Water is essential for life and has always been acknowledged as such, however the past few decades has shown an increase in the hype surrounding water consumption and the role it plays on our health and body image. Being healthy and fit is received well by society, and this provides us with a need and drive to participate in healthier activities such as gym, sports, fad diets and now even the water we consume. Research and the media have continued to highlight the benefits of water consumption showing us that it can cure migraines and even prevent cancer. (1)
Although most of us use to rely on tap water for our hydration needs, the last two decades have shown an increase in bottled water consumption globally. The motivation for the swop between tap and bottled water has not been established however this topic is well discussed among researchers where multiple causations have been suggested. The reasons suggested for the increase in bottled water consumption includes the dissatisfying taste, odour and sight of tap water however these contributors were found to vary across cultures. (2)
The bottled water industry has taken the world by storm where consumption has been found to increase 6% annually in the United States of America since its introduction to the consumer. The popularity growth in bottled water has resulted in $22 billion industry; resulting in the fastest growing non-alcoholic beverage globally. However much debate surrounds the quality difference between tap water and bottled water.
Some experts say tap water is safer and cleaner than bottled water as tap water is tested regularly under strict laws, while others argue that bottled water receives more thorough testing. Studies have shown that water tested from taps are cleaner and healthier than bottled water, however other studies suggest the opposite. The bottled water industry is here to stay, however is the price of bottled water really worth it?(2)
The controversy that surrounds Coca-Cola and their bottled water brand Dasani exposed the hidden truth behind the bottled water we find on our shelves. Coca-Cola had been found to have bottled purified tap water instead of what was conceived to have been natural spring water. Despite the hype surrounding the Dasani scandal, concerns surrounding the legitimacy of bottled spring water has existed since 1999.
A study was conducted that showed that from 1,000 bottles tested from 103 brands, 25% of bottled water was just tap water bottled sometimes purified other times not. For example a bottled water company known as “pure glacier water” were found to have been bottling municipal water. Furthermore another company known as “spring water” had been bottling water from a water source near a dumping site. (3)
The disloyalty found within the bottled water companies stimulated further research into the safety and cleanliness of bottled water. A study conducted in 1999 found that 18 out of 103 bottled waters were contaminated with bacteria levels higher than recommended standards. Further research suggested that the plastic water bottles were leaching synthetic chemicals into the water. Because water is considered food it is regulated under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and not the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); bottled water companies are not regulated and scrutinized as much as municipality and public water. This opens multiple opportunities for less desirable bottled water quality on our shelves.
Due to the undesirable realities surrounding the legitimacy of bottled spring water; tap water may be the best option for you and your family’s hydration needs. Filtering your tap water is your safest and most effective method in ensuring you are providing the best quality of water to your loved ones.
Water filters have shown to be the most cost effective and eco-friendly solution to your water needs. Water filters do not require any energy to provide purified water therefore you can purify your own water without causing additional burden on our natural energy stores. Some affordable and effective water pitchers on the market include the Brita that can be easily purchased online. (4)
Ensuring your family is drinking clean and safe water should be essential in every home across America. The benefits associated with the consumption of clean and safe water are profound however the harmful effects associated with contaminated drinking water would prevent anyone from drinking water again.
There are numerous ways in which you can test the quality of your drinking water however not all of them are cost effective. Therefore check your local water report to ensure you are receiving clean and safe water, and to be extra sure that your water is the best; get yourself a water filter for your pitcher to enjoy the crisp and delicious taste of purified water in your own home.(4)