People love bottled water. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, the average American consumed 32.0 gallons of it in 2013 — more than either beer or milk. Many consumers reach for bottled water because they think it’s a healthier and/or tastier alternative to the water from their tap. But let’s look at the facts. In both the U.S. and Canada, bottled water is regulated as a food product, not as drinking water. This means that bottled water doesn’t have to undergo the same rigorous testing as your tap water. Many popular brands of bottled water are simply municipal tap water that has gone through extra filtration and sterilization steps.
According to the FDA regulations, bottled water must be tested for microbiological contaminants on a weekly basis. Once a year, it must be tested for physical, chemical and radiological contaminants. In Canada, bottled water plants are inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency an average of once every three years. Compare that to municipal tap water. New York City runs more than a thousand tests a day on its drinking water. In Toronto, the water is tested for bacteria every four to six hours.
Why bother with bottled when you can get the same quality — or better — right from your tap?
With the right home treatment system, your tap water can be just as safe and taste just as good as bottled water, at a fraction of the price. And when it comes to the environmental costs, the choice is clear: home treatment wins hands down. An ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system will kill harmful microorganisms in your water, even dangerous organisms like Cryptosporidium and Giardia. If you combine the UV disinfection with a carbon filter pre-treatment system, you can get rid of unpleasant tastes and odors, including the chlorine smell and taste you find in municipal tap water. Carbon pre-treatment can also remove pesticides, pharmaceuticals and a slew of other organic contaminants.
If you rely on your own well for your drinking water, it’s up to you to make sure it’s safe to drink. A UV disinfection system protects you and your family from harmful bacteria, viruses and other disease causing organisms. That means you no longer have to worry about nasty things from your neighbor’s septic tank or the farm down the road contaminating the water you drink. Meanwhile, carbon pre-treatment will remove pesticides and other undesirable contaminants.
One of the biggest benefits of a home treatment system is the amount of money you’ll save. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, bottled water costs an average of US$1.21/gallon in 2013 — and that’s wholesale pricing. If you’re buying a 24-pack of single-serve bottles, you’re going to pay even more. The average American uses two gallons of water a day for drinking and cooking. If you’ve got four people in your household, that’s eight gallons a day, 365 days a year. Multiply that by $1.21 a gallon and you’re looking at more than $3,500 a year. The electricity required to run a UV & Carbon filtration system is about the same amount it takes to run a 40-Watt light bulb, while replacing most UV lamps (done once a year) and carbon filters will set you back around $3 per week.
Save the Environment!
Switching to home filtration systems will help save the environment. Each year, Americans buy roughly 29 billion bottles of water. Think of all the energy and resources that go into making those plastic bottles — and all the fuel that gets burned delivering them to your door. Altogether, the Pacific Institute estimates that America’s bottled water habit consumes up to 53 million barrels of oil annually. That’s enough to fuel more than three million cars for an entire year. The environmental damage doesn’t end there. According to the Container Recycling Institute, nearly two out of every three beverage containers end up in landfills or incinerators, rather than being recycled. Data from the United Nations Environment Program found that plastic waste causes approximately $13 billion in damage to beaches and marine life habitat, killing animals, poisoning the food chain, and smothering the sea bed. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers an area six times the size of the U.K. Located in the Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and California, this floating island of plastic sits on the migration route for populations of humpback whales. These whales are literally swimming through a sea of plastic and eating the waste that we discard.
Switching from bottle watered to water you filter yourself is an easy choice.