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Posted on 12-02-2016
My Bottled Water Must Be Good…
Do you really think so?
by Henry Pine
Is bottled water the best for you? Most people feel that they are getting safer, better tasting water by buying it bottled. However, here are some facts that might surprise you. Think about them the next time you reach for that bottle of water.
Most bottled water is just tap water in a plastic bottle. So it is no safer or better tasting than water straight from the tap. It would cost 1.3 tenths of a cent to fill a 16.9-ounce bottle with genuine tap water. The same bottle pre-filled with tap water costs upwards of a dollar a bottle. If you filled the bottle yourself and drank one every day, it would cost 48 cents for an entire year as opposed to $346 a year from the store. That’s more than 700 times the cost.
Tap water is constantly tested for the worst health contaminants, but water bottling facilities are required to test only about once a week and only recently started testing for E. coli after several recalls of bottled water for E. coli contamination. They are not required to test for a number of other potential problems and do not have to report to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as all municipal water facilities must do.
In the U.S., we use over 50 billion bottles of water per year. Eighty percent are not recycled and end up in landfills, covered up, taking up to 1,000 years to disintegrate and to seep harmful chemicals into the groundwater. It takes 3 liters of water to bottle just 1 liter, plus there is the huge carbon footprint left by transportation and shipping the bottles to stores. An enormous amount of bottled water is shipped in from China, Fiji and other parts of the world, and then trucked throughout the U.S. This is just water—you can get it almost free from your tap.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) urges the public to carefully read the labels on different brands of bottled water, i.e. where the water comes from, the treatment, and to call the bottler direct to get more detailed information. The labels are not standardized or controlled. Some bottles contain fluoride and some do not. If you are thinking, “I’ll just buy a bottle and refill it,” don’t. Harmful chemicals can leach out of the plastic into the water.
So let’s think more about drinking tap water in our homes. We know it is generally OK, but is that good enough for you and your family? More than 10 percent of the community water systems in the U.S. do not meet the Safe Water Drinking Act standards that are set and controlled by the EPA. Also, 10 percent of Americans get their water from wells with no controls or protection at all.
Our Houston tap water is the 4th or 6th worst water in the country, depending upon which report you read. There are many contaminates that are still in your tap water that are known to be harmful to your health. The government EPA standards are the minimum standards that have not been updated recently since the Safe Drinking Water Act was introduced. Houston has fallen short several times trying to just meet these old minimum standards. Some of the community water systems around Houston have horrible water. The smell and taste of chlorine and by-products are very strong as they come out of the faucet. You have probably already heard about some of these areas. These old problems are real and affect your health.
The only real answer to all of these problems—if you want better water, safer water consistently—is to filter it yourself. In previous articles I have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the various systems: countertop filters, under-counter systems and whole house systems. Then you can buy yourself and family members the reusable water containers and fill right out of any faucet in your home to take with you wherever you go. You and the health of your family are worth it. Your life can be longer because you are drinking purer, healthier water, every day.
23206 Interstate 45
Spring, TX 77373
281-773-5441 or 281-651-7600
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