In part 1 and part 2 of this guide we covered the toxins in Singapore’s water supply and whether these are significant enough to cause detrimental damage to your health. If you concluded that they do then part 3 is the definitive guide for you on exactly how to reduce your exposure and optimise your health from your choice of drinking water or water filter.
The perfect water source
For hundreds of thousands of years we drank water from natural aquifers, mountains streams and springs. Before the industrial age the world was largely free of toxins and unpolluted so these natural water sources would have provided us with water that was both full of essential minerals (such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus), structured and with a natural pH of around 7.0. It may have contained small amounts of bacteria and parasites but these would have likely provided us with hormetic doses that would have strengthened our immune systems. We’re going to use this ancestral perspective to judge the following modern alternatives below using the four criteria of (1) Mineral Rich - how many beneficial minerals are dissolved in the water, (2) Natural pH - how much the water deviates from a natural pH of 7.0 in either direction, (3) Structured - how much the water resembles the structure of water occurring naturally in the environment and (4) Toxicity - how many harmful toxins are in the water.
If you go to www.findaspring.com then you’ll find the best source of waters in the world. Many spa towns with famous healing locations are built around these natural springs where the water bubbles up from rocks deep underground and comes infused with an abundance of minerals. There isn’t one in Singapore unfortunately.
If you live in the Himalayas and you know there isn’t a chemical plant up stream or a small village that pipes it’s sewage straight in then this would be the second best choice. Slightly less mineral rich than springs and possibly more toxins from the environment.
Did you know?
Energised or structured water is water that has been activated to permanently hold a negative voltage. Water structuring occurs in nature when water is allowed to move in a natural flow of vortexes. Most wild rivers and springs produce structured water in the presence of sunlight energy and natural biological conditions. Rainwater is in an energised, negative voltage form before it hits the ground, air particles (eg, smog) or a surface. Some spring waters are also energised through contact with magnetic forces in the groundwater rock strata. Conventional science says that water is just H2O and can exist in 3 phases or states, ie. liquid, gas (water vapour) and solid (ice). Recent science says that water can be in a fourth phase or state and it is H3O2. This fourth phase is called the exclusion zone (EZ) because this water excludes things profoundly, including small molecules such as toxins. It's still a relatively new topic of study but the theory is that structured water is far more healthy for our bodies than unstructured water. For example in this study on mice, last year, they conclude, “These results strongly suggest that structured water helps the activities of normal cells while suppressing those of malignant cells.” which is encouraging research.
A summary of water sources and filters available in Singapore
Obviously drinking water from mountain streams and natural aquifers in not really possible in Singapore where we’re more likely to be presented with a bottle of warm Dasani from the local hawker centre guy. So what are our alternatives? We list them out here using the four criteria described above.
Mineral Water: Glass Bottles
Bottled water can come in 3 different types; mineral water, spring water and drinking water. Mineral water is generally from natural water sources and lakes such as Evian, Vittel and Volvic. It can come in glass or plastic bottles. You can tell how many minerals are in your bottled water by looking at the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) on the back. The best quality mineral waters will always have a TDS of at least 300. A lot of fancy mineral water such as VOSS have a pathetically low TDS. Nice bottle, nice marketing but it’s a gimmick as you’d need to drink 3 times as much in order to get the same amount of minerals as Evian and you might even find drinking that much washes minerals out of your body quicker than you can absorb them! Glass is inert and will have no negative impact on the quality of your water. With regards to structuring it is structured when it comes from the source but then can lose its structure whilst sitting in the bottle for months. Sticking it in the fridge for a few days or vortexing it can help. As a separate note sparkling water is often mineral water with CO2 added. This makes the water very acidic, the minerals less absorbable and can actually be dehydrating – its better than drinking coke but it’s not really health promoting.
Spring Water: Glass Bottles
Bottled spring water should have the same benefits as mineral water it's just from a different source. They don’t tend to be mass produced however and you don't see them much in the shops, however in spa towns, and those with a popular aquifer, you can often find the spring water bottled and sold locally.
Mineral Water: Plastic Bottles
Mineral water kept in plastic bottles is a different story. Plastics leach parabens, phthalates, BPAs and BPSs into your drinking water. These toxic compounds have been shown to mimic estrogen and cause endocrine disruptions in both women and men. In reality for women think things like painful or irregular menstruation, fertility issues, stress and thyroid problems. In men think gynecomastia or man boobs! Bottles irradiated on ships, left in hot climates or left for a long time in the bottle are the worst offenders. If you must drink water from plastic bottles then use a brand that has a high turnover, like Evian, which is the 3rd most popular bottled water in Singapore. Also water from large plastic bottles, such as those used in dispensers should be better as there is less surface area coming in contact with the water - as long as they have not been left sitting around in Singapore's hot sun of course!
This is usually just bottled tap water and always sold in plastic bottles. Dasani is tap water from Malaysia that’s bottle by Coca Cola and often labelled as “mineral water” at the hawker centre. It’s also very acidic with a pH of 6.45 when we tested it with a pH pen. Added to that, it's stored in plastic, soI would put it right at the bottom of the list and worse than tap water. Ice Mountain is also bottled Malaysian tap water.
Tap water is really one of the most toxic water sources because it has all the contaminants from our environment along with a bunch of others added to it. On the plus side, however, there are normally some minerals in it and the pH of Singapore’s tap water is good at 7.2 to 7.4. Tap water also has some structure because it develops it as it flows through the pipes of a municipal water supply system. If it was toxic free I would think it's fine to drink. On the plus side it's better than cheap drinking waters, like those mentioned above.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Reverse Osmosis is the king of removing toxins from your water. It forces the water through a tiny membrane under high pressure using an electric pump. This is the only filtration system that can remove almost all of the fluoride which is a very small particle (removing chlorine is relatively easily). The problem with RO is that it also removes all the minerals, completely un-structures the water and is very acidic. Why? Because pure H2O is very absorbent and when it comes out of your tap it reacts with the CO2 in the air and forms carbonic acid in the water normally ending up with a pH of about 5.85. That doesn't mean that the idea of a RO filter should be abandoned entirely as long as it's used properly...see below in our conclusions for the best way to incorporate RO water into your life should you wish.
Alkaline water filters are pretty popular in Singapore. The idea being that our poor diets causes us to be too acidic in our bodies so we “hack” our water, to make it more alkaline to bring them back into balance. There are a couple of major problems here. The first being that we should be addressing the root causes of our acidity: namely too much sugar/grains and processed dead food in the diet. Secondly in order to alkalinise the water it is passed over titanium plates. This can introduce heavy metal toxicity into the water. The last thing to consider is that alkaline water is far more absorbable which would normally be great however but in this case if you are alkalinising your tap water using a counter top filter then you’re going to be sucking those heavy metals, chlorine and fluoride straight into your organs at a faster rate than normal!
Counter Top Filters
There are a whole range of Countertop Water Filters in Singapore and along with the large bottle dispensers they are pretty popular. And really each one would need to be analysed separately to see what kind of filtration systems it uses which would determine how to rank them. Some filter just the chlorine which is pretty easy to do but a good start. Some have sediment filters which are pretty pointless because there’s very little in Singapore water. Some use UV filters that are awesome at removing bacteria but totally pointless because the government pumps chlorine into the water to do that job. Some have charcoal filters which we like – see below. And some even have special fluoride filters. You really need to do your research on all of this as the full range is from totally rubbish -> ok -> not bad. We have some research in the table below to give you an idea of how thorough we were when looking for these types of filter. In the end we didn't really like any of them but if you are doing your own research we highly recommend asking the supplier for evidence of whether their particular filter filters out the toxins that most concern you.
Whole house filters
Whole house filters are generally huge carbon blocks that pass all of the water that comes out of your taps through a massive carbon filter. Carbon, which is just burnt wood, is hugely absorbant and has a massive surface area. It is fantastic at absorbing toxins which is why if you poison yourself and go to the hospital they give you a bunch of charcoal tablets to swallow. It is great at filtering chlorine, not bad at heavy metals and just ok at filtering fluoride. The advantage with carbon is that, unlike RO, it doesn’t filter out the beneficial minerals in the water or unstructure it. It's also totally natural so you are definitely not introducing new toxins into your water supply. You can also get carbon counter top filters. All carbon filters need to be replaced after a while. We like this one the best out of all the filtering mechanisms.
The best solutions in Singapore for drinking water
So as you can see from our overview of different methods of drinking water there is no real perfect practical solution. What do we do?
Well we installed the Rhino 300 at the Levitise studio (see picture below) to filter out all of the water in the showers and the bathrooms. This is important because chlorine, when heated up in shower water, and mixed with organic compounds produces trihalomethanes which is incredibly toxic when inhaled and something you definitely want to avoid. A lot of the research into this area has been done on the effect trihalomethanes have on unborn fetuses so it has some serious scrutiny by medical researchers. Whilst this carbon filtered water is perfectly good for drinking we prefer glass bottled mineral water so we stock up on tons of that from RedMart.
Another option is to use RO water and restructure and remineralise it. How do you do that? Well you first need to ensure that your RO water doesn’t take on too much CO2 and form carbonic acid when it comes out of the RO faucet. So first you fill a quarter of a container with bottled mineral water and then ensure that you fill the rest of the container directly from the RO faucet. You then need to add minerals back in so you can use some trace minerals drops (bought from iherb) and/or a little celtic sea salt or himalayan rock salt (no this is not bad for your blood pressure: www.levitise.com.sg/high-blood-pressure-singapore). Then if you have a large container like a 3 litre ball mason jar you can “vortex” the water by stirring it for 2 minutes with a large spoon and then sticking it in the fridge overnight to structure it further. There are structured water filters on the market but they need to be imported from overseas and the science on them is very new. It might be worth exploring if you have a serious disease that needs managing however.
So there you have it. A concise, black and white answer, as clear as mud! Look we know it's not easy to strive for perfect health but what we feel is important to do here is to educate you as much as possible so that you can go out and make your own decisions about what’s best for your and your families health. Do what you feel is the most comfortable and whatever you do don’t stress about it!
The Levitise Team
P.S. If you love this blog post then do check out our fortnightly newsletter where you'll get the freshest content on health, nutrition and fitness delivered straight to your inbox. Don't miss out and sign up here with just your name and email.
Write a comment
Jasmine (Tuesday, 06 August 2019 04:34)
Does this mean you don’t need a table TOP water filter after boiling water? What does boiling water do to minerals?
Alex (Tuesday, 06 August 2019 05:35)
Hi Jasmine - boiling water just kills bacteria. But there's no need to do that because there's enough chlorine in the water to kill the bacteria anyhow. Boiling water has virtually no affect on the mineral content of the water.
Alice (Sunday, 15 September 2019 19:06)
Hi, great article - exactly what I was looking for, but what about when we need hot water for coffee or cooking? What is your recommendation? I was very tempted to buy one of those water system because it yields cold and hot waters more than anything - instead of the hassle of using fridge to chill or boiling litres of water daily.
Alex (Wednesday, 18 September 2019 19:00)
Hi Alice, if you're using a lot of water for cooking and making hot drinks you ideally want a filter that pre filters all the water in your kitchen. I don't know of any all-in-one hot water dispensers that filter adequately + restructure the water + boil it.
Lionel (Monday, 25 November 2019 03:20)
Hi Alice, Thanks for the useful information , can advise me which brand of counter top water filter would you recommend in Singapore to be use at home . Thanks
Alex Levitise (Monday, 25 November 2019 21:59)
Hi Lionel - there are so many and we have not done a comprehensive review of all of them. It really depends on your objectives. Are you looking to filter out 100% of all toxins or just some of them? How much effort are you willing to put in remineralising and restructuring the water afterwards? How much space do you have? How much do you want to spend? So many things to consider. What I use is glass bottled mineral water mixed with RO water then remineralised with celtic sea salt and structured by vortexing and refrigeration at 4 degrees.
Matias Lim (Saturday, 18 April 2020 10:45)
Hi, thanks for the great article. There is ro+structured alkaline mineral+hydrogen+small molecule water available here in sin. CORAL PURE NATURAL. The first company that do that. Www.coralpurenatural.sg
Ang (Friday, 01 May 2020 07:32)
Fully agree with this great Article.
The premium 8++ from Coral Pure is best I can find in market sin & globally. Also it has a lot positive users’ reviews from its RO alkaline hydrogen mineral water. Naturally structured and with video showing the water test on ph, antioxidants, small molecules etc. yes I have been using it for past 12 mths and I see health improvement. Also the 8++ taste is also extremely soft n smooth, with natural sweetness and yes is better than Evian, Fiji. After tasted most expensive alkaline water brands in sin, mostly can’t match the smoothness of Evian or Fiji.
Note: There is also artificial alkaline water aka electrolysis alkaline ionizer which can cause adverse effect to health as there is no mineral corresponding to its alkaline level. I used to have 1 that cost $3000. It taste is really bad when set at high ph (9+) No health improvement after years of drinking. High running cost.
Ang (Friday, 01 May 2020 07:37)
In addition, fluoride is something we need to remove. Majority of brand can’t. Except those with ro filtration. coral pure website mentioned 90% fluoride removal due to its RO filtration.
Alex (Monday, 18 May 2020 03:47)
Hi Ang - how is the water "naturally" structured? How to prove it?
Ang (Monday, 13 July 2020 06:24)
Hi Alex, base on my understanding. A properly structured water should have small cluster size molecules which can be tested via liquide test kit.
If we are using pure ro water and added with liquide mineral or salt, there is no small cluster sizes water molecules.
The coral pure system comes with neg ion hydrogen filters which energize n break molecules. I saw their demo comparing ro alkaline water vs their ro alkaline mineral hydrogen water.
I think the small molecules liquide test kit can be available via following link from ezbuy:
小分子水测试剂小分子团检测试剂水质活力活性检测 10ML装升级版&ezspm=2.30000004.33.0.share+other https://m.ezbuy.sg/product/51000344981839.html
Alex (Thursday, 23 July 2020 01:34)
I think the only way to test for structured water is to use a Gas Discharge Visualization Machine
Sunita Sabherwal (Saturday, 25 July 2020 02:06)
Hi Alex could you share the brand of glass bottled mineral water you use from Redmart. Also recently came across an article which mentioned traces of pesticides found in Evian. Any thoughts on that? Thank you.
Alex (Tuesday, 28 July 2020 00:49)
Hi Sunita - we use Acqua Panna and order directly from Culina using a wholesale account. It's clean but thin (low TDS) so I always remineralise with deep sea salt mined 2000 ft below sea level for minimal sodium, maximum nutrients and minimal toxins. Evian has a higher TSD but it's 3x the cost if you buy it in glass bottles.
I think it's very hard to find any pesticide or chemical free water in the world - whether that's a natural spring, aquifer, mountain water or whatever - it's all polluted. We just have to do the best we can.
Lejia (Wednesday, 16 September 2020 02:21)
What about distillation or buying distilled water? Expensive but still cheaper than glass bottles I think. Makes 100% pure water. I want to make a DIY distiller with just a kettle and some plumbing pipes submerged in a cooling waterbath. I know some will say distilled water "leaches minerals" from your body but that is easily mitigated with remineralisation, or simply eating food with salt / other minerals, or supplementing. Thanks for the thorough article series.
Alex (Wednesday, 16 September 2020 20:09)
Hi Lejia - I would apply the same principles for using RO water to distilled water. It might be worth investigating whether distilling water also de-structures the water if so it would need to be restructured again. And for sure it would definitely need to be remineralised. It's not enough to get minerals from food alone it needs to be in the water in order for you absorb it at a cellular level. Easy to test: drink a fixed amount of water throughout the day and note how often you pee. Do the same with distilled water.
Veronica (Friday, 27 November 2020 21:57)
Hello Alex, such great article.
I've got a Kangen machine at home, wondering if that is a brand you have looked into yet?
Would love to hear your thoughts.
Jan wu (Wednesday, 17 March 2021 08:03)
Thanks for the comprehensive breakdown on different characteristics of water.
A properly structure ro+ alkaline mineral water taste smoother and easier to drink when compare with normal ro mineral water as well as spring water which is not properly structured and absence in small molecules.
I’ve done many researches about water and I've found a local brand (CORAL PURE) which has really good filtration system using RO And restructuring of its water. I’ve been drinking for almost a year. It has help me through my poor health in tackling my diabetes and hypertension.
After 8mths of drinking and my medical report appear to be good! All my high indexes has dropped to almost normal.
Fran T (Wednesday, 17 March 2021 09:22)
Very insightful article, my home used to have a system that uses titanium plates to create alkaline water, and I personally think that it wasn't useful in making the water any better as there was still an odour to the water during the "pandan taste water" situation that was in the news few months back.
Thereafter, I've been researching around for a good system to replace my previous one. There's many brands around these days and reading through your article, it's very useful to let me know that most of these brands actually aren't able to fully/optimally remove most of the impurities in the water, especially fluoride - something that majority of the countries worldwide have banned from using for their water treatment.
I've also came across Coral Pure, and have seen the many testimonials given by their customers, mostly with medical conditions and of an older age group. I must say that I'm impressed with what I've seen from their Facebook page and website so far, they have a total of 8 filters, and most of their customers experience health improvements in just a short span of months!
Perhaps you could do a coverage of this brand and also on some of the other more popular brands to let us be more well-informed and updated on what's good for us and our families? Thanks!
TTC (Wednesday, 17 March 2021 10:06)
A good understanding and write up about the different types of drinking water that makes the difference. Just to share a bit about my opinion here.
I'm Malaysian who worked in Singapore who worked about 7 years, drinking water need a proper water filtration is a norm in Malaysia, however, I had been told that Singapore tap water is safe to drink directly from the tap. I strongly agreed with what the writer wrote about the tap water contamination, it's unable to solve by just boiling water. Personally feel the taste is so much different.
I come to know about Coral Pure when I do research for my company water purifier to replace the blue gallon water which having bad taste to me. I come across to the system is able to cater for 10,000 liter per year and it's suitable for office usages without changing the filters within months, The system is having all big size filter for big capacity which a few of the big brand unbale to do so.
Strongly recommend fCoral Pure 8++ or the great health improvement.
Carrie (Monday, 14 February 2022 02:38)
Thank you! Now I have a good idea of knowing water by the 4 elements. I have always been interested to drink good water for health, and dislike drinking unfiltered water wand indeed over the years I have encountered many different strong marketing on water filters that say they can do this and that and I have no clue what is good for me. My mum is often against buying filtration systems as she think it is pure marketing gimmicks and nobody ever dies from drinking Tap water and whatever the government say and do is always right. Now that I am living on my own, I quickly purchased a simple filtration system (I was told it is use in major hospitals in Spore). After reading your article, I went to see what was written on the filtration kit (by H2O International Inc.. oops US company). It says it removes chlorine, Thm's. PCb's and contaminants, remove lead, mercury, arsenic. magnesium, bacteria, algae, fungi... no mention of Fluoride. I texted the shop owner to ask about the removal of fluoride (he who has been working with water systems and done research on water for loads of years, says that this is NSF61 and conform with highest standards). He did not answer my question whether it can remove fluoride.
After I filtered the water, I use another jug that I purchased that supposedly has the ability to structure the water to very small molecules (very trendy these days with many different source promoting health benefits after drinking). In fact my nose and skin allergies did go away after I drinking structured water from this process. My husband also often sneezes when there is dust, also sneezes less. Prior to buying this, I use the method of putting my water in a copper jug for a day to stabilize the molecules ( I learn from Sadhguru youtube )
Of course I must say that my allergies got almost well when I refrain from eating junk, when I go through a diet program that emphasize on eating right. Aside water, food is therefore very important, as highlighted in Levitise articles on toxic food.
I would be happy if Alex you could enlighten on :
1) Does it help putting water in copper jug?
2) Does making water molecules smaller helps? Is it the same as your type of structuring?
3) Does NSF61 means anything?
4) Since Fluoride removal is not mentioned on the filtration kit, means it is not removed? It is using just carbon filter it seems.
Hope to hear from you back.
Alex (Monday, 14 February 2022 19:43)
Hi Carrie - thanks for your feedback
1) Does it help putting water in copper jug? Best not - copper is toxic
2) Does making water molecules smaller helps? Is it the same as your type of structuring? I'm not sure you can make the water molecules smaller. RO forces out all the molecules that are larger than the H20 molecules including fluoride.
3) Does NSF61 means anything? It's a US regulation that says "it's safe" if it comes into contact with water.
4) Since Fluoride removal is not mentioned on the filtration kit, means it is not removed? It is using just carbon filter it seems. Correct - maybe some of the fluoride will be removed but certainly not all. And it's difficult to know how much as there are so many variables.
Ang (Monday, 19 September 2022 06:46)
Hi Alex, may I ask if this Premium 9 consider highly structured water. It passes all tests under 100 degrees heating, including small cluster size molecules, antioxidant, pH
Alex (Tuesday, 20 September 2022 02:54)
Well they claim it's structured on their website. But can they prove it?