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Time to flush out truth – Iain Rabbitts

Posted in Reflections On Science on August 25th, 2016.

Supplying un-chlorinated water is like driving without a seatbelt, writes water treatment engineer Iain Rabbitts in the NZ Herald, it’s not longer safe – if it ever was.

bubbles of water on blue backgroundAn excerpt (read in full):

It wasn’t safe to drive a car then without seatbelts but people had been doing it for over 35 years – why the change? Well speeds had increased, the number of cars on the road had changed – circumstances had changed.

This is what happens – life is different from how it was 35 years ago. We need to change our approach and our water supply from what it was 35 years ago because it’s no longer safe to have an unchlorinated supply (if it ever was). We need to grow up.

But a seatbelt is not the whole answer to protecting people in a car. In the same way chlorine isn’t the whole answer to making water safe to drink. In a car we have added airbags and side impact systems. In water treatment we may need additional processes like filtration and UV disinfection to counter the pathogens not removed by chlorine. Chlorine needs to be part of an overall solution in the same way that seatbelts are part of the solution to protecting people in cars.

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