Can you drink water out of Lake Ontario?
UPDATE: My father has just told me about a process or method called Tyndallization, which was used to sterilize medical instruments if nothing else is available. How it works is you boil water on three consecutive days for 15 minutes. "It was the old way of doing it," says Dad. Even that kills only 80 to 90 per cent, of whatever is floating in the water, he says.
I drank water out of Lake Ontario. Not directly from the lake, there was boiling and filtering involved, but it was still a bit of a bizarre experience. The short story about the process and final tasting is here.
Before I started out I was able to get some very sound advice from Shawn Cleary, a professor at Humber College in the civil engineering technology program.
Cleary, who does not advocate drinking lake water, is a huge fan of our municipal water filtration and sterilization standards. Our tap water is some of the best in the country, he notes.
I also do not advocate drinking lake water. Stick to tap water if you can or be sure to stock up on enough clean water to last you at least 72 hours in case the taps turn off.
Part of our talk about what I would want to do with lake water before I tried to drink it was related to a water-borne disease and related intestinal condition known as Beaver Fever caused by a parasite called giardia.
Of course contact with lake water is no guarantee that you are going to come down with the hilariously named but certainly miserable condition. But I only mention it because I transported my water from the lake to my apartment in a vintage glass top jar.
I picked the container for its looks but it has no seal -- something I discovered immediately after I began walking north from the docks at Rees St. towards my Richmond St. apartment. Lost quite a bit of lake water on the trip home.
So anyone who came down with Beaver Fever after travelling on the King W. streetcar between Spadina Ave. and Simcoe St. on Thursday morning around 8:20 a.m. please accept my apology. I would also like to suggest that now may be a good time to rethink how you approach hand hygiene.