Importance of water
Water, although not a food in the since of yielding fuel value to the body, is a most important agent in all the various chemical process taking place in the tissues.
Water is the universal solvent; and because of this property, it carries both food and waste up and form the tissues. The average person needs from three to five quarts a day, a part of which is taken as a portion of the food eaten. This leaves from three to five pints to be taken as a drink. Good drinking water should be colorless, odorless and of an agreeable taste; should be free from organic matter, poisonous metals, and the bacteria of disease; and should be low in nonpoisonous mineral salts-that is, should be reasonably soft.
There are three common classes of water that are used for drinking purposes: Namely, rain water, surface water and ground water. Rain water is the purest if properly collected. Surface water-water from lakes, streams,etc. — is most likely to be contaminated with organic matter and bacteria. Ground water- that is water from springs and wells- is likely to be the hardest, but is usually free from bacteria of disease unless there is some contamination from the surface. To take a fairly good quantity of water between meals is better than to drink too freely at the meal hour.
Great care should be taken in selecting the supply of drinking water, as when contaminated, it is a very fruitful means for the transmission of diseases, particularly such diseases as typhoid fever. If not certain of the purity of a water supply, one can be sure to destroy all the disease- producing bacteria by boiling the water for a few minutes, then cooking, than drinking as usual.