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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

Which one do your prefer? It seems this is a question with many different answers as to why one likes either bottled or tap water. Personal reasons, scientific or aesthetic reasons.

Water comes from many different sources. It can come from rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs and wells and the treatment process for each source varies. When water travels over the surface of land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals. The water can also pick up various substances that have been touched by human or animal activity.

When tap water is treated, necessary chemicals are added to combat any contaminants and/or bacteria.
Tap water is highly regulated by State and the Environmental Protecting Agency (EPA). As a result, you can be sure that your water meets or surpasses all state and federal guidelines.

On the other hand, the State Health Department and the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) regulates bottled water. The FDA sets limits like the EPA, but there are differences with process controls. Such as bottling controls, sampling protocols and testing frequencies. Bottled water is not environmentally friendly.

It takes millions of gallons of oil to produce the plastic bottles used for bottled water each year. After the water is consumed, the bottle is usually recycled and end up in the garbage where it takes years to break down. Many cities and towns are taking an active role in educating their residents about the environmental aspects of plastic containers

Although one may feel that bottled waters' main value is the convenience, but isn't it just as easy to fill a water bottle with tap water? What is the biggest difference? The cost of course. Americans have spent approximately $15 billion on bottled water in 2006 alone. Tap water is much less expensive at approximately $.08 to $8.00 per gallon, but the average cost of tap water is about $.02 per gallon.

You could refill a water bottle hundreds of times with tap water for the cost of a single bottle of bottled water.
So maybe the choice is purely a personal one?

Education here regarding the facts and environmental issues may help consumers think twice about bottled water.

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