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Is Bottled Water the Answer?

Jul 24, 2008
We are all aware that our sources of trustworthy drinking water are decreasing. Uses of farming chemicals have polluted ground water sources. Then again new contaminants are discovered in what was considered pure water. In fact, 2100 such toxins in drinking water have now been identified, some with names longer than this sentence.

Those living in older homes have the added problem of lead pipes that leach dangerous metals into otherwise safe water. In addition, some city water systems have consistently violated standards established by the EPA. Is your city one of them? Are the levels of contaminants presently acceptable really safe? Who wants to be a statistic discovering the lethal nature of a new poison?

In response to this news, many have decided to buy bottled water, eight billion gallons of it a year, and rising. Since the label says "Spring water" or Glacier water," they are confident it is better than what's in the faucet. Unfortunately, this may not be the case.

The first reason is that what is inside the bottle may not be what it says on the outside of the bottle. Though interstate sales of bottled water are regulated by the FDA, the industry within state borders is not regulated. Some states do not retain even one full time employee to oversee inspections. The FDA does not consider water a high priority and may not even check bottling plants yearly. Several bottled water companies recently agreed to print on the labels the source of their water (often the faucet), and stop duping the drinkers into thinking it came from a glacier somewhere.

Secondly, though the source may be a natural spring or stream, this does not guarantee it to be safe. Springs and wells are not exempt from the comtaminations mentioned above. To give insult to injury, imagine buying someone else's spring water that is not as pure as your own!

The third problem deals with the plastic bottle itself. Most water comes in bottles marked with a number 1, or the name PET or PETE. This stands for polyethylene terephthalate. The bottles are probably safe if the water is drunk without extended storage. However, if the bottles are stored in warm areas, the plastic can actually leach into the water.

Bisphenol is the substance used to make sports drink bottles, water cooler jugs, and other hard plastic bottles. The National Institutes of Health showed recently that this chemical may case neurological problems in developing babies. If you bring your own water to work to avoid the cooler, you may be no better off.

Finally there is the issue of the environment. Eighty per cent of all bottles never make it back to the recycling plant. Instead they become landfill that will not biodegrade. Also, water is needed to make the bottles and an estimated 72 billion gallons is used for that each year. In fact, some figure that it takes two liters of water to make one liter of bottled water.

Obviously bottled water may not be the best choice in trying to provide yourself and your family with trustworthy water. A viable alternative is to purchase a water filter and purify your own water. Just be certain that the filter uses the activated carbon method. Also, store the filtered water in glass containers, not plastic and take it to work in a glass lined thermos. The filter is obviously more expensive than a pack of bottles, but in the long run, you will actually save money. Even better, you will have the peace of mind knowing your drinking water is trustworthy.
About the Author
If you're in the market for a water filter with tremendous value, examine the Berkey Filters. The filters that are included with the Berkey Light can purify up to 6000 gallons while preserving in the minerals that help you.
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