Influx of stomach bugs as Auckland’s water quality drops

Cases of a waterborne bug which causes diarrhoea and nausea are rising across Auckland.
The rise in illness comes amid growing concerns around the water quality of Auckland beaches and rivers.
* West Auckland beaches top blacklist list of filthy swimming spots * Don’t go near the water: health warnings at more than 30 Auckland beaches after heavy rain * Auckland beach residents complain of foul smell after summer storm During periods of heavy rainfall, an often pungent mixture of sewage and stormwater is pumped out onto the city’s beaches as an emergency measure to prevent it overflowing onto private property.
In November, eight west Auckland beaches were blacklisted by Auckland Council’s water quality monitoring system Safeswim.
ARPHS medical officer of health David Sinclair said over the last couple of years cases of gastroenteritis had moderately increased across the region in the week following heavy rain.
Scientists from ARPHS, Watercare, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Auckland Council and the University of Auckland are looking at research and ways of analysing infection rates to identify possible causes, he said.
The investigation look at water contamination in streams, low-lying and coastal areas from run-off and whether there is sewage contamination of stormwater, he said.
An Auckland Council spokesman said it had always discouraged swimming 48 hours after any major storm.
The council has committed $6 billion towards water infrastructure over the next 20 years.
– Stuff

Bottled water: The importance of pH

What is pH level?
Can water alone do it?
By staying hydrated and drinking a lot of water, the kidneys are able to excrete the acids better.
They will indirectly affect the buffering mechanisms of the body, and therefore also affect the body’s pH.
Once alkaline water enters your stomach, your body simply pours in greater amounts of acid to neutralize it, they say.
It is important to establish the difference between the acidity or alkalinity (pH level) of one’s body, meaning the pH of one’s blood, and the acidity of one’s stomach.
The human body’s acidity level (the acidity of the blood) is not, in any way, affected by the pH level of the stomach or the pH of what is eaten or drunk.
The following is how each buffering system gets rid of the excessive acid in a nutshell: • The lungs get rid of the acids by converting acid into Carbon Dioxide, which we simply breathe out • The kidneys combine the acids with Bicarbonate and excrete the excessive acids through the urine • The blood, which has high a concentration of proteins, combines them with the acids, and this keeps the pH in the normal range Is the human stomach in mainly an acidic environment as the gastric juices are acidic?
Hence, sparkling waters are mildly acidic (pH level is between 6-7).
Some bottled water brands in UAE and their pH and sodium levels