What is in the water you drink ?


Courtesy Gush Valley (TM) 2017

  Click to skip the jargon and get to the good stuff!

99 % of bottled water in South Africa is purified tap water 

Tap water is contaminated in most of the country due to lack of maintenance at water treatment works and sewage treatment plants that are also overflowing into the "treated drinking water". The pumps that require power at the treatment plants are broken and the ones that work don't work when Eskom load sheds. The treatment for drinking water is mainly Chlorine and Chlorine & Ammonia mixture called monochloramine which is insufficient to kill Nitrites, hormones and pesticides. Reverse Osmosis ( RO) filters get destroyed by Chlorine and the tap water has a high probability of containing trihalomethanes (THMs)

"There are real concerns about the use of chlorine when the raw water contains certain organic compounds (brown water for example). In this case, chlorine oxidises these compounds to form trihalomethanes (THMs) that are known to be carcinogenic. Despite this the South African water industry prefers chlorine because of the presence of residual disinfectant, and none of our large sources of water supply suffer from the presence of organic compounds. With our high local temperatures however the decision to have a residual anti-bacterial agent in the water supply is a sound one, and with the value of the local chlorine-based infrastructure it is unlikely that we will see major use of other technologies. While the taste of chlorine in tap water may be unpalatable for some consumers a handy tip is to first chill the water in a sealed glass or plastic container. The chlorine taste will then disappear." 


It has been reported that tap water with a 0.5 ppm chlorine content can be used to kill bacteria and remove pesticides. However, these reports fail to mention that in order to achieve such a result water temperature must be below 5 degrees Celsius. Chlorine will evaporate at higher temperatures thus rendering tap water unable to remove pesticides and kill bacteria. It is extremely difficult (and uncomfortable) for the average user to use water below 41 degrees to wash food. Food purchased from supermarkets may not have been thoroughly cleaned and may contain bacteria. If it is not cleaned well bacteria such as salmonella and e. coli can cause diarrhea and infection if consumed. According to Yang Ming Medical University test reports Ozone Antibacterial Sanitizers are capable of removing 99% of salmonella in 10 seconds. In order to achieve similar results with similar concentrations of chlorine, food would need to be washed for 15,000 seconds.


Ok, so tap water might not be so good. So then what's wrong with purified drinking water?

Well it turns out, a lot !!

In nature, water (H20) is not pure, it's filled with essential minerals, salts, ions, bicarbonates and many other elemental molecules that our bodies need.

What is NOT Removed by Reverse Osmosis?


Because there are some contaminants that are molecularly smaller than water, Reverse Osmosis isn’t always the silver bullet many people expect when it comes to providing water that’s completely free of impurities. For example, some common contaminants that can slip through the average RO filter are:



         Many other agricultural treatment products like fungicides

         Some dissolved gasses, like hydrogen sulfide

         Certain organic compounds

Chlorine — RO can remove various quantities of chlorine, but there is a possibility that the average home RO filter may not have the capacity to capture all the chlorine present in water, though this will largely depend on the chemical’s concentrations in the water supply.

Reverse osmosis process discards 75% or more of the water. That means for every 20 litres of reverse osmosis water, 15 litres or more is returned to the drain as a highly concentrated salt and contaminant mix. So 35 litres of water is used to make 20 litres of water. More water is used for washing the bottles and for other processes. In the end, reverse osmosis filters  polluted tap water and uses more than double the volume of the bottle. 

OK, so is it still ok to drink? 

Well, not really, unless you are stuck on an island and you need to drink brackish water. That's the purpose of reverse osmosis. 

But why is everyone is doing it? 

Unfortunately companies don't follow guidelines.

We follow WHO - World Health Organization - as they are the official body taking care of the planet's health.   


WHO outlines the danger of drinking reverse osmosis water from commercial systems or from home RO systems. The minerals added to the water after reverse osmosis don't follow WHO guidelines which expect the water quality to mimic nature at least with the most important minerals like calcium, magnesium and bicarbonates. Unfortunately for companies and for household units the required minimum of 100mg/L TDS, is not followed. The reason? It doesn't make any viable monetary sense to add the required amounts of minerals back into the water. Some companies now sell home Magnesium cartridges that add the mineral back into the water. Magnesium cannot be absorbed effectively without calcium and not in RO water. 

This is somewhat better that no magnesium but it is still highly ineffective, since the minerals are added to reverse osmosis water. RO water is highly unstable and undergoes natural osmosis as soon as it gets a chance. Because RO water lacks minerals and has a very low TDS count, it will leach minerals from the cells of your body when drinking it. It will leach ions, salts and minerals. You will then urinate all the good minerals out leaving you thirsty, demineralised and un-hydrated. 

The health effects are far reaching, from cardiovascular disease to hormone problems. This is because of the unnatural state of the water which causes bodily cycles to be disrupted and can cause catastrophic organ failure. 

RO systems and tanks are prone to bacteria growth if not cleaned regularly. This is not very practical as production would need to stop every few hours because RO water is the perfect environment for bacteria and viruses. At home, cleaning and maintenance becomes a chore and is discarded, letting bacteria grow. Bacteria can grow in RO water because it has a low pH, (typically 4-6.5) and due to the lack of minerals in the water, it is often treated with chlorine to kill bacteria and viruses which damages the RO membrane after prolonged use. The chlorine needs to be in 5 degrees Celsius water or less to be effective. This is because chlorine boils in water  more than 5 degrees celsius and evaporates. The chlorine effectiveness of un-chilled water will be from a few minutes to a few hours and only at treatment plants and bottling plants. This means during the water's journey in pipes from the treatment plant, it's completely unprotected and at the bottling plant, Chlorine will not be effective if the manufacturer hasn't spent the capital to chill the water for treatment, which is very expensive.       

Some bacteria, viruses, hormones, pathogens and other toxins are smaller than water molecules, therefore RO systems and other filters are ineffective if the water is contaminated. Basic pathogen tests indicate that the water in South Africa is contaminated in most provinces. Within major municipalities, where we would assume the water is safe to drink, we cannot find any test results for any pesticides , nitrites, hormones or pathogens. Main test results are of E. coli which is insufficient    

Sufficient evidence is now available to confirm the health consequences from drinking water deficient in calcium or magnesium. Many studies show that higher water magnesium is related to decreased risks for CVD and especially for sudden death from CVD. This relationship has been independently described in epidemiological studies with different study designs, performed in different areas, different populations, and at different times. The consistent epidemiological observations are supported by the data from autopsy, clinical, and animal studies. Biological plausibility for a protective effect of magnesium is substantial, but the specificity is less evident due to the multifactorial aetiology of CVD. In addition to an increased risk of sudden death, it has been suggested that intake of water low in magnesium may be associated with a higher risk of motor neuronal disease, pregnancy disorders (so-called preeclampsia), sudden death in infants, and some types of cancer. Recent studies suggest that the intake of soft water, i.e. water low in calcium, is associated with a higher risk of fracture in children, certain neurodegenerative 159 diseases, pre-term birth and low weight at birth and some types of cancer. Furthermore, the possible role of water calcium in the development of CVD cannot be excluded.


Cooking with RO water is not recommended. Due to the unstable water it leaches all the minerals , studies have shown more than 65% of nutrients and minerals will be drawn from the food into the water leaving the food with insufficient nutrients.

Some bottled water says "Spring Water"  but they are from a tap or they are from a spring but still undergo RO. The reason is the water quality is not good or the source is from a number of places. A good sign of RO water is the low TDS and low pH. Most RO bottled water including the office cooler type bottles have a TDS < 5. They are also proud and advertise this fact. Unfortunately the world is not regulating the usage of water correctly and large companies that bottle RO water are large purchases of bulk water so its economically sound for the governments. Underground water in major cities could be safe for drinking but the underlaying geological conditions are dependent on the source or boreholes close-by neighbours. Changes in ground water or geological structures from construction, pollution , sewage drains, sewage pits, polluted rivers, dumps, mining and industrial waste contaminate most major city's underground water. 

The solution has then been to treat the water with RO and then the water quality is standardised no matter the initial water quality being from ground water or tap water. Most of the time a single borehole will not be sufficient so tap water and other sources are found and RO is used to treat the water. 

Filtered Tap Water ? 

Some companies sell filtered tap water. This is better than RO water if the tap water is safe. Unfortunately tap water is subject to the local municipality and the local water pipe infrastructure. In South Africa most municipalities are in debt and no adequate maintenance has been done for the last 25 years so the quality of the tap water is very poor and is not tested for any major pathogens. If any significant testing is done,  its done at the treatment plant itself,  negating the fact of leaking, broken and old rusting pipes down the line to the consumer. Sediment filters and carbon block filters, even 0,5 micron filters, cannot filter nitrites and other toxic elements in the tap water.

RO can remove the following (Nitrites only at 87% leaving 13% in the water)

Typical Removal Rates for Thin-Film Composite Membranes

At 65 PSI Feed Pressure and 77 Degrees Temperature

Arsenic 94% Barium 99% Fluoride 93% Nitrates 87% Nitrites 87%
Asbestos 99% Cadmium 98% Lead 99% Radium 80% Hexavalent Chromium 86%
Cyanide 86% Copper 99% Mercury 91% Selenium 96% Trivalent Chromium 88%
 Source: 'Water Proccessing: Third Edition', Wes McGowan, Water Quality Association, 2001 


Small dosages of Nitrites cause a host of symptoms including severe problem in infants. One such diagnosis is  Methemoglobinemia in infant. 

read more here - http://psep.cce.cornell.edu/facts-slides-self/facts/nit-heef-grw85.aspx


Mineral Rich 



  Our water is very different let us show you how 

 - Ancient natural Artesian fountain

 - Protected Bio-Sphere - no mining, agricultural pesticides or manufacturing industries

 - Rich in mineral content from rock structure - dolomite and other mineral rocks contribute to the mineral content in the water 

- Rich in special minerals like calcium , magnesium , calcium carbonate, bicarbonate, silica and H2Si03. 

- High TDS ( total dissolved solids)

- High pH

- Filtration - the source is a natural artesian fountain, the source is pristine, protected and is tapped with a mono-pump fitted with stainless steel piping. First a quartz sand filter will remove any sediment present in the water. This could be microscopic sands that got past the stainless steel large particle mesh filter at the pumps and inlets. The water is stored in stainless steel holding tanks and further pumped to a 3 stage paper sediment filters.

At no stage does any minerals or goodness get removed from the water. The filters are purely there for sediment as the source is pristine in nature.

The water is then pumped through a high powered UV lamp as precautionary for bacteria and virus's. 

The bottles and caps are sterilised in a specially built dry heat sterilisers, using ozone, steam and Electron Beam (E-Beam) Radiation.

The water is tested daily and weekly at source and in the plant. More complex test are done at a 3rd part lab every month.     



- Calcium - Known benefits but need Magnesium fro good absorption and intake. A daily intake is necessary.    


- Magnesium - Known benefits but not commonly know is Magnesium and calcium have an extremely high absorption rate because it is living naturally in the water. A daily intake is necessary.   


- Silica - removes aluminium and other toxins from the body and especially the brain and is used as a treatment halt the effect of Alzheimer's



- Silica - is used extensively for beauty products. Gush Valley is high in Silca content.

Mineral water is said to be better for our skin because its high silica content strengthens the spongy cells in between collagen and elastin fibres, plumbs the skin and slows the formation of wrinkles. Which is why some women only drink such bottled water and even used them to wash themselves. And for the rich and famous, they can always indulge in the invigorating benefits of the natural mineral water springs and treatments that are available at upscale spas.

H2Si03 - Silicic Acid 

It helps to strengthen the connective tissues of the brain, nerve cells, and spinal cord thereby improving memory and helping to prevent memory loss. Silica also helps stabilise the pancreas's release of insulin! If you want your nails, skin, and hair to be healthy, turn to silica


Suffer from Heart Burn? 


 Calcium carbonate and bicarbonate 

- Calcium carbonate and bicarbonate are the main ingredients in most ant acid medication. There is  significant evidence that high pH water , pH of  8 or even higher 8.8 will denature pectins and alleviate heart burn. Drinking 2 - 4 litres of Gush everyday can reduce your ant acid medication to zero depending on your condition. 

Alkaline Water - pH 7.7- 8.4  

There have been numerous studies showing or proposing potential benefits of alkaline water. Acidic water with a pH of bellow 7 is not as good as a more basic pH above 7. Some acidic foods will react to form basic pH bi products in the stomach, water is not one of them. Even so, the research are not conclusive on pH, except drinking uncontaminated natural artesian mineral water is the most excellent water you can get.

At Gush Valley Natural Mineral Water , nature made it this way and we know thats the best !


Mineral Composition and pH can change slightly over the season. pH will change with temperature. pH 7.7-8.4