Is Bottled Water Really Better Than Tap Water?

Bottled water has garnered a pure and healthy image in recent years, and it has now even eclipsed soda as the popular drink on the go. This seems innocent, but in actuality, bottled water is regulated far less vigorously than even tap water, and it’s far more expensive. Those of us receiving municipal water have our water supply stored in reservoirs, it is then carried into our homes and businesses through a network of pipes. Bottled water is packaged in a plant, stored in plastic and then sold in stores or used in water coolers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the problems that bottled water causes.

Bottled Water Processing:bottled-water-1328734

Some bottled water comes from naturally occurring springs, but more than 25% of bottled water comes from the municipal water supply. Spring water and natural mineral water is usually bottled at the source of the water and cannot be subjected to any additional processing, except for adding carbon dioxide to create sparkling water. This is not the case with some brands of bottled water; they use another source of water including municipal water supplies. Some of these bottled waters are treated with UV light to kill any bacteria, undergo filtration and then go through an ion exchange to remove minerals, and no residual disinfectant is used.

Tap Water Processing:

Tap water goes through many more stages of processing than many types of bottled water. Initially, all dirt, dust, debris and other particles are removed using coagulation. Then alum and other chemicals are added to the water to attract dirt particles and then cause them to sink to the bottom. The remaining water is then passed through a succession of filters, including layers of sand, charcoal, and gravel, to remove any smaller particulates. Finally, small amounts of chlorine is added to disinfect the water and kill any microorganisms and bacteria, and then the water is sent to a closed tank or reservoir to be stored until needed. This produces water that is much cleaner than many bottled water products.

Environmental Concerns:

The plastic used to construct water bottles is virgin petroleum, which is a fossil fuel. In order to fill the plastic bottles and distribute them to stores, even more fossil fuels need to be burned. This situation is exacerbated further if the plastic water bottles are shipped internationally. A recent study showed that 47 million gallons of oil is needed every year to produce these plastic water bottles. To make things worse, the Container Recycling Institute estimates that less than 20% of these plastic water bottles are recycled and that 1.5 million tons of extra plastic waste is produced every year.

If you’re worried about the quality of your drinking water, get in touch with a local qualified water treatment specialist. There are many kinds of water treatment systems available to deal with a wide variety of water quality issues. Always check that your chosen specialist is fully WQA certified and you can be sure that they meet and possibly even exceed water industry standards.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.  He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)

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Nicmar Water
999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
 • 800-542-8649

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