Bottled Water Vs. Tap

It takes 3 times as much water to make the bottle as it does to fill it. 

That one fact makes bottled water one of, if not THE most wasteful industry's on the planet. People every day ask me which bottled water is the best. The answer is as easy to answer as it is to ask. None of them, that's right I don't support the drinking of any bottled water period, and here's why. What I have found out is this. The Food and Drug Administration has little authority to regulate bottled water, according to a U.S. Congressional report released recently. While on the other hand, municipal water utilities are required to provide public reports of their water's test results, bottled water makers are not. So although you're paying as much as 20 times as much for bottled water, that doesn't mean it's any better than what's coming out of your faucet. In fact, it could be worse and you'd never know it. FYI the two largest producers of bottled water Pepsi, and Coke start with tap water. The difference is unlike tap water suppliers, bottled water companies don't have to have their water tested by a certified laboratory, and they aren't required to notify customers within 24 hours if they find elevated levels of contaminants, like public utilities are.

So now that we've been begging you for years to drink more water. The sad truth is most of us have been drinking bottled water, and really you don't know what you are drinking. Usually most people buy whatever is on sale. Thinking all bottled water is the same. Trusting the FDA once again to watch out for us. Are you done laughing yet? The truth is you don't have to spend more money in order to drink healthier water, but more about that later. So large greedy water companies jumped on the band wagon and started to produce sweet flavored waters. Calling them names like 0 calorie because they didn't use sugar instead substituting dangerous artificial sweeteners or GMO corn extracts like sucralose or high fructose corn syrup. "Vitamins, color, herbs, protein, and all the other additions to water, are a marketing ploy," says Marion Nestle, Ph.D., professor of nutrition studies at New York University. "The additives are usually a scant serving of the vitamins you really need in a day," claims Amy Subar, Ph.D. Nutritionist with the National Cancer Institute. Sometimes enhanced waters contain sugars and artificial flavorings that can pack more calories than diet soda. Before consuming any food or beverage with herbs and unusual ingredients, read the labels. Some ingredients can interact with prescription medications. Some other herbs should be avoided during pregnancy. Some also contain as guarana and kola, or caffeine. Which can excite your metabolism and blood pressure or heart rate.

One popular product "Vitamin Water" for instance is combined with corn syrup derived crystalline fructose, sorbitol (sugar alcohol), sugar, and gum acacia. Which is saw dust from the acacia tree that the ancient Egyptians used to glue paper together. Vitamins are the most important ingredients in Vitamin Water, if you think you are fulfilling any where near your daily vitamin requirements with this product you are a fool. "Vitamin Water" drinks contain 33g of sugar in a 20 oz. bottle, which is  equivalent to about 8 tsp. of sugar plus all the other artificial sweeteners. Another flavored water that I recently researched is Propel made by Pepsi they use sucralose (splenda) as their sweetener and if you read my article on Splenda you know that sucralose can trigger migraines as well as gastrointestinal issues among other things. So leave the flavored waters behind as you can see they are only money makers for the large corporations not healthy alternatives for you.

The American consumer is grossly under informed about waters. The International Water Association provides the following description of different water types on their website:

Spring Water:
Water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. Spring water collected with the use of an external force must be from the same underground stratum as the spring and must have all the physical properties before treatment, and be of the same composition and quality as the water that flows naturally to the surface of the earth

Purified Water:
Water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other suitable processes while meeting the definition of purified water in the United States Pharmacopoeia may be labeled as purified bottled water. Other suitable product names for bottled water treated by one of the above processes may include "distilled water" if it is produced by distillation, deionized water" if it is produced by deionization or "reverse osmosis water" if the process used is reverse osmosis.

Mineral Water:
Water containing not less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids may be labeled as mineral water. Mineral water is distinguished from other types of bottled water by its constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added to this product.

Sparkling Water:
Water that after treatment, and possible replacement with carbon dioxide, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had as it emerged from the source. Sparkling bottled waters may be labeled as "sparkling drinking water," "sparkling mineral water," "sparkling spring water," etc.
Artesian Water/Artesian Well Water:
Water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.

Well Water
Water from a hole bored, drilled or otherwise constructed in the ground, which taps the water aquifer.

As you can see, the differences vary widely. To be fair everyone has their own idea of what good tasting water is. So now let's focus on the issue of health.

There are growing concerns about the leaching of pthalates, known endocrine disruptor's, like BPA as well as antimony, in bottled water from the plastic in the bottles. BPA is used in all bottles of all bottled water. BPA mimics the hormone estrogen once in your body and causes unseen disruption and damage in your body.function. Other concerns include bacteria. Remember these companies report to no one. There has been a wide range of variation among testing of different bottled waters. So from a health perspective what set of physical characteristics is ideal? Common sense says that a pH of 7.4 to 7.6 is ideal. This is the pH of human blood and optimum for drinking water. Some people prefer to drink highly alkaline water, in the range of 8 or 9. Haven't figured that out yet. Still, some people may enjoy the taste of low pH acidic water. They probably suck on lemons for fun. Though most health practitioners suggest that acidic drinks and foods contribute to increasing the body's vulnerability to disease and tooth decay.

Additionally there is evidence from a number of studies funded by the World Health Organization (WHO) that people who drink water containing minerals experience lower rates of disease than those who drink water with the minerals removed. Total dissolved solids, TDS is the sum total of all the minerals in water. While minerals are desirable there is a range of suitability. Since TDS is comprised of a number of substances, high levels will affect the taste of water and may also affect toxicity. Generally, a low TDS is considered by some health practitioners to be more hydrating. EPA has set it's Maximum Contaminant Level for TDS in drinking water at 500mg / l for aesthetic purposes. Water with a very low TDS, say 30 or less, will have a sharp crisp taste, perhaps considered "clean" by some. A higher TDS, in the range of 150 to 250, provides more "taste". Some people may enjoy the distinct flavor of the mineral waters such as Perrier or Pellegrino. It is the high TDS and high sulfates that contribute to their unique taste. Remember this you can call your local municipal water utility any time and get the most recent report of the content of your tap water. The water where I live here in California is tested over 4000 times a year.

Now there's another issue of importance from an environmental perspective. That's the issue of transportation energy. Ideally, consumers should choose water produced locally. Your tap water. It has been estimated that that it takes a quart of oil to import one bottle of Fiji water, a ridiculous waste of energy. A responsible consumer has to consider the environmental impact of using bottled water. So ideally, you'll drink local water. Most public water supplies are better quality than bottled the water, are legally monitored, and don't need transportation and bottle production factories to deliver the water to you. Meeting the annual U.S. demand for plastic bottles requires enough oil to keep 100,000 cars on the road for a year, says Janet Larsen of the Earth Policy Institute. The cost of transporting bottled water is staggering. Just looking at U.S. costs, 1 billion bottles of water are transported per week. The equivalent of 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water. Sure, 100 million empty water bottles the U.S. produces per day can be recycled, but the sad truth is, about 86% of them end up in the trash, shipped to landfills of poor third world nations like India. Hardly worth it, for what flows out of the tap and into a free reusable glass.
    • Bottled water costs 240 to 10,000 times more than tap water—on average between $1 to $2 per gallon, with high-end brands going for $5 per liter
    • The price of one bottle of Evian can pay for 1,000 gallons of tap water
    • Each year across the world, over $100 billion dollars is spent on bottled water
    • In 2006, approximately 17 million barrels of oil were used to produce plastic for the bottled water consumed by Americans, enough energy to fuel more than 1 million cars and light trucks for a year

       Have you heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a vast area of the Pacific Ocean, largely made up of suspended plastic and other floating plastic garbage. As reported on Wikipedia, recent research sponsored by the National Science Foundation suggests the affected area may be three times the size of Texas and growing by the day. With one of similar size north of the Caribbean Sea. Suspended plastic affects the health of all ocean species worldwide. Every organism in the sea mistakes the suspended plastic floating in the sea for food it eats it and eventually dies.

      Recent random scientific deep-water tests around the world have revealed suspended plastics everywhere in every ocean around the globe. On the surface as well as at every depth. We as irresponsible humans have started the irreversible demise of our oceans through our own neglect of discarded plastic.
       I believe the only sustainable eco-conscious, least expensive choice for healthy drinking water is fill your own filtering water bottle from the tap, or have a filtering system for your home. Since most independent studies on bottled water show contamination from bacteria and / or synthetic chemicals, BPA in the plastic, and the FACT that 86% of the plastic ends up in land-fills and our oceans. Every time you see one of your children drinking from a plastic water bottle, you have to ask yourself "is it right for me to jeopardize my families health, so I can make Pepsi. and Coke wealthy beyond imagination? Because that is exactly what you are doing by using bottled water. If you click one of the "Nourish A Life Banners" on either side of this article it will take you directly to a page that offers the very best water filtering sport bottles, pitchers and home filtering systems at very low cost. They filter chlorine, fluoride, pharmaceuticals, etc. from your tap water. Making it the best alternative for you and your families health and for our planet. Be part of the solution not part of the problem. Or click the "Join Us" button in the left column and sell our products on your website, or to your friends for some extra income. Grow up it's time to get off the bottle and get on the tap. For yourself, your family and the environment. Good Luck... 

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