Q: Is bottled water really better and safer than tap water? .............................. Jane, S
Q: The water smells funny when I take a shower, is it safe to use?
A: Advertising campaigns from companies like Coke and Pepsi would certainly make you think it’s better to drink bottled water, you will be healthier, sexier, trendy and smarter, without mentioning that it can cost 500 to 4,000 times more than tap water.
Have you ever wondered why these big companies have just as many vending machines for water as they do for soda? This estimated $75 billion industry is growing at a startling 7% rate each year. This is a gold mine of opportunity for water manufacturers, especially considering that products like Auqafina and Dasani are just filtered local tap water costing the company about 1 cent per gallon, and they sell it for an average 5 cents an ounce. Even at the current highly inflated pump cost of gasoline, it still only costs about 2 cents an ounce! Half the price of water.
This obsession with clean water isn’t just an American thing. Worldwide there are an estimated fifty to a hundred thousand water bottlers, each using plastic bottles, an estimated 85% or more of them ending up in landfills and oceans around the world.
Is the water safer? There is no easy answer to that, it depends on where you live, if your local water is filtered and tested properly, how it’s handled before you get it…….
I admit to being a waterphobe myself. Years ago I began studying water quality, treatment options, filtering systems, etc., and concluded that the only ’safe’ option was to use distilled water, supplementing with a full complement of liquid minerals. It isn’t the answer for everyone, since the process of distilling can be cumbersome, but it does guarantee that there are no foreign particles or chemical cocktails in the water I drink.
Of concern when I began the search for ’clean’ water was the incomplete tests being run on local water supplies, testing only 80 of the hundreds of possible contaminants. At the time the gasoline additives were leaching into water supplies and no testing was being done on it. We have well water now and it has high levels of arsenic in it, within the guidelines, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to drink it.
A really good water filtering system in your home is worth the money and addresses most concerns. If you have city water and it includes chlorine as part of the treatment, be aware that the human body readily absorbs the chlorine, especially in the shower. You literally become a human filter for the untreated chemicals.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind before you stock up on your next case of plastic bottled water. As long as we keep buying the bottled water and do not address the quality of public water the problems will get worse.
“Access to clean, sufficient and affordable drinking water is a human right necessary for health and survival. This right must be protected…….” Sierra Club. Having created a growing market for bottled water, transnational corporations are exercising their power to secure access to springs, aquifers, and municipal water supplies to keep their profits flowing. Nestle has taken over many small, independent companies setting up much larger operations at local springs, and is aggressively pursuing new sites across the US. Coke’s bottled water operation in India is embroiled in controversy, where a “Boycott Coke” campaign is underway.
On a final note, when filtering your water it is important to change the filter frequently. Bacteria can accumulate on the filter and make you sick. Carbon and coconut based filtering systems work the best.
Have a question, or is there something you’ve always wondered about? Ask Madalyn invites your questions.
- Wednesday, 29 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ask Madalyn