Bottled Water Direct From the Tap
Copyright 2006 Linda Symonds Almost everywhere you go today, you see people carrying a bottle of water. Over the last decade the bottled water industry has enjoyed explosive growth and many of us, it seems, have fallen in love with the taste, purity and convenience of bottled water. There is no disputing the popularity of bottled water; but is it really better than good old tap water? Bottled water is simply water from some source that has been placed in bottles for sale. The source of the water could be the natural spring pictured on the label, or it could be filtered municipal tap water. The bottled water industry would like us to believe that bottled water is more pure than our own tap water, but a good quality water filter installed in the home will provide water of equal and even better quality than bottled water. A study by Ohio State University found that 39 out of 57 bottled water samples did indeed have "purer" water than unfiltered tap water.
However, 15 samples had significantly high bacteria. For water quality, that is at best, no better than what you would get from your tap with a water filter, bottled water is expensive; often costing more per gallon than gasoline. Purchasing one $0.69 cent bottle of water per day would add up to $248 per year. Filtering your own water at home would cost a cent of two per day or about $8 per year - saving $240.
In these busy times, the convenience of bottled water has become a major selling point. It's so easy to simply reach into the refrigerator and pull out a bottle of crystal clear water. It has zero calories, zero fat, and we can sip it no matter where we may be for the day - in meetings, at the supermarket or in the classroom. When we're finished with the plastic bottle, we just drop it into the trash or the recycle bin. But what if, instead of throwing that plastic bottle away, we took it home and refilled it from our own tap. We'd have a renewable supply of bottled water for just a few cents per bottle and we'd be diverting that plastic bottle from the waste stream. It's so easy to do and takes only a few extra minutes. The cost savings, along with knowing that you really are drinking good quality bottled water are worth the effort. To start bottling you own water, you'll want to be sure you have installed a good quality water filter. A good quality, reasonably priced water filter, costing about $30, can be installed in just a few minutes directly onto your tap and provide pure, clean drinking water.
Washing the bottles is important. Bacteria can build up in the moist are around the cap of the bottle so you'll need to wash the bottles before reusing them. Either pop them into the dishwasher or wash them in the sink with soapy water. Rinse and dry the bottles as much as possible, particularly around the rim. Refill the bottles and store them in the refrigerator. They'll be cold, clean and ready when you want them. If, after a few uses, you find that the bottles begin to look tattered, invest in a few good quality reusable sport bottles. They are attractive, durable and easy to clean.
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