Thursday, March 25, 2010

Offtopic: Bottled Water Awareness

Because I've been swamped with work, prepping for moving to a new house, and working on a SEKRET PROJECT (to be revealed later), I'm posting this little informative offtopic vid link today.

I drink tap water. I don't put absolute trust in bottled, store-purchased water: it is only as safe as its source. I have a nice reusable metal water bottle sitting on my desk that is far cheaper than the plastic bottled stuff. For those curious, I studied Environmental Science in college. This included environmental engineering, groundwater flow, soils, plants, wetland mitigation, water treatment, and wastewater management, including tours of 3 different sets of water treatment and wastewater treatment plants.

And when I go backpacking and camping, I *certainly* don't drink straight from the filthy, polluted, wild streams and springs that the bottled-water companies claim they get their "pristine" water from. No, I filter and purify it so I don't end up with Giardia or worse. Deer Park? Reminds me of a time I found a dead deer laying in a mountain stream just up from where my hiking group had just purified some water. A fresh spring from the ground? Wanna know what people stick in holes on their farms or dump in the woods that filters down into that lovely groundwater? No, you really don't. Don't buy into those little logos and images of "fresh clean wild" water. We have water treatment plants for a very good reason.

I live in a country that has very strict regulations on its tap water. Things are monitored closely and constantly. It's as safe and sometimes safer than bottled water: I've visited my local water treatment plant, I know how they clean it, and I trust them to keep operations running smoothly. Yes, sometimes a problem comes up in some cities/regions, but same can be said for the sources of bottled water: there are reported cases of bottled water containing bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants as well. City water is more tightly regulated and monitored than bottled water.

If you live or travel in an area that does not have well-regulated water treatment, there are water purification techniques that can be done in the kitchen or over a campfire. Simply bringing water to a boil is enough to disinfect it; filter it with the standard water filters or even clean cloth to filter out particles.

Ultimately, I'd rather not deal with the higher cost, waste, and potential BPA problems of bottled water as much as I can help it. I will stick with my reusable bottle.


Unknown said...

I have a friend that is a retired state employee whose job involved water quality. He says the exact same thing when it comes to bottled water.

Anonymous said...

is this the super sekret project i think it is!

Jen said...

The water in my tap is reddish-brown half the time. Old pipes ftl. I'll drink bottled water any day, I can't stand the thought of drinking something that came out of those pipes.

My plan is to eventually get a water filter, but I've found too many types to make a decision yet...

Calla said...

Diet pepsi is the same as water, right?

At work, I drink out of the tap in my re-usable water bottle. At home, I have a filter. At the old house I had well water, I wouldn't drink the water because of the bad smell/taste.

Secret project... I think I know what it is too! Kae is so amazing :).

Jarr said...

Bah! Go hug...yourself you resto druid hippie! :D

We actually have filtered water and ice machines in our corporate offices. The only thing that I wonder is just how often is that filter being maintained.

Another fine thought provoking piece, Kae. It certainly piques the curiosity about your secret project. I look foward to seeing more.

Meka said...

I'd also like to add the environmental impact caused by manufacturing the plastic bottles, hauling them on a truck across the country, and then the subsequent recycling of said bottle. Or even worse, buying bottled water from some fancy spring in Italy or France. Then your plastic bottle was suddenly hauled across half the world!

Kae said...

Yep Meka, they do indeed. The video I linked touches on it some. Same thing happens with food and other products shipped around the world.

TBH, most of the price of organic foods is just price-gauging for the hype. Sometimes you can find it reasonably priced to the point where the standard chain-grocery-store non-organics are more expensive, due to the shipping costs... locally grown (or caught, in the case of seafood) food can be cheaper since it doesn't have such a heavy shipping cost attached.

When I was growing up my family would buy vegetables and shrimp from roadside stands, and it was the best stuff ever, and sooo much cheaper and fresher than what was at the grocery store.

Unknown said...

wonderful post!!!! Thank you for sharing and spreading the word.

So often it seems that carrying the bottled water increases one's social status. I have no idea why, but that is the perception I have of how those folks, who carry the bottles, feel.