There’s no easy way to say it: even the most purified, filtered, treated drinking water is still going to have bacteria and microbes in it. Not just a few. Millions, or hundreds of millions. But don’t get grossed out quite yet. As anyone who enjoys a cup of yogurt for breakfast probably knows, there are good bacteria and bad bacteria. Researchers at the University of Michigan have been working on a way to make sure that we get more of the good and less of the bad the next time we hydrate. Part of the proposed solution? Monitoring and modifying water’s pH level to one more favorable for the good types of bacteria to propagate, which in turn severely reduces the “resources” in the water that the bad bacteria can feed on.
The benefits don’t stop there. Good types of bacteria can actually do some of the work for us. For instance, some microorganisms can convert the contaminant nitrate into harmless nitrogen gas. Temperature adjustments and filter cleaning methods have also been tinkered with to continue fighting the war on water contaminants not with brute force, but with ingenuity and careful analysis. OK, you still might not feel 100% comfortable with this much knowledge. Luckily, out of sight can still be out of mind. And you can rest easy knowing that somewhere, someone continues to work toward the cleanest water possible.