Skip to comments.Don't Drink the Water
Posted on 12/14/2009 6:50:07 AM PST by Stoutcat
People who use bottled water as a fashion or life-style statement, or who think bottled water is better or safer than tap water, should take a look at this.
(Excerpt) Read more at grandrants.wordpress.com ...
All those reasons are nice, but tap water (for me) is free. Case closed.
Granted some tap water tastes nasty and makes horrible coffee, a simple activated charcoal filter can make a huge difference. A reverse osmosis (RO) filter (about $100 at home centers) can make even really nasty tasting water very drinkable. Simply reuse one of those water bottles and fill it with treated tap water.
These are the same old tired specious points that everyone already knew.
First, many, if not most people, who drink bottled water, are drinking it in lieu of Coca-Cola or other less healthy drinks. Look in the beverage aisle at your supermarket. For every bottle of water, there are three or more of soda, non-carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks. Why pick on bottled water drinkers?
Second, for the expensive 1 litre and smaller containers, people are not really buying water as much as they are buying bottles. The big jugs are often a dollar or less. Some places even let you refill old bottles. Anything, from motor oil to milk to water, costs more if you want or need to have it in a small container.
Third, many cities (New Haven, CT; Rockford, IL) have large areas with chemically healthy, but really nasty tasting water.
Fourth, individual houses may have old pipes with lead or lead solder, that undo all the cleaning done by the filtration plant. Mayor Bloomberg of NYC tells such folks to let the water run FOR TWO MINUTES to get the lead out. Are you going to make baby formula with that?! I won’t.
Fifth, some people DON’T WANT flouride in their water. They might have a sensitivity in the house, they may have a solid chemical understanding of the science, or they may be Froot Loops wearing hats made out of Hershey Kiss wrappers. It doesn’t matter. Something besides water is coming into their house, and they just want water.
Fifth, more than 15% of houses are on well/septic systems. There are any number of short-term and long-term reasons for desiring bottled water.
Sixth, when we go on a long car trip (1,000 miles), we want sealed, germ free water along for the ride for refreshment, hydration and emergencies. It is not hard to get a case for $4. It is not worth my while to dig up 24 bottles and fill them from my tap, or get one for each member of the family, and trust the rest room taps at a North Dakota gas station.
There are more, but you get the idea.
The article was most spurious, comparing the cheapest tap water to the most expensive bottled water. It should have compared average prices at worst.
LOL! Better here than downstream...
Im not suggesting that no-one should buy or use bottled water. But it seems to me that carrying around a bottle of water has become todays fashion statement, akin, if you will, to carrying around a little yappy dog, a la Paris Hilton.
Ill address your points as you brought them up:
First: Your point about soda is good, but were not talking about soda. Im sure there are many good arguments against bottled soda, but the topic at hand is bottled water.
Second: yup. So what?
Third: People can (and do!) use water filters on sinks if the water tastes nasty, can use re-fillable bottles, etc.
Fourth and fifth combined: people with nasty-tasting water or fluoridated water probably dont buy their water in the little bottles for their household needs. More likely, they have the big bottle dispensers in their homes for drinking and cooking.
Sixth: again, yup. Thats a good example of when using bottled water is a good, smart idea. But if youre a regular long-trip-taker, why not have some bottles you keep just for that purpose?
Finally, Im not advocating a bottled water ban. I just found the statistics on the charts interesting and informative, and given the fact that bottled water seems to be nearly ubiquitous, whether actually imbibed or not (especially among city-dwellers), thought Id point and laugh. Thats all.
Plus, thank you for the wonderful mental picture you’ve left me with your “they may be Froot Loops wearing hats made out of Hershey Kiss wrappers”. What a great way to start out the week!
I think Desert Storm made bottled water popular. Before that I barely saw Evian at a few places. During the war, you could not avoid seeing soldiers holding water bottles. They had been instructed to drink a quart every hour. I remember a few film clips on the news of pallet after pallet of bottled water being unloaded from cargo planes.
Think I'll get a couple of half gallon GLASS bottles and fill them if an emergency is imminent.
Tap water is potable water....tested 24/7...Best buy for your money!!
We have Lake Ontario and Hemlock Lake as our sources...other parts of the USA aren't as lucky.
Thanks for your points. It is hard to distinguish the “fashion statements” from the other folks. I think I only knew one, who brought Fiji (one of the more expensive boutique brands). My main problem with Fiji (which I bought once at a serious markdown) was that the base was square, making it unsuitable for cup holders.
Regarding refillables. Some maintain the bottles used for one shot bottled water are not suitable for refills, and that bottles specifically rated for that purpose only should be used. I disregard such advice, but will not dismiss anyone who takes it seriously.
I had included the big bubbler bottles that would be used in homes consuming the stuff because I had assumed they were included in the article. Certainly many of the same points apply.
Regarding refilling for the long trip. While the water going into the used bottle may be safe, it is no longer airtight inside. Our RO system would not fill 24 bottles without waiting hours for regeneration, and the price is so small (six for a dollar) that I don’t want to risk spillage, or frankly, take the time.
Regarding the facts in the article. I don’t like the way it switches between national and global numbers, to suit whatever works best for them. If ten million bottles of water go to Indonesia after a Tsunami, that may be a good thing. It would be best to use U.S. only numbers, as tap water quality is far from uniform.
I also prefer percentages over raw numbers. I remember when oil spiked, a big deal was made over ExxonMobil making $11 billion in profit. The media NEVER tell you what the total revenue is, or how many stockholders it is distributed among, or if the oil firm ever takes a hit. In short, it is purposely misleading. Now we know that $11 billion is about the amount of money that Obama would cut in a check to Hostess if he thought there needed to be a Twinkie stimulus.
So, when the article states 17 million barrels for bottled water (for the whole world), we have to see what that turns into in real usage. That makes 714,000,000 gallons of oil for 53 billion gallons of water which means 74 gallons (or about 600 1/2 liter bottles of water per gallon of oil, including transport of water, energy used in obtaining the water, and the oil used in the bottle itself. It all sounds pretty reasonable, esoecially when half or more would be used for Gatorade, soda pop or similar if not for water.
When you scale the usage to the U.S. alone, it comes down to under 116,000,000 gallons of oil, or under half a gallon per person. We probably spill more than that at the self-serve pump.
And of course, around here, none of us are all that impressed with government boards certifying the water.
So, by all means, enjoy the nearly free tap water if you like. But I can think of so many reasons to write an article against the fashion conscious. I can certainly think of no good reason to have a special tax on bottled water, as Chicago has enacted.
Bingo! Once a year we make a 6,000 mile round trip visiting relatives in the East and the South, staying mostly at KOA Kamping Kabins. We hit Wally World and get a case of Sams water bottles and use that all the way. Also comes in handy for rinsing off hands after handling some of the carts at various markets that don't have sanitizers.