WTF is Vortex Water?

May 19, 2021

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Pseudoscience

There’s a website in New Zealand promoting "Vortex Water (opens new window)". The front page of the site starts by saying:

"Natures Design's revisited today and everyday....Billions of years of proven and valued evolution. Gifting us the true benefits of restructured water and natural evolution in our life that it was designed to share."

The idea behind the site is that water moving in circles is good, but in straight lines is bad:

"In nature, water on it's journey in a mountain stream twists and turns over rocks, always returning to circular or orbital motion. Constantly regaining it's power and vitality to reinvigorate us and nature. In today’s world we force water through straight pipes with hard bends after thrashing it through a centrifugal pump; leaving it lifeless. Then we add chemicals to make our water safe to drink."

I have to say that, as a Grammar Nazi, the website really hurt my head. David Baillie, who appears to be behind this venture, is one of the worst spellers I’ve had the displeasure of reading for a long time.

But more seriously, as is so often the case with these silly ideas there’s a "pioneer" who has paved the way, understanding reality in a way that has thus far eluded science - in this case, a man called Viktor Schauberger (opens new window). Viktor was apparently big on biomimicry, the concept of using ideas from nature to design mechanical systems. His work has supposedly inspired several companies around the world to create products that swirl water.

Of course, this website isn’t just there to help us - the website links to products (opens new window) we can buy online. These include an egg shaped water container (for $372) that is supposed to keep water from stagnating, because there are no corners, and plumbing pipes you can install in your home that are either spiral shaped or have fins inside them that force the water to rotate as it travels down them. The idea here is that this rotation "revitalises" or "energises" "dead" tap water, causing it to become anti-bacterial, pH balanced and softened.

Of course, the entire website and shop are devoid of any kind of evidence - it’s just filled with unsupported claims and overpriced products. In fact, at the bottom of the shop page, there’s a disclaimer which seems to be an attempt to indemnify David for any claims he makes:

"All information on this website is personal opinion validated by personal experience only"

For $95 you can buy a 15 minute Zoom video conferencing session with David where he will explain how his products "work". I think I’m confused enough having read his website, without paying a hundred bucks to become more confused and frustrated.