Bottled vs Tap

About 10 years ago the bottled water industry took off and has been showing record sales ever since. Everyone has there own reasons for drinking bottled water whether it’s convenience, health-concerns, taste, clever marketing, ect. But the clear consensus among most people is that they don’t trust the water that comes out of their tap. The bottled-water industry is riding this phobia straight to the bank with sales in the billions every year. So are bottled-water drinkers really getting a safer product or are they just paying for the illusion of safety?
Did you know that the FDA regulates the bottled-water industry and often adopts the same standards set by the EPA for municipal tap water? A common misconception is that people think when they buy a bottle of water that it is “pure” or void of any and all contaminants. This is not true. The FDA has established allowable levels for over 80 physical, microbiological, chemical, and radiological contaminants in bottled water. (Code of Federal Regulations: Food and Drugs 21 CFR 103.35)
For the moment let’s just ignore the fact that the Bottled Water Industry doesn’t require testing for a number of contaminants such as Cryptosporidium, and Giardia and instead consider what they do filter out. Fluoride. Many municipalities add Fluoride to their water because of its positive impact on tooth decay and the fact that it helps promote strong teeth. This can become an issue in small children who need Fluoride but only drink bottled water. Although, there are filtration systems that can remove fluoride most do not for this exact reason.
Another interesting fact that bottled-water companies don’t put in their advertising is that in many cases the bottled water they sell comes directly from municipal water sources. So they are literally taking the water from the same source your tap water comes from, putting it through the same treatments that your local regulatory body puts your tap water through, and then selling it to you at an inflated price. And when I say inflated, that is an understatement. Depending on where you live and what brand you’re loyal to, bottled water costs between $.80 and $2.00+. It only costs these companies pennies per bottle to manufacture so they are making upwards of 90% profits on every sale.
Check out these stats that show how much bottled water costs vs filtration:
Bottled Water
– 1st Year $440.40
– Subsequent Years $440.40
– Five Year Avg. $440.40
– Five Year Total $2202.00
Under Sink Single Filter
– 1st Year $99.95
– Subsequent Years $29.99
– Five Year Avg. $43.98
– Five Year Total $219.90
Under Sink Double Filter
– 1st Year $189.95
– Subsequent Years $69.97
– Five Year Avg. $93.97
– Five Year Total $469.85
Reverse Osmosis System
– 1st Year as little as $263.85
– Subsequent Years $67.80
– Five Year Avg. $117.01
– Five Year Total $585.05
Bottled Water
– 1st Year $440.40
– Subsequent Years $440.40
– Five Year Avg. $440.40
– Five Year Total $2202.00
1. Based on the USDA 1194-96 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII), the average ingestion of water is 0.951 litres/person/day (0.251 gallons/person/day). From this it can be determined that an average household of 4 people would consume approximately 367 gallons of water per year (0.251 gallons/person/day x 4 people x 365 days/year).
Municipal water systems serving 25 people or more are subject to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. This means the water is constantly and thoroughly tested for harmful substances. If there is a problem, consumers will be warned through the media or other outlets. (http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2002/402_h2o.html).
Even though tap water may look or smell different that doesn’t always mean it’s unsafe. Viruses, which are the most harmful impurities in water, are tasteless and odorless. You can purchase a water testing kit for under $20 that will tell you exactly what is in your water. This is why having a filtration system comes in handy. Once you know exactly what’s in your water you can then select a filtration system that meets your needs. This will not only save you loads of money but can provide you with a sense of security knowing that you’re drinking safe, uncontaminated water.

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