I was in a restaurant in South Dublin last week with Caroline and we were ordering our food. Before the waitress left, she asked drinks? I replied bottled spring water please. She looked at me and said tap water ok? I said, no thanks, bottled spring water please, she looked at me like I had two heads and had insulted her. But I guess that’s the way we have been programmed in the past. Sure it’ll be grand.

Having spent the last few weeks researching the topic as it really interests me (nerd alert). I’ve read, chatted, watched a lot on Ireland and it’s water, and have put together as much info as I can provide you with a balanced piece that will help you make an informed decision on whether you should keep drinking mains fed water. I have no bias either way and am solely doing this for the health of my family, my clients and the general public who may read this.

Our parents were told flouride is good for our teeth, that’s why it’s in our water. I challenge you to dig a little deeper, you’ll soon discover what I’m about to talk about is real L

Most people who read this, will probably discard it and brush it off with a “it never did me any harm growing up” mindset.

But, immediately what springs to mind, is that there wasn’t nearly the contamination 30 years ago that there is now.

But anyway, people will be as they’ll be.

That’s cool.

But I know, I want to give my family and I, the best chance of living happy and healthy lives, and if that means investing in our healthy futures through fitting water filtrating systems, buying organic foods and taking out as many processed foods as possible, well… I’m willing to do that.

Again the nay sayers will say, it’s too expensive to do this or that when it’s the healthier option, but if I put it to you this way, would it help convince you?

Being Un-Healthy is CHEAP…

Being Healthy is Expensive… 

BUT – which costs more? 

Ask yourself that question again 20 years from now 

That short term mindset got you thinking you’re saving money now on cheap food/water etc, but sacrificing much more a decade or two from now in terms of costs financially and to your health – Medication, Hospital treatment, Doctors Bills etc.

I’m a firm believer (and more so as the days go by) that doing everything you can to minimise the ever increasing toxins we are exposed to, and we consume, will stand to us in the long term

So I have taken another step forward in my quest to do so.

I have just got a 6 staged osmosis water filtration system installed last week, and I must say, I think it’s a great investment.

The taste of chlorine and other rubbish is thankfully gone and my mind is at rest, knowing it’s clean, filtered and mineral rich water.

Here is some interesting information on the current and previous state of Irish water and what it contains contamination wise (that we know of and that has been disclosed).

  • Trihalomethanes (THMs) is a bi product of adding chlorine to water as a disinfectant and are toxic compounds which are toxic to humans and possibly carcinogenic. It has been reported that your tap water could contain 200mg per litre and at times it had risen to over 400mg, four and a half times the limit

Did you know, the European Commission recently opened a case against Ireland over levels of drinking water contamination and fined us €6000 for high levels of Trihalomethanes?

  • Inadequate treatment of cryptosporidium parasites in their water

Cryptosporidium infection (cryptosporidiosis) is an illness caused by tiny, one-celled cryptosporidium parasites. When cryptosporidia (krip-toe-spoe-RID-e-uh) enter your body, they travel to your small intestine and then burrow into the walls of your intestine

  • High Metal levels

As children are more sensitive to metals as they are rapidly developing, as a result, childhood exposure to some metals can result in learning difficulties, memory impairment, damage to the nervous system, and behavioural problems such as aggressiveness and hyperactivity

  • High Nitrate levels
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Light headedness
  • Nausea
  • Flushing
  • Burning and tingling under the tongue
  • Low blood pressure


  • Elevated Levels of Pesticides

Pesticides are poisons and, unfortunately, they can harm more than just the “pests” at which they are targeted. They are toxic, and exposure to pesticides can not only cause a number of health effects, but is linked to a range of serious illnesses and diseases in humans, from respiratory problems to cancer.

  • Elevated levels of Arsenic

Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water can cause cancer in the skin, lungs, bladder and kidney. It can also cause other skin changes such as thickening and pigmentation

These extracts are taken from the name and shame report on tap water supplies compiled by the environment projection agency in 2018

So to add to that, research from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states that 72% of Irish tap water contains microplastics, fibres from clothing, and plastic threads and paint up there with India’s contamination levels.

Pretty shocking in my opinion, I mean, I grew up watching movies where Arsenic was the poison the baddies used to try and kill the goodies, and now it’s in our water.

Hardly acceptable in this day and age.

I caught up with Adam Griffiths from Euro water solutions for some more insight into the state of Irish water that I may be missing. He very kindly took some time out to answer my questions. There was quite a few J

Some very interesting information he shared with me.

  • Water is hit and miss in Ireland in general
  • The bigger town, the better the water (surprisingly)
  • Without chlorine added to water, water bacteria can form as fast as .35 span per second (e.g. if you leave your glass of water down for 30 mins over 3500 ppm of bacteria can form)
  • With a R.O (revers osmosis) this will remove all chemicals and bacteria in the water supplied correctly you will be given an extra filter that puts the good elements back into your water. When using a R.O unit do not leave your glass down for long periods of time as bacteria will grow.
  • Hard water (high content of lime in the water) is also a big issue not only does is effect all element in the house but it can also have negative effects on the body, such as dry skin, damaged hair. Treatment for this can be done with a water softener.
  • There is no one county that stands out from the rest when it comes to water as they are all treated pretty much the same.
  • But the best way to fight any water issue is with a filter of some form as I would not recommend drinking the normal tap water in Ireland.
  • Regarding Bottled water, as it may seem like the better option there is also a number of chemicals in the water to give it a longer shelf life. Also you will start to see a number of bottles showing they are BPA free (this is a chemical in plastic and if at all heated can seep into the water) If in doubt drink bottle water but if you have a good set up of a water system in your home I would recommend to drink that water than any bottle water.
  • Mains is not the best source of good quality drinking water although it is to a high standard in Ireland (treated)
  • If and when possible, try get your water from a fresh source (spring water) or if you have the opportunity Well water.
    Both would be recommend to still go through a filtration system but both would be a lot more beneficial for you.
  • Well water is a natural source, it will need to be treated with U.V + Water Softener and in some circumstances it will also require a sediment filter. All wells private & commercial need to have there well tested once a year for irregularity such as Arsenic or other health risk elements that can seep into your water source and contaminate it.
  • If you live in a built up areas and have no access to well or spring water I would recommend getting a filter tap &/Or a R.O unit installed. There is a running cost on them but they will work out cheaper than drinking bottle water and they will benefit you more.

To conclude, from a health stand point, when you consider the average person’s body is made up of 60% water, we rely on good hydration for all major bodily functions including brain, heart, muscle contraction, over-all health. Would you really be happy with 60% of your body being made of contaminated and potentially toxic water that is slowly but surely poisoning you and your family?

I think we both know the responsible answer to that.

Yours in fitness

Damian Hall
Dalkey Fitpro






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