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Monday, November 19, 2007
The cost of bottled water - over $10/gallon?
While most of us are concerned about the rising gas prices, many people drink bottled water under the assumption that bottled water is safer, and without realizing that a gallon of bottled water often costs more than the same amount of gas. As per the Women's Health Magazine article, 56 percent of Americans who drink bottled water buy it because they think that tap water isn't healthful or safe. Assuming that a bottled water costs $2 for a 24-ounce bottle, on a gallon basis, it works out to be over $10 per gallon of bottled water compared to about $3 per gallon of gas.
"Bottled water is popular because it's convenient," says Peter Gleick, Ph.D., president of the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit think tank focusing on environmental issues. "But aggressive ad campaigns promote it as better for you than tap. Therefore, people, rightly or wrongly -- and we believe wrongly -- are afraid of what comes from their faucet."
As per the article, there's a possibility that tap water may not be totally clean and can make you sick. In addition, water quality in small towns or rural areas may not be good.
"water systems that serve fewer than 10,000 people tend to have far greater problems with contamination because the funding needed to keep these facilities and their testing up-to-date often isn't available."

If you're one of the 43.5 million Americans who drink from a well, "the big problem is [potentially toxic] nitrates, which often get into the water from leaking septic tanks and fertilizers," Dr. Solomon says. Nitrates have been linked to problems such as kidney disease and miscarriage.
On the positive side, tap water is regulated more rigorously than bottled water, is less expensive and is better for the environment.

Every time you drink bottled water, you're doing serious damage to your tree-hugger cred. "It takes three to four times the amount of water in the bottle just to make the plastic for the bottle," Gleick says. "And that's not including how much oil is used and how much carbon dioxide is created when the water is shipped to the store."
As per the article:

The truth is, most tap water is pretty darn safe -- and in the end, drinking it is better for the earth and for your purse. In fact, every expert we interviewed guzzles tap water most of the time. "Millions of people in the U.S. drink tap water every day and stay perfectly healthy," Giammar says.

"We've got some of the best water in the world."
The article suggests doing the following to ensure tap water in your area is safe:

1. Get a water report for your area and review it for any potential contaminants, and violations.

2. Test your tap water using a home-testing kit. However, in case of a well or old pipes that could be leaching chemicals, using a local lab or your county's cooperative extension program.

3. Buy a good filtering system

4. Filter your shower water to minimize the impact of chloring in water

5. When on the go, take tap water in a washable stainless-steel bottle. Avoid plastic bottles as they can harbor bacteria and may not withstand heat, when washing it in a dishwasher

6. If buying bottled water, buy domestic varieties as its more environmentally friendly.

For complete post, see: Is your tap water safe?  eLearners  Earn Rewards at MyPoints.
posted by Ruby @ 8:49 AM  
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