There are many reasons people choose to drink bottled water instead of water from the tap. Some prefer the taste. Others fear contamination and others are looking for a certain level of purity. What many people do not know, however, is that the bottled water they are drinking may not be any better than the water in their tap, plus it will cost them thousands of dollars more a year. A residential water treatment system will result in higher water quality while reducing the trash/recycling problem.
A New York Times article noted that, according to Dr. Gina Solomon, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, “there is no reason to believe that bottled water is safer than tap water.”
Bottled water and taste
We often get calls from residents who are looking to improve the taste of their home’s well water. Hardness, iron and manganese, and other naturally occurring contaminants can affect the taste of water. This problem is easily and rather affordably resolved by installing a water filtration system, like a water softener. Water filtration systems can be installed at the point where the water enters your home, known as point-of-entry, or on a specific tap, such as the kitchen sink. This type of system is known as point-of-use. These systems can remove contaminants and improve taste for both well water and those on municipal systems. Our representatives at Skillings & Sons can help you determine which system is right for you, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over the life of your home.
Bottle water and safety
There is no guarantee that the bottled water you are drinking is any safer than the water from your tap. If your home’s water comes from a municipal system, it is regularly tested for contaminants. For instance, municipal water systems must test for harmful microbiological content in water several times a day. Bottled water companies are not held to as high a standard. They are required to test for these microbes only once a week and test for chemical contaminants less often than public water systems. Loopholes in the FDA’s testing policy could also mean that the bottled water you are drinking has undergone almost no regulation or testing.
A 1999 study by the NRDC found that 18 of the 103 bottled water brands tested contained, in at least one sample, “more bacteria than allowed under microbiological-purity guidelines.” This study also found that about one fifth of the brands tested positive for the presence of synthetic chemicals, such as industrial chemicals and chemicals used in manufacturing plastic like phthalate, a harmful chemical that leaches into bottled water from its plastic container.
Bottled water and “pure and natural” Not Likely
Some look at bottled water as a way to access a cleaner source of water, such as from a natural spring. In fact, New England has some of the cleanest water in the country, whether taken from a bedrock well or through a municipal water system. In fact, roughly 24 percent of bottled water sold today comes from a municipal water system, including the two most common brands, Pepsi’s Aquafina and Coke’s Dasani.
Bottled water is not considered “green” or good for the environment. Making the plastic bottles Americans use each year for bottled water burns more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. Although these bottles can be recycled, studies show only a small fraction are actually recycled each year, while the rest end up in landfills.
Bottled water and the cost
Bottled water is expensive, even if you are tapped into your municipal water system and pay a monthly bill. One water pitcher filter can replace as many as 300 standard bottles of water. That’s an estimated savings of about $5 a day, whereas tap water costs about 19 cents a day.
Installing a water filtration system can improve the taste of your water, and remove any contaminants that may be of concern, whether chemical, bacterial or naturally occurring. Depending on the system, it can even remove contaminants that could cause damage to your plumbing and fixtures.