Editor Greg Ettling hands out some news you can use in his "For Openers" column.

The results of a study to be published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveal that drinking high amounts of plain water is as important as exercise, diet or not smoking in preventing coronary heart disease. If you're in the business of providing people with quality water systems, this is another arrow in your quiver.

In a recent 12-month period, nearly 530,000 Americans died from coronary heart disease. More than half of them had no previous symptoms of heart disease. Drinking high levels of water can significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, say researchers at Loma Linda University, who conducted this first-ever study on the correlation between high water intake and lowered coronary heart disease.

"Basically, not drinking enough water can be as harmful to your heart as smoking," warns Dr. Jacqueline Chan, principle investigator and lead author of the article. The team found that California Seventh-day Adventists who drink five or more glasses of plain water a day have a much lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared to those who drink less than two glasses per day.

The study, "Water, Other Fluids, and Fatal Coronary Heart Disease," indicates that whole blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, hematocrit and fibrinogen, which are considered independent risk factors for coronary heart disease, can be elevated by dehydration.

The water study is part of the original Adventist Health Study, which began in 1973.

The results from this study show that by drinking more plain water, healthy people -- without any history of heart disease, stroke or diabetes -- reduced their risk of dying from a heart attack by half or more. This is as much or more than if they had adopted any other well-known preventive measure, including stopping smoking and lowering cholesterol levels, increasing exercise or maintaining ideal weight.

While not as glamorous, the degree of benefit from drinking plain water surpasses that of drinking a moderate amount of alcohol intake and aspirin with none of the adverse side effects (social or physiological). Because drinking more plain water is a simple lifestyle change that anybody can do, this simple practice has the potential of saving tens of thousands of lives each year with minimal cost.

Neither total fluid intake nor intake of other fluids combined showed this reduced risk. Instead, for women, high intake (five or more glasses a day) of other fluids showed a greatly increased risk of coronary heart disease. "People need to be made aware that there is a difference, at least for heart health, whether they get their fluids from plain water or from sodas," says Chan.

Consider using this information as a good excuse to freshen up your sales and marketing kits. Awareness is high; those providing useful information will benefit greatly.

You Said It

In a recent survey on this Web site, we asked you to tell us about the competition in your markets. According to your responses, most markets are getting tighter, making it even more important for you to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

"In the past five years, competition in your market has . . . "

  • increased sharply -- 32%

  • increased somewhat -- 29%

  • stayed the same -- 25%

  • decreased somewhat -- 8%

  • decreased sharply -- 6%

To better position your firm in a more competitive environment, check out some interesting marketing ideas in the article, "Stand Out and Succeed" found on page 32.

The survey currently up asks how many drill rigs have you purchased in the past five years. See what the numbers are so far and add your response to the total. There also is an expanded rig survey on the homepage, and we invite you to tell us a little about your firm's rigs there.

For You Linksters

Whether you're a scratch player or just a duffer, we'd like to see you at the annual Jubilee Golf Tournament, Sunday, July 28, at the Myrtle Beach National-Southcreek Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Held in conjunction with the South Atlantic Well Drillers' 47th Annual Jubilee, this fun and relaxing event is co-sponsored by your friends at the Water Systems Council and National Driller magazine. This will be a great way to spend the day and share some fun with fellow drilling industry players.

The shotgun start for this modified best-ball tournament will be at 8:30 a.m. Sign-in starts at 7:30 a.m., with payment due at the golf course. The $30 entry charge covers greens fee, cart, lunch and tournament/door prizes.

You can register as a two-person team or as an individual. Space is limited to the first 124 players, so get registered early. Just fax a note to 850-482-4818, or mail it to National Driller, Attn: Jubilee Golf, P.O. Box 6167, Marianna, Fla. 32447. For any additional information, telephone Dean Laramore at 800-874-4245, or Lauri Rice at 202-625-4387.