What Makes NYC Tap Water So Good?

Tiny, invisible shrimp.

I’m sure you weren’t expecting that one, were you?

As several of our posts over the last year  indicate, New York City is proud of its tap water, and with good reason. A company called Tap’d NY has bottled and successfully sold NYC tap water, and the Famous New York Baking Water Corp. has created a water filtration system that yields water similar to that of NYC tap. This water may be the secret ingredient in the famous New York style pizza. But what makes it so great?

Well, we aren’t sure, but recent evidence suggests that tiny invisible shrimp, called copepods may have something to do with it. While they don’t sound so appetizing, these little creatures are completely harmless. In fact, they are known to eat mosquito larvae.

If you’re Jewish, the water is definitely not kosher, so you might want to get a water filter if you live in NYC. Or if the idea of drinking shrimp juice just plain freaks you out, a recent article in Time Magazine affirms that most commercial water filters will do the trick.

Nestle Waters Sued for Trying to be Eco-Friendly

The family of a woman in Central Indiana who died when a 4,100 pound pallet of bottled water fell on her at a Kroger store is suing Nestle Waters, arguing that the reason for the accident lies in the water bottles’ “eco-shape” design.  According to the family, these bottles use less plastic, and therefore, can’t support as much weight as previous bottles.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of bottled water, and Nestle’s motives behind this supposed “eco-friendly” water bottle design are questionable (is this simply more green washing to boost profit?) But this might just be good enough to make it onto the list of the “10 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of All Time.” Right up there with the one that started it all… (how dare McDonald’s serve hot coffee without a warning label?!? And how dare Nestle serve water in a bottle that might be better for the environment!) Apparently, “Nestle Waters didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.” Honestly, though Nestle might be among the worst corporations of 2010, and although they might fully deserve to be sued, I can’t say I blame them.

Bottled water is clearly dangerous, on multiple levels. But manufacturing bottles with more plastic is not the solution, as it only leads to a worse fate for our planet – and the billions of people living on it. This incident is just one of several recent incidents which underscore the dangers of bottled water –  providing even more incentive to drop the bottled water habit, altogether.

Greenguard School IAQ Tour

Without the proper precaution, schools can be a breeding ground for illness among the millions of children that attend each year.  It is perhaps with this in mind that Greenguard Environmental Institute recently launched an interactive school indoor air quality tour on its website. The tour takes place inside a graphic representation of a school with cartoon-esque teacher and student figures. There are three discussion topics: “IAQ Impacts Health”; “Maximize Fresh Air”; and “Create a Healthier School”. Clicking on each topic takes you to a screen with plus-sign markers located on different areas of the school room shown. Each marker provides a unique fact about school indoor air quality, as it relates to that particular topic. According to the information provided in the tour, indoor air pollution  affects the health of students in various ways: it leads to higher rates of asthma and health problems which increases absenteeism and productivity and lowers teacher retention.

Higher indoor air quality standards must be in place to ensure the success of students and teachers. The tour suggests several ways to minimize indoor air pollutants in schools, including opening windows to increase ventilation and natural light (both of which increase productivity), using air filters with the highest MERV rating available for the school’s HVAC system, and maintaining proper humidity levels. In addition to several discussion topics, the tour also features a quiz on minimizing pollutants.

Children spend the majority of their days in school, but home indoor air quality is equally important. Take our Home IAQ quiz to further ensure the safety of your indoor environment.