. Right? It just ... it is unpalatable and possibly hazardous. We still need more information on that. Or, when I come down to Southern California, I just can't drink the water that's coming out of the tap. It's awful, and I go to some communities, like my sister living in Venice, and it comes out not clear. It's brownish-red and almost has a sewage-like stench to it. And
Robert Slovak: You're correct on both counts. [inaudible 00:04:34] because of the deteriorating distribution piping in the city and it smells like sewage because it's likely, and I'm saying this in jests, but it actually is ... LA water, some of it, is from recycled sewage. And it's a very advanced technology, but many people in the world now are drinking recycled sewage because the technology can make it quite good even though the idea isn't good.
Alex Tarnava: Understood. And ... basically, I sort of thinking, and especially as we're launching the Essentials with our line here, and I'm writing blogs on things like Vitamin D and Omega-3. They're essential, but not everyone needs them. I feel the same way about RO. The more I'm learning about it is that I should be offering it as an essential for many people. People like my sister and badass people like my mom and grandma and friends and family in Southern Alberta where it reeks of chlorine. I've now been to nine provinces in Canada and forty-one states, and most of the places, I've found the water pretty unpalatable being used to Vancouver's.
Alex Tarnava: So it really isn't so much about my personal choice; it's about what I think others could need and should have access to. And I do have an article that's going to coincide with this interview--For all you viewers, read below.--on some of the water debates and some of the details and why, perhaps, you should be using RO Water and others maybe not so much or don't need.
Alex Tarnava: Now, Robert, say a year ago, when we were debating things, I was doing my research looking, and I had concerns about RO systems in general. In general, a lot of them came from studies throughout the 1990s and such: biofilm accumulation and everything. And you've told me some really cool things about this unit. Why it's not pertinent and why these issues don't exist for the AquaTru.
Robert Slovak: Well, if we're talking about the biological aspect of purified water, when you ... purified water doesn't have anything to inhibit or disinfect microbial growth for a long time. Then that microbial growth, which typically is referred to as heterotrophic plate count or HPC, this, when it grows to a certain number, it becomes intolerable to the body. And that bacteria becomes opportunistic, they said. And then it can compromise your immune system.
Robert Slovak: So, in conventional RO systems, especially ones with sealed tanks that go under the sink and are kind of disappeared from the family's awareness, all they know is there's a faucet on their sink that this super-pure water is supposed to come out of, that these tanks can harbor extremely large numbers of bacteria. Not within the first month. Not within the second month. But, as time goes on, and people lose sight of the fact that there is a service responsibility, and when the oil light comes on, it's too late. And they're already health is getting compromised.
Robert Slovak: So I became really aware of this problem. I was really the first person in the RO industry to become aware of the problem, and the industry did not want this to become an issue like so many things in so many industries. And it was a dirty little secret so to speak. What exacerbated the problem is that RO Membranes ... A family drinks less than five gallons. A family of four drinks, typically less than five gallons a day. Okay? But, as time went on in the industry, like in the early 70s, when I began in the industry, RO Membranes made five to six gallons a day. And people would run out, and sometimes you'd get a call. "I ran out." And we would just say, "Well, just let it fill up again and you have to wait a little bit." Well nobody realizes what a great thing it was that they ran out. And I began to realize why it was a great thing.
Robert Slovak: But that five-to-seven gallon a day Membrane became, soon, a twelve gallon a day Membrane. Became a fifteen gallon a day Membrane. With technological advances in polymers, became a twenty-four gallon a day Membrane, became a thirty-five gallon a day Membrane. And now, the average RO system has ... makes fifty gallons per day. With the family using five. So this tank never gets emptied. Ever. And the water sits in there for months, possibly years. And people do not understand that that growth and bacteria can end up in stomach upsets, it can disturb the micro[inaudible 00:09:57] in your child that may have autism, and it can compromise your immune system. Especially in the elderly and young, young infants.
Alex Tarnava: You're bringing up things that I have two points that I think that are very important from what you're saying. First off, to talk about: It's not month one. It's not month two. It's not month three. Now, there's something called -- in hydrogen technology now, there's something called the International Hydrogen Standards Association. And something important they're doing, because a lot of the technology to make hydrogen water, a lot of these machines, they may claim a number based on a brand new machine. Right? But as scaling happens on the plates or the system starts breaking down by the second, third, fourth, or maybe thirtieth use, they're not making hydrogen anymore. Sometimes not at all. Right?
Alex Tarnava: Sometimes, some of these portable, small electrolysis and such machines are broken by the third use. And they just never make hydrogen again. Even some of these super-expensive four or five thousand dollar units due to no accu-scaling technology. And they started with a low dose of hydrogen, make none, and will never make any again after a month. Right? So it's not important that-
Alex Tarnava: ... it's not just important to look at performance stated by the manufacturer, just like, say Robert saying with RO, it's important to look how does that performance hold up over time? Right? And this AquaTru ... it's got this small, little basin so water's never sitting, accumulating this bacterial growth.
Alex Tarnava: And that brings me to ... The second point is: Every year, and we still have so much knowledge that we need on this subject, but every year we're starting to figure out how important bacteria in our body is. From bacteria in our mouth to our gut and intestines to, I mean, everything. Right?
Alex Tarnava: What was that?
Robert Slovak: The right bacteria.
Alex Tarnava: The right bacteria. Right? And that's why, when we have no information, it's so dangerous to guess on what to give without the data. But, I mean, the wrong bacteria in our mouth is now being linked to Alzheimer's. And our gut being linked to Parkinson's Disease. And we look at our evolution and, I mean, it makes a lot of sense to even look at our mitochondria, the power plants of our cells that actually have different DNA than the rest of our body. That they're kind of just evolved bacteria. And that's a -
Robert Slovak: Absolutely.
Alex Tarnava: ... important theory going on. So, perhaps, bacteria's the most important thing to us. Right? So, yeah, this is important -
Robert Slovak: [inaudible 00:13:01].
Alex Tarnava: What was that?
Robert Slovak: As you well know, there's a heck of a lot more natural bacteria in us than there are cells in our body.
Alex Tarnava: Yeah. Absolutely. Which is interesting. It always makes you think. The more you start understanding how our bodies, our physiology, works the weirder it gets.
Alex Tarnava: Now it brings me up to another point. The second biggest knock, or maybe the biggest on RO, is always been taking out the minerals. Now something we now know is like everything. You want the right amount of minerals. Right? Too little is bad. Too much is bad. And that's why we even see debates on things we - the water that a certain amount is certainly beneficial, but it gets wide-spread use and debate happens. Even, I mean, too much minerals in the water. I mean, magnesium is the most efficient macro-mineral in the North American population, but it's one of the ones that can cause adverse events at the lowest dose. Right? So it's important to get the right amount and it's another thing I considered. That we're taking magnesium out of the water, but pretty much everyone who follows us is using hydrogen tablets that is getting bio-available magnesiums.
Alex Tarnava: Now, from your thoughts, what other minerals are we taking out of the water that people should be adding?
Robert Slovak: Well let me preface this. Is that, the entire fake news about minerals prevails. First, there was such a wide variation of minerals in water supplies around the world that, to even speak of their value, is kind of senseless. Some water supplies, like Seattle, like Vancouver, have so little minerals, it doesn't matter whether they're missing. Their water is almost like RO or distilled water.
Alex Tarnava: And then, in other locations, it's way too high.
Robert Slovak: And it's way too high and it's objectionable, mostly from a taste standpoint. And there are places that it's so high and exceeds all the standards that it's brackish water and people can't drink it or you get sick on it. But understand that the minerals in water, if you don't have the macro-minerals in the water, it may not even be an health issue as long as your diet is complete enough. For instance: some of the healthiest populations, some of the blue zones in the world, are at high altitudes where, basically, they're drinking melted snow. Okay? The [Hunses 00:16:01] and the famous blue zone populations. So these people typically have very low mineral content water, but their diets are so excellent that it doesn't matter.
Robert Slovak: But what is the most kind of overlooked thing about minerals in water supplies? Is that we kind of feature macro-minerals. Calcium. Magnesium. Potassium. Phosphorus. Iron. Et cetera. But there's the whole periodic table of dietary elements, and you're talking about trace elements. And trace elements are critical. And it never has been completely explored in physiological science because -- You know what? -- there was no money in it, and it was very difficult to research. Studies just couldn't pay off. So we know very little. Most of the real experts in minerals, who've written the books and so on, say that they consider over 60 dietary elements as essential to human physiology. And that is a big deal.
Robert Slovak: But the macro-minerals are like, ten macro-minerals that maybe you get enough from your food, but you don't get the trace elements anymore. Because they aren't in the soil anymore, and they aren't in your plant that you and the animal that you're going to eat consume. So it's a problem. So it's the trace elements even more than the primary ones that are out of key. And I'd say no water supply has adequate trace elements.
Alex Tarnava: Interesting. All right that's good to know now. What would you say is the most impressive thing about this AquaTru system? I mean, you've told me a hundred things over the last year that you find impressive.
Robert Slovak: Practical things for people is that it doesn't hook up to anything. It requires no installation. You can have it up and running out of the box in 10 minutes. Okay? So that's -
Robert Slovak: Now, it's problematic, especially for a countertop water appliance of this sophistication not to connect to water. And it's problematic to connect to water because most connections are to the faucet. And we've all learned in this business that faucets have changed so much, like, now, faucets you buy have sprayers on them. Okay? And you can't hook to a sprayer. So it invalidates many water systems that have been used for the last 30 years. And this requires no connection and it's very small. It's transportable. People can use it in their ... move it to their RV if they go on a trip. People can give this as a present to their child in college and just put it in the dorm room because - and should I show you?
Alex Tarnava: Yeah. I'd love to see how everything works here.
Robert Slovak: Are you seeing this unit?
Alex Tarnava: Yep. Absolutely. I can see.
Robert Slovak: Okay. So. I don't know if you realize, or I'm sure your listeners and attendees do not realize, but there are - I'll give you a little side view. There are two containers here.
Alex Tarnava: And if you can move it over, maybe six inches to you so we can see it on our end a bit better. Yup. We can see it perfectly here.
Robert Slovak: And it's quite a hefty, solid unit, by the way.
Robert Slovak: So there's two containers. And this is the container - the back one that you put in your water source of water; your city water or your well water. And this [inaudible 00:19:50] stand it up, it has a removable reservoir and, to make it easy, it just was a little too high for me, it has a handle in it. I mean, just clever is all heck. And you fill this with your water source that you want to purify. And you put it here, and it automatically turns on and I don't know if the electricity is - Oh! The switch in the back is off. I assumed it was on, but I'm going to now turn it on because you leave it on. And okay
Robert Slovak: So this is, partially filled, the reservoir that you take out and fill conveniently from your faucet. It can be just used with this very convenient handle. And once you fill it up to top, just below the handle. You can drop it right back in, and, when you do, it automatically senses there is this container of water that needs to be purified, and I don't know if you can hear it, but a very quiet motor turns on and pumps water from here -
Alex Tarnava: I can see some water starting to come out of it, too.
Robert Slovak: You can - This reservoir and how fast - It will fill this reservoir in 10 to 15 minutes. Okay? So this water is being pumped through this four-stage - Now, when I pull this off, it automatically turns off the unit because I've exposed the cartridges. So it's turned off now, and these are the stages of RO. And these are - we call these cartridges. The first cartridge is called the pre-filter, and that has two separate stages in it. Two different kinds of water treatment, which I'll call sedimentary removal and chlorine removal. And then, the next one is the Membrane. And the next one is the final filter for, perhaps, the most ominous contaminants. That, any of which may some small percentage have even, made it through the Membrane, like volatile organic chemicals, synthetic chemicals from petroleum and plastic, pesticides, and the newer ones: endocrine-disrupting chemicals, like pharmaceuticals. Now they're finding almost every drug is in the water.
Alex Tarnava: [crosstalk 00:23:39] some cities, like Seattle and Toronto, for instance, have even found illegal drugs like cocaine in the water supplies.
Robert Slovak: Of course. And there are ... There are more contaminants that have been identified in the world's water supply. It's well over 700.
Alex Tarnava: I think they've even found these pharmaceutical and illegal drugs, like illegal drugs like cocaine, in seven populations.
Robert Slovak: Oh of course. [crosstalk 00:24:09] and probably the worst thing that's happening is their with the increase use of psychotic drugs, okay? You're finding these in the water supply because water treatment plants cannot remove them. It's too expensive.
Alex Tarnava: I've got a funny story that ... I had a kind of snapping at this company; it was actually a Japanese company that I sent the hydrogen tablets to, and this is like two years ago. And they sent it for a water test. Right? And it came back with numerous banned substances in the water test, and I looked at the report, and they used tap water. And I made them test their tap water, and the banned substances were in the tap water, not the tablet.
Robert Slovak: Wow. That's very interesting.
Alex Tarnava: And they were incredibly apologetic. Right? Because, obviously, the tablets have no banned substance in them. And these weren't like what an athlete would consider; these were ... one was a drug. It was a drug found in that Voltaren. A topical medication drug that was found in their water supply. It just blew me away.
Robert Slovak: You know personal care products, called PCPPs, is a category of contaminant that's already showing up in water supplies. Everything from lipstick, eye liner, makeup, cosmetics, shampoos, you name it. Hair coloring are all in ... can be discovered in water supplies.
Robert Slovak: So these cartridges make up four-stage, very sophisticated, RO bottled water plant. And, interestingly, if you look at most of the world's bottled water, probably, in volume, I'd say well over 90% is processed and made by a system that really mimics this. It's an RO system that has two stages of pre-filtration, the RO Membrane, and post-filter. And that goes into the bottle.
Alex Tarnava: Yeah. And, I want to say to everyone watching, too, I'm not trying to fear monger when I say about these water analysis in different cities. The one in Japan and tests that, in the news reports, have come out in Toronto and Seattle. We don't really know. They're such trace amounts, we don't really know if they have an effect yet. So it could be inconsequential, but I know for a lot of people, a few hundred bucks for a countertop RO system is peace of mind. It's easy and especially for people like, say, my sister in Venice where her water comes out smelling like sewage, and she drives twenty minutes each way to get these big four-gallon jugs of RO water from a booth in a mall or something every week. That it's just practical. Right?
Alex Tarnava: But, for those of you that maybe can't afford one, and you're thinking, "Oh my gosh! What's in my water? I'm poisoning my children." I don't believe that to be true. We have no evidence to suggest that, but for those who want peace of mind and just want better-tasting water, I drink that water every time I come to your house in California, and it's great. I don't buy bottled water, and I don't really believe in bottled water. I have to buy it when I'm on the road sometimes because I won't drink the tap. But I just wanted to [crosstalk 00:28:03].
Robert Slovak: We shared this unit. It makes enough for two families, so ...
Alex Tarnava: Yeah.
Robert Slovak: So, anyway, these cartridges are something that are replaced, and this electronic measuring device tells you when to replace them. And you just - they conveniently twist down, or turn down, and you twist them out, bring another one in. And you can change all three of these in less than five minutes. So that's another aspect of its excellent design.
Alex Tarnava: How often do they need to be switched?
Robert Slovak: Typically, for a family of four, the number one and three cartridge, typically for a family of four, a year. And the membrane: two years or more.
Alex Tarnava: So you need to spend five minutes on maintenance about once every year if you have a family of four. And, if it's a couple, that probably means once every couple of years?
Robert Slovak: You got it.
Alex Tarnava: Yeah.
Robert Slovak: This -
Alex Tarnava: When you say, "It's an easy system," It's an easy system.
Robert Slovak: As the front container fills up, you have the choice of dispensing water. There's a button here. You can dispense water from here right while it's sitting. You want to go over and get a glass of water or - convenient for children, you can get a glass right here. Or, if you want to go fill your coffee pot, you can just remove this, go over, and push the button, and it will come out. You have a very nice flow rate. And fill your coffee. One option is to actually have a second one of these. Some people like to drink cold water if they life in hot climates. You can get a second one of these, keep it in your refrigerator, and put the other one back on, in which case, it will start again and refill.
Alex Tarnava: Cool. And I want to ask you a question because I know both you and I have dealt with a lot of water ionizer people in our life. And one of the biggest fallacious claims that they often make to consumers is that their ionizers are the most powerful water filters in the world, and you pay this four or five thousand dollars for the ionizer, and, even if you don't believe in their pH claims, their scam claims, or the hydrogen, which is usually inconsequential in them, they say that it's the best water filter on the planet. Now, how did those water filters [crosstalk 00:30:36].
Robert Slovak: ... first ionizers have just a carbon filter of some variety, and, because most of them are made in Asia, they also use unconventional things, like everything from gemstones to various crystalline media that doesn't have a lot of ... I mean, it doesn't purify the water. They claim it imparts energies to the water and so on, but, I mean, this isn't like real science of purification. So they're very weak purification devices, because it's basically absorbed to media like activated carbon, which this incorporates into it, but nothing at the level of an RO Membrane.
Robert Slovak: Now, ionizers, interestingly, are often, because of the reason you gave before, when contaminants build up on the electrolytic plates of ionizers, they tend to just stop making hydrogen. Okay? And so where the build up is likely to be very significant, ionizer companies recommend that you put an RO system before the ionizer to protect the electrolytic plates.
Alex Tarnava: Which, ironically, removes the solids you need in the water to create the hydrogen in the first place. Because if you pump RO water through the plates, the hydrogen won't be dissolved and made.
Robert Slovak: They incorporate a special dispenser you put in solids.
Alex Tarnava: Put in solids that might add like a few PPM [crosstalk 00:32:20].
Robert Slovak: - the electricity flowing.
Alex Tarnava: It's an interesting little setup for inefficiency they have going on. But I wanted to address that because I've heard it hundreds of times. At the very least, ionizers are the best water filter, and everything that I've read and researched has found that to be false. And talking to you, a true expert on the subject, you just kind of shrug your shoulders and say, "No; they're wrong." And, usually, it's not even the company saying that. It's their salesman who make commission. That [crosstalk 00:32:54]. So ...
Robert Slovak: So one of the things that's easy to do for people that are very conscious of bacteria, always scared of bacteria, this, if someone wants to sanitize this, it's the easiest thing in the world to sanitize because you just remove the top, put in a capful of hydrogen peroxide, okay? When it's full. And you can stir it around, and five minutes later, dump it, and you've just got a, basically, as close to sterile tank as you want. Now I've only done this, in two and a half years, I've only done this two times. Just kind of that experiment with it myself, but because this is used so much, you don't have this microbial problem.
Alex Tarnava: Yeah. It's just constantly flowing and leaving the water. Right? We all know the different between a still water source, even after a few days, it starts to stink, and flowing rivers and creeks that do not have that problem.
Alex Tarnava: Is there any other parting points you want to mention about the AquaTru? I know [crosstalk 00:34:10] impressed with it and everything you've been teaching me in the last year.
Robert Slovak: I think it's remarkable for its user-friendliness, its ease of installation. You don't have to pay somebody 150 dollars to install it. Its ease of service. Its freedom from having to be disinfected by a professional technician, which rarely even gets happens. And the fact that this device is produces water as pure as the best of bottled waters. And it removes virtually every containment category from endocrine-disruptors to disinfection byproducts to pharmaceuticals to personal care products to heavy metals, et cetera. There's nothing it really leaves out.
Alex Tarnava: And, I mean, to recap, the system is far less expensive, far less maintenance, easy, no headache, and works as well if not better than a lot of the more expensive ...
Robert Slovak: Imports.
Alex Tarnava: Yeah. So I mean I can see why, despite not inventing it, you're putting your own name behind it, right? And that's actually ... I've got a lot of respect for that as well that you say, "Hey, this is the best machine. I want to get this out there."
Alex Tarnava: So, Robert, it's always a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time today. And I'm sure I'll be emailing you more questions on all of this, and can be adding it to the page for our readers in the future.
Robert Slovak: Ask your audience ... Ask your audience for questions; I'm happy to field them.
Alex Tarnava: Sounds good. [crosstalk 00:36:02]. All right. Thank you.
Robert Slovak: Thanks, Alex.
References from the interview:
Contaminants Toronto, Ontario Drinking Water:
Seattle Water, Salmon
I incorrectly remembered illegal drugs in Seattle drinking water, they were found in seafood in Pugeot sound. I did find this on Seattle drinking water(which is typically “better than average”)
As a disclaimer, there is controversy regarding EWG’s legitimacy in fact based science, with concerns of fear mongering. I want to reiterate that even levels being found of many molecules(“chemicals”) in many drinking water supplies still fall before rates of any expected adverse events. I believe, in extensive thought and debate, that the AquaTru offers numerous benefits, piece of mind and comes with a negligible price tag. To me, for many people, the benefits outweigh the costs. That said, I do not want to create false fear to any of you that may disagree from a financial standpoint on cost/risk.
Illegal narcotics and Pharmaceuticals in Salmon, Mussels:
Gut microbiome and Parkinson’s Disease:
Alzheimer’s and bacteria in our gums
Very new, preliminary correlative findings.
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