Water bottles are a problem for several reasons, they waste more water than providing clean drinking water on site, water is used to create each and every water bottle itself, and the amount of landfill waste associated with water bottles is extraordinary, not to mention, plastic water bottles most often contain Bisphenol A or BpA and Phallates which are known carcinogens and can leach into the water itself when exposed to heat as well as over time, making the water even less healthy than filtered tap water.
1. costs as much as 100 times as much per gallon as tap water.
2. Regulated and Tested by FDA - bottled water in the United States falls under the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration and is only required to be tested once per year. In practice, about 70 percent of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight.
Municipal water (tap water) falls under the purview of the Environmental Protection Agency, and is regularly inspected (Quarterly) for bacteria and toxic chemicals.
3. Bottled water means garbage - Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year. According to Food and Water Watch, that plastic requires up to 47 million gallons of oil per year to produce. And while the plastic used to bottle beverages is of high quality and in demand by recyclers, over 80 percent of plastic bottles are simply thrown away. According to www.postconsumers.com Different kinds of plastic can degrade at different times, but the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade is at least 450 years. It can even take some bottles 1000 years to biodegrade! That’s a long time for even the smallest bottle. 90% of bottles aren’t even recycled. Makes you think twice about that water or soda, right? Bottles made with Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) will never biodegrade. About 1.5 million barrels of oil are used every year to make the bottles, and even more oil is burned transporting them. Most of the time, the water inside the bottles has more contaminants than regular old tap water, meaning you could be drinking some serious problems.
4. Want to know how your communitiy’s municipal water scores? Check out the Environmental Working Group's National Tap Water Database at ewg.org.
EPA WATER TESTING STANDARDS & Risk Management (Quarterly) - The Environmental Protection Agency sets standards that, when combined with protecting ground water and surface water, are critical to ensuring safe drinking water. EPA works with its regional offices, states, tribes and its many partners to protect public health through implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act
Well Water - What to know and test for
EPA regulates public water systems; it does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells. Approximately 15 percent of Americans rely on their own private drinking water supplies, and these supplies are not subject to EPA standards, although some state and local governments do set rules to protect users of these wells. Unlike public drinking water systems serving many people, they do not have experts regularly checking the water’s source and its quality before it is sent to the tap. These households must take special precautions to ensure the protection and maintenance of their drinking water. ALWAYS have the well water tested before buying a house, it may never have been done before!
Have your water tested periodically. It is recommended that water be tested every year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, test for those. Always use a state certified laboratory that conducts drinking water tests. Since these can be expensive, spend some time identifying potential problems.
Testing well water more than annually may be warranted in special situations:
· someone in your household is pregnant or nursing
· there are unexplained illnesses in the family
· your neighbors find a dangerous contaminant in their water
· you note a change in water taste, odor, color or clarity
· there is a spill of chemicals or fuels into or near your well
· when you replace or repair any part of your well system
· Also see EPA's Drinking Water from Household Wells for more information and help.
In addition to the immediate area around your well, you should be aware of other possible sources of contamination that may already be part of your community or may be moving into your area.
Water Filtration Systems
EPA Water Filtration Types and Locations
Diane Bacher is a certified business energy professional with more than 16 years of experience in the environmental and energy sector. She has written numerous data and regulatory compliance reports for industrial, financial, educational and information-technology clients. Bacher's publications include the New Jersey Technology Council's "Tech News."
Water Treatment Locations in Your Home
- Free-standing pitchers filter smaller quantities of water.
- Individual taps to treat water as it flows through the faucet.
- Refrigerator water and ice connection.
- Specialized plumbing can be directed to a single faucet, also known as a "point of use" device.
- Central piping leading into your entire home with a "point of entry" device (may not be best option depending on type of filtration system and piping material).
o CARBON Filters use granulated activated carbon and resins which attach to and trap contaminants as they pass through the filters. The microscopic pore size of the filter screen determines what contaminants can be removed. It is important that you analyze screen pore size by largest hole size, not average. Filters by themselves cannot remove all contaminants.
o DISTILLERS heat water to boiling and collect and recondense the vapor to remove the disease-causing microbes and contaminants. Taste is affected because natural minerals and dissolved oxygen are also removed along with the microbes.
o RO - Reverse osmosis units contain semi-permeable membranes which operate under pressure to clean water. These units use three times the amount of water as clean water produced but eliminate all disease-causing organisms and most chemical contaminants.
o Aerators pass water over air jets to force gasoline and radon contaminants to convert to gaseous emissions that are removed.
o Water softeners use basic action exchange principles where minerals that cause hardness, calcium and magnesium, are exchanged with sodium and potassium, the softeners. At the same time, radium and barium contaminants are removed.
I personally like the new oxidizing water systems. They raise the PH of the drinking water so that it's not only pure, but a healthier way to keep your body's acid levels in check. Virus cannot live in a basic, or alkaline, environment.
And remember: filters must be changed regularly to continue to function properly.
FINAL THOUGHTS…Multinational corporations are stepping in to purchase groundwater and distribution rights wherever they can, and the bottled water industry is an important component in their drive to commoditize what many feel is a basic human right: the access to safe and affordable water.