Whether you drink bottled water every day or occasionally on the go, you may be surprised to learn that you’re spending far money on that water then it’s worth, and that bottle is taking its toll on the environment.
For years, most Americans got their drinking water from a private well or municipal water system. These public systems are heavily regulated, frequently tested for contaminants, and monitored far more than bottled water is. Today, many people are using bottled water to supply their drinking water if not in full but occasionally. In 2012, the American bottled water industry bottled about 10 billion gallons of water, for a total of $12 billion in sales. Much of that money Americans could have saved if they simply took their water from the tap.
What do you get with your bottled water purchase?
It’s not always a pure natural spring product. “Spring water,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency, is water collected at the point where it flows naturally to the earth’s surface or from a well that taps into the underground source. About 55 percent of bottled water in the United States is spring water, but the other 45 percent comes from municipal water sources. In other words, almost half of the bottled water on the market is just tap water, which consumers could get for much less at home.
Bottled water isn’t only costing Americans money; it has an environmental cost as well. Making the plastic bottles Americans use 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 recycled each year, while the rest end up in landfills.
A recent look into the bottled water industry also shows that bottled water requires fuel for bottling and transporting to market, and strangely, more water than goes into the bottle. Coca-Cola bottling plants use 1.63 liters of water for every liter of beverage produced in California.
Those bottling plants, as well as others in California raise another issue, which is why bottling companies in that drought-stricken state are still continuing to draw water that will be shipped elsewhere?
Reasons for using bottled water easily addressed
We sometimes hear from customers who are looking to improve the taste or smell of their water. Minerals give water a distinctive flavor, which is not always appealing to people. Iron and Manganese are often accompanied by a rotten egg smell and sediment can lead to cloudy water that not only has an unpleasant taste but is visually unappealing as well.
All of these problems can be easily fixed with a water filtration system. Point-of-use filters, such as water filter pitchers, faucet attachments, and under-sink filtration systems, can significantly reduce the unpleasant attributes of a home’s water for a relatively low cost.
Point-of-entry systems, which filter water as it enters the home, can also improve taste and smell, as well as improve the overall quality. Hardness is a common problem in New England that is best fixed with a point-of-entry system. Hard water reduces sudsing ability of soap, leaves residue on shower walls and mineral deposits on fixtures. Treating hard water for taste not only saves a home on bottled water costs but cuts down on plumbing repairs in the years to come.
If you have questions about water filtration systems and how you can improve the taste and quality of your home’s water, calling Skillings & Sons for more information.