The Bottled Water Scam

Is bottled water better than tap water?

Environmentalists and health experts have stated that drinking bottled water is not, necessarily, any better for us than drinking and using water straight from the tap. The fact is that a large amount of bottled water is in reality nothing more than repackaged tap water.

Bottled water does not deserve the nutritional halo that most people give it for being pure. If you are not an exclusive bottled water drinker, you may find it worthwhile to check into filtering your tap water to save money. Though in most places this should not even be necessary unless you want to remove the slight trace of chlorine and such.

In a test on 1,000 bottled of 103 different brands of bottled water man-made chemicals, bacteria and arsenic were found in 22% of the bottles. Purer than tap, as the advocates of bottled water claim? I hardly think so.

It would therefore appear that while tap water may not be immune from contamination it may be a much safer option that bottled water. Apparently also the hygiene standards for bottled “spring” water a far, far lower than those for domestic tap water in the developed, especially the Western world, and often such bottled water falls very much below the worst tap water standard.

If you want to be real sure as to nothing being in the water and be secure of real purity then get and use a filter, be this a British Berkfield ceramic filter or the simple filter jug such as Britta, Kenwood, or derivatives of the same. While the filter on the British Berky, so I understand, basically lasts for ever and can be cleaned, the filters in the jugs are active charcoal, sand, etc. and have to be replaced once every month or so. But this makes it still by far cheaper than buying bottled water.

This is also my advice to anyone who may be concerned about the fact that most tap water is chlorinated. However, the traces of chlorine in the tap water is, in most instances, minute, though you may still be able to taste and smell the chlorine. I know I can smell chlorine in the water in many places but I also know that it is harmless. Knowing that I can smell and taste chlorine in the water to me is a good indicator that the water has been treated and therefore can be assumed to be to at least 90% safe.

If you are storing water as a preparedness measure you, more than likely have added a small amount of chlorine to the water that you are storing in order to keep it safe and fresh, and especially in order to prevent bacterial production.

Bottled water and our immense use of it is also NOT good at all for the environment, and that on two levels:

1. The extraction of this spring/groundwater, where it comes from the source, puts a great strain on our water resources.


2. The plastic bottles, the PET bottles, cause a huge problem everywhere and use, for starters oil, a non-renewable resource, in their production and while they can be recycled into fibre from which fleece jackets and blankets are made the great majority of such bottled, about 80% of then, end up in the landfill sites, thus putting yet another strain on the environment.

Anyone of us who is concerned about living a frugal life and/or about the environment should get away from the use of bottled water as much as at all possible and use tap water instead in our own reusable canteens. This is better for you, your pocketbook and the environment.
Do you really want to pay 65pence ($1) to £1.20 ($1.80) for a 500ml bottle of water that could in fact repackaged tap water, after all? I for one am not.

© M V Smith, May 2007