Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reaction to SamDaSoo Bottled Water (Seoul)

Almost 3 years ago I had problems with drinking tap water (Korean President Lee Myung-bak has been trying to get more people to drink tap water because Korean tap water is now "safe", I guess unlike in former times when Korea was a third world country with parasites and serious water-borne disease outbreaks. There is huge governmental marketing for Arisu, the tap water that has been bottled for people's convenience). Anyway, I was stupidly drinking the water in my house and was feeling awful, not realizing the problem was coming from the tap water until one day the insides of my cheeks, every time I even sipped the water, would pinch and give me weird facial feelings. Needless to say, I quit drinking tap water!

So then I started ordering bottled water, or carrying one or two 1.5 liter bottles of filtered water from my office on weekdays. However, this January I wasn't working any university programs so what was the point of going to the university, which means, no more filtered water. Because my immune system was still shot from the tap water (and too much coffee with tap water - a double stupid!), I only drink water - no juice, no milk or soymilk, only water. I was drinking about 1 1/2 of the 1.5 liter bottles of water a day ... and then I started reacting to that too! Since January I've been having awful headaches, something I just don't have. Weird. They've steadily been getting worse, except for the two weeks when I went to the states for a brief vacation. No headaches whatsoever, but they returned shortly after returning to Korea.

Then my hands and arms started going numb. I couldn't figure it out ... until I didn't drink water for a few hours (got busy) and when I picked up the bottle to drink, suddenly numbness descended on my hands and arms. It was the water! SamDaSoo to be exact! I had just bought a case of Seoksu 1.5 liter bottles so two hours later, I drank some Seoksu ... and the same thing happened! Well, no more bottled water!!! I bought a Brita filter from Costco, but that filter takes tap water and I've already had way too many problems with that, so I stopped using it. It didn't seem to help that much anyway, even though I was filtering my tap water through it  twice. Used that thing only a few days, but my conclusion is ... useless. Since, I've been back to carrying filtered water every day from my office while looking for a reverse osmosis water filtering system that I feel is reliable.

Anyway, I posted on Facebook my reaction to the bottled water and a friend responded that her husband had a precipitator, a machine for testing water purity. She invited me over to see how it's used, so on our way to her house, we picked up a new bottle of SamDaSoo at a local store and then went to her house to test it against her water from her reverse-osmosis Chungho water purifier. (I specifically wanted to test the SamDaSoo because for the past several weeks, that is the water I've been pouring into my body.)

SamDaSoo bottled water vs. Chungho reverse osmosis water

To use the precipitator for best results, the water needs to be at room temperature. If it's cold, the results won't be accurate as the activating prongs need to heat up the water to room temp before the actual testing may begin. If water is contaminated, the water continues to heat up based on the number of minutes the precipitator is set at. We set the precipitator timer for 5 minutes but in less than 45 seconds a clear difference in the quality of water between the bottled SamDaSoo (left) and the reverse osmosis Chungho water (right) was obvious! If the water is relatively uncontaminated as the Chungho water appears, then the water does not heat up much beyond room temperature ... and the Chungho water didn't, whereas the SamDaSoo was getting steadily warmer, and very steadily grosser, Grosser, GROSSER!

The printout for diagnosis of the quality of water based on its color after using the electrolosis devise was in Korean so I had to bring it home to translate.

YELLOW - nutrition (amino acids, organic minerals, 용존oxygen, pure water molecules), nature-born organic matter

WHITE - lead, zinc, mercury/quicksilver

BLUE - copper pipe rust, arsenic, mercury/quicksilver, lead, copper, sodium/natrium

BLUE - germs/bacterium, carcinogenic natural matter, gas

RED - iron/steel bacterium, rust water, iron water

BLACK - heavy metals (zinc, lead, copper, chromium, phenol/carbolic acid, manganese, etc)

YELLOW is the indicator for water registering contaminants under 10ppm and therefore is safe to drink.

Analysis of SamDaSoo Water

Now based on the 5-min electrical activation of the SamDaSoo water as shown here, the colors of the water do not appear to fall anywhere near the safe zone. In fact, very far from it! The water had a scum on top of it that seems to fall under "BLACK" which signifies heavy metals. The water itself is white and colorless. That seems good from a lay-person perspective, and it better! since the bottle has a 2-year stamp for company-considered safe shelf life. But yikes when you consider it! Is the company so confident that no bacterium is in the water and will grow in those 2 years?!?! And just WHAT did they do to the water that would give them such company-product confidence? But now to analyze the "WHITE" - lead, zinc, mercury. OK, we're talking heavy metals a-g-a-i-n!!!!! Or maybe we could call the water under the black scum as "CLEAR" which would mean that it is clear of all nutritional elements like amino acids, oxygen and natural organic molecules. Either way,  not a good analysis.

Now if we were to analyze this a bit closer, we could cross-compare the disgusting water results with that from a Ionic Detox Foot Bath, which also uses some kind of electrolysis. Foam is not mentioned at all on the chart above but white foam did appear on the SamDaSoo water. What does this signify? And do the two electrolysis tools have overlap in what the gross water appearance tells of the chemical make-up of what is in the water? Hmmm ...


  1. What did you end up doing for your personal water consumption purposes?

  2. I was going to order an RO filter, but those filters in Korea seem somehow inferior with all their plastic tubing, etc. - very cheaply made! Importing one from the states would be half the price and definitely much better quality ... but then I'm renting and moving often. So I buy bottled water from Costo, which has to follow strict border-crossing tests, and I also use filtered water ONLY from banks,schools, etc that high traffic for keeping the water lines from stagnating and are frequently cleaned by steam cleaning. And both sources are working well. It just means I have to carry water, but I'm used to it.

  3. How was filtered University water any different than using the Brita?

    1. I had huge reactions to both SamDaSoo and Brita - there was just no difference than drinking tap water. The filtered water at the university and in public places where there's a lot of waterflow (which probably keeps the lines cleaner of stagnation) and which get a lot of regular cleaning are my "watering stations". I don't react to those waters. With the Brita "purification" system, I might as well be drinking tap water.