In many areas of the U.S., tap water may contain unwanted chemicals and toxins that the human body shouldn’t absorb. Tap water often contains high levels of lead, arsenic, copper, chlorine, or VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). These chemicals can lead to diseases and in severe cases, cancer. To prevent harm from these chemicals, many choose to buy bottled water instead. Unfortunately, bottled water is often no different than tap water itself and costs much more, environmentally and financially.
Bottled water, in many cases, is filtered tap water with a fancy label. In a study performed comparing bottled water to tap water, 40% of bottled water was found to be identical to filtered tap water. Most bottled water companies use water from the very same municipality that households use for tap supply.
Bottled water can often be less safe than water from your tap. Major bottling companies are not required to test for e.coli, provide the source of the water, or even provide a test for quality of health. All tap water resources are required to do so and can’t distribute water unless they pass these tests. If that still doesn’t worry you, over 20% of bottled water contains levels of contaminants over state health limits. These contaminants can sometimes include MTBE (a chemical found in fertilizer), arsenic, Coli form bacteria, and nitrates. These chemicals can also cause cancer, as well as pre-mature death at any age.
Purchasing bottles of water is not financially responsible, as they cost over 10,000 times the amount than tap water, which is often the same quality. Considering one bottle costs anywhere from 1 to 4 dollars, the costs can add up over a long period of time. On average, the average consumer needlessly spends over $175 on bottled water per year.
Discarded bottles contribute to a large portion of trash that doesn’t get recycled. Only 1 out of 5 bottles are recycled, creating over 3 billion pounds of discarded plastic waste. Ironically, most of this is dumped back into our water, making our natural resources even worse. Not only does it damages our natural resources, but inflicts a toll on our precious oil reserves as well. 17 million barrels of oil are used by bottling companies per year, which could fuel over a million cars a year!
So how can you avoid the problems of bottled water while avoiding the chemicals from your tap? By installing a whole-house filtration system, you can save money while enjoying clean, pure water. Filtration systems will prevent dangerous chemicals in your tap supply from entering your household, reducing the chances of toxin-induced disease.
Filtration systems purify the water throughout your home, so you can enjoy contaminant-free water at your convenience. Your showers will be free of chlorine and chemicals as well. You will enjoy the improved taste, while causing no further damage to the environment or your wallet.
Charles Brown works as an analyst for the Water Team. He does most of his work online through articles and forums in helping people solve their water problems. He specializes in “hard water” treatments and water contamination.
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