Drinking A Glass Of Germ-rich Shanghai River Water, And Living To Tell The Tale

Like many key waterways worldwide, Shanghai’s Huangpu River is chockablock with industrial and organic trash and probably the last place anyone woulddrink a glass of water from. Yet that’s just what Sweden’s Bluewater – the leader in global residential water purification – chose to do by pumping water directly up from the polluted waterway through one of its water purifiers and having chief executive Niclas Wullt drink a glass in full public view.

“Drinking water from a river that analysis showed was rich in e-coli and other organic, chemical and toxic substances may sound a dumb idea, but we wanted to show there are efficient solutions available to help people safely enjoy water from their kitchen taps in a world where its purity cannot be guaranteed,” said Bluewater Managing Director Niclas Wullt.

The demonstration of the efficiency of a Bluewater water purifier took place on the banks of the 71-mile (114 kilometer) long Huangpu River in Shanghai, China, to launch the company’s range of award-winning water purifiers to the general public in China.

An independent analysis of the water in the Huangpu River commissioned by Bluewater revealed high levels of contaminants such as E. coli O157: H7, which can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Serious E. coli O157:H7 infections can cause kidney failure and even death, something public water companies avoid by disinfecting water with chlorine to remove germs from tap drinking water.

“Our water purifiers are designed to be used with tap water supplied from a municipal water treatment plant, but we wanted to prove our claimto be able to remove practically all waterborne contamination by purifying untreated water direct from a source like the Huangpu River,” said Mr. Wullt, who added that Bluewater was planning similar demonstrations in Europe and North America.

Mr. Wullt stressed that contamination of tap drinking water is a global problem and not unique to China, something that the UN’s 2015 World Water Day on March 22 will highlight. He noted that thenumber of new and different contaminants released into public water systems from pharmaceutical by-products to agricultural runoffs, has grown faster than the ability of municipal water plants to keep up, across the world.

“There are hundreds of pollutants found in tap water today. One study indicated 700 chemicals are regularly found in America’s drinking water, yet the U.S. EPA has set standards for only sixty. In addition,city infrastructures worldwide are decaying rapidly. Again, in the USA alone, as much as 30-percent of pipes carrying municipal water to homes and business premises for human consumption are up to 80 years old, and 10 percent are even older,” said Mr. Wullt.

The Swedish company executive said that the drinking water coming from our taps and our health and wellbeing are inseparable.

“Numerous studies have linked contaminants found in tap drinking water – including germs, lead, and chemicals such as chlorine and nitrates–to heart disease, cancer and many other health problems. Bluewater’s unique second-generation water purifiers offer consumers and businesses such as restaurants the opportunity to make their own choice for cleaner, healthier water from their taps,” said Mr. Wullt.