Home Water Treatment and the Sceptical Consumer

HOME WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS are often promoted on the basis of the purported health (rather than aesthetic) benefits of using them. This is particularly in relation to urban drinking water given the full treatment — coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection — where such claims usually constitute misleading advertising. In this review I will focus on a number of misconceptions about the health benefits of water treatment, examining each assertion in its wider context. The ensuing discussion applies less to rural water supplies, where valid reasons often exist for use of treatments — eg removing nitrate or protecting against giardia.

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