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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

You know those people who refuse to drink anything but bottled water?  They think that is the ONLY way to guarantee that it's clean and healthy.  But they couldn't be more wrong!  The table below shows some basic differences between the regulations of the two (Source: EHSO - Environmental Health and Safety Online)...

Some Key Differences Between EPA Tap Water and FDA Bottled Water Rules
Water TypeDisinfection Required?Confirmed E. Coli & Fecal Coliform Banned?Testing Frequency for BacteriaMust Filter to Remove Pathogens, or Have Strictly Protected Source?Must Test forCryptosporidium, Giardia, Viruses?Testing Frequency for Most Synthetic Organic Chemicals
Bottled WaterNoNo1/weekNoNo1/year
Big City Tap Water (using surface water)YesYesHundreds/ monthYesYes1/quarter
(limited waivers available if clean source)

With tap water, there are established regulations in place to protect us. Yes, some cities have healthier tap water than others and there are other particles that might be present that aren't healthy either...however, that is nothing compared to the potential bacteria, E. Coli, Fecal Coliform, viruses and more that might be left in your bottles.

The negative effects of choosing the bottled option reach much farther beyond just the contents.  According to Online Education, 17 million barrels of oil are used in the production of bottled water each year!  It even takes 3 times the amount of water to produce the bottle as it does to actually fill it!  And because so few people will recycle, they are contributing to the 3 billion pounds of waste from bottles of water on our planet!  (If your neighborhood doesn't offer a recycling program, just visit Recycling Centers to find one near you!)

I'm not asking you to do anything too tough.  But please please please drink tap!  As an additional precaution, you can even buy any one of the filters available in the market today.  And if you do drink some bottled water, just be sure to recycle.  

The movement to support local businesses is flourishing with "Go Local" messages everywhere.  So why not go local with your water too? :)

Tap Water: 1
Bottled Water: 0

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