‘Drinking RO water hazardous to health’
Dennis Abraham Thazhamon, Managing Director of Josab India Pvt Ltd from Pune, was recently declared one of the ‘51 Most Impactful Leaders in Water and Water Management’ in Mumbai and was felicitated by the World Water Leadership Congress & Awards. In a conversation with Anvita Srivastava, he shared the challenges India faces regarding water purification and unawareness among masses and the adverse effects of Reverse Osmosis (RO) water.
What are the problems faced by India in terms of water purification and treatment?
Water in India has always been considered a free and infinite resource and the governments have never laid emphasis on educating the masses on the importance of water conservation and water treatment. Of late, research has been put into understanding the causes of several diseases that weren’t prevalent a decade ago. Most of the researchers have concluded that the major cause of these diseases is associated with the quality of water consumed. This has raised eyebrows and the entire industry and the policymakers have started to emphasise on the importance of education on water quality. We see that efforts are underway from most of the stakeholders but more efforts are to be put in to educate people and we hope we are doing our part to provide best quality water to the common man.
What is the ideal water for people to consume?
Ideal water is rich in minerals and which adds nutrition to one’s health like inorganic substances (such as rocks and similar matter) found in the earth strata, like calcium, magnesium and potassium. So these minerals make up for the nutritional value of water, which we call ‘Ideal Water’. The most important aspect is to create awareness among people regarding ideal water and once the common man is informed and educated about the advantages of ideal water, a healthy India shall not be a distant dream.
A lot of households are using Reverse Osmosis (RO) as a technique to purify water. Your comments on the same?
Most people are under the impression that Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems excel at removing water impurities, but few are aware that they also remove the beneficial minerals. In fact, the Reverse Osmosis process removes 92 to 99 per cent of beneficial calcium and magnesium.
After analysing hundreds of scientific studies concerning demineralised or RO water, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report stating that such water ‘has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism.’ It’s assumed that no toxins equal better health, but there is simply more to mineral-rich/healthy water than a lack of toxins, as the WHO clearly points out. What is alarming is that consuming RO water for even just a few months can create serious side-effects.
But it gets even worse. Because RO water doesn’t have enough minerals. When it is consumed, it also leaches minerals from the body. This means that the minerals being consumed in food and vitamins are being urinated away. Fewer minerals consumed plus more minerals being excreted equals serious negative side effects and big health problems. Hence, whatever the claims could be from the RO suppliers, drinking water treated using RO technology is definitely hazardous to health.
If not RO, what is the best solution for Puneites for water treatment?
I can surely state that RO is not essential where the source of water to be treated is surface water and specifically if the TDS of water is below 1000 ppm. There are alternative technologies such as Natural Zeolites, CDI etc., which can effectively treat water at the same time retain natural mineral present in water.
In context to Pune, the water quality in and around Pune has been pristine due to the hilly terrains and untouched water sources. Added to it, most of the houses are well connected by municipal piped water connections, which call us to understand that a good treatment system which could retain natural minerals in water would be the best solution for the residents of Pune and most of the cities and towns across India.