What’s REALLY in Our Drinking Water?


Just because drinking water is clear, doesn’t
mean there aren’t tiny things living in there. But seriously, don’t worry about it! Greetings programs, Trace here, thanks for
watching DNews. Last weekend, a teenager in Portland, Oregon released the contents of
his bladder into a public reservoir. As a result of the public outcry, the city will
spend who-knows-how-much to dump 38 MILLION gallons of their drinking water. 38 MILLION?!
During a drought?! Are they crazy? Yeah, they kind of are. Open reservoirs are weird. Water has to be
cleaned and then stored somewhere, and sometimes it’s water towers, sometimes it’s large tanks
and sometimes… for some reason… in man made, open ponds. What comes into ponds?!
ANIMALS. In fact they don’t just come in them, they swim and poop and pee and live and wash
and whatever in them too. In fact, the Portland City Water Bureau Administrator David Schaff
said, they have a commitment to clean water “That doesn’t include pee. Not from people,
at least.” HE BASICALLY ADMITTED OTHER THINGS PEE IN IT. The thing is, DUH. And whatever.
It doesn’t hurt anything. At all. Ever. According to MATH, the typical human urination
produces about two cups (400-500mL), a VERY small amount. Of that, 95 percent is water
which leaves about five teaspoons of waste. 38 million gallons dumped because of five
teaspoons — which works out to about 0.000000017 percent urine waste. Drinking water, even bottled, will often contain
organic and inorganic material, pesticides, runoff, and radioactive contaminants. It’s
part of the world we live in. The EPA says ZERO is often the goal for dangerous things,
but their Maximum Safe Contaminant Levels are… well, they’re not zero. In SAFE drinking water there is more Dichloroethene
which in high concentrations would cause cancer, Thallium which in high concentrations would
cause Hair loss; changes in blood as well as kidney, intestine, liver problems. Even
Mercury from landfill runoff, cyanide from steel mill runoff, and so on. The Upper SAFE
limit for coliforms — which are bacteria living on fecal material — is 5 percent.
The bacteria themselves doesn’t indicate poop is in the water. So you’re probably drinking weird things anyway.
Just in general, and you’re fine. I call this the Spotlight Effect, if we didn’t SEE this
person peeing in the reservoir, it would have been fine. And even though decades of health
science, regulation and testing make tap water all over the country extremely safe Portland
is dumping it. Why? Because Portland’s residents were upset. Science doesn’t always win in
these cases. People feel weird about drinking the water! It happens. There’s an easy way to fix this, but it’s
expensive. Close the tops of the reservoirs. The State of Oregon has plans to button up
their drop top reservoirs by 2020, but for now, they’re wide open. In 2008, the city
dumped 8 million gallons after a dude peed in it. That cost 35,000 dollars. In 2011,
a couple skinny dippers caused another dump // REALLY?! *smh* // But overall this won’t
affect anything with Portland’s water anyway. They store 35 billion gallons of water for
the city, 35 million is a literal drop in that bucket. I’d drink that water anyway, ship it down
to the deserts! What about you? Tell us what you’d want to do with all that
H2O down in the comments and thank you all for tuning in! We’re now in the top 1000 YouTube
channels! Hello to newbies, and thanks for oldies. You’re all great. And if this got
you squeamish check out my buddy Talal’s story about other shocking things in your water
on DiscoveryNews.com!

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