Bottled Water Concerns
Clean. Abundant. Fresh. Cheap. Or is it?
In today's world water is becoming an issue of concern for many people and communities. Municipal supplies are not as safe or reliable as they once were. Shortages are happening every year due to drought and/or population growth. Countless people in the US and around the world increasingly turning to bottled water as their source for drinking and culinary water.
Most don't realize that a great percentage of the bottled water they purchase is simply filtered municipal water. Few recognize the fact that in the US alone more than 38 billion plastic water bottles end up in landfills every year. Those bottles could take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade. Producing all of the bottles for the US requires more than 17 million barrels of oil annually. That's enough oil to fuel 100,000 cars for a year. The energy consumed manufacturing disposable water bottles would power 190,000 homes and introduces more than 2.5 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually. And plastic water bottles can leach BPA, which has beenb identified as a potential health hazard, into the water you drink
There is no such thing as naturally pure water. In nature, all water contains some impurities. As water flows in streams, sits in lakes, and filters through layers of soil and rock in the ground, it dissolves or absorbs the substances that it touches. Some of these substances are harmless. In fact, some people prefer mineral water precisely because minerals give it an appealing taste. However, at certain levels minerals, just like man-made chemicals, are considered contaminants that can make water unpalatable or even unsafe. Some contaminants come from erosion of natural rock formations. Other contaminants are substances discharged from factories, applied to farmlands, or used by consumers in their homes and yards. Sources of contaminants might be in your neighborhood or might be many miles away. Your local water quality report tells which contaminants are in your drinking water, the levels at which they were found, and the actual or likely source of each contaminant.
To learn about the source water assessment process in your state, visit EPA's local drinking water information web site , which will help you find the state's web site and source water protection coordinator.
You can protect yourself and your family against contaminants missed by munincipal water supplies or in your well by installing drinking water or reverse osmosis systems , filters for your ice and water dispenser in your refrigerator , and shower filters to keep chlorine and contaminates from absorbing through your skin. And you can help the environment by using a BPA free reusable water bottle to keep disposable water bottles out of our landfills, waterways, and landscapes.