Water pollution remains a constant concern in many US communities. This guide can be helpful in understanding what contaminants that could be in your water. You should contact your water utility if you suspect something is wrong.
The bottle water industry exceeds $100 billion in revenue worldwide per year. The industry promotes bottle water as being a safe water option, but in reality bottled water is expensive, resource intensive and poses possible general health concerns.
Here are several reasons to reconsider the use of bottled water:
- Not Healthier – Bottled water often contains more bacteria and impurities than tap water, because the EPA regulates municipal water systems more stringently than the FDA regulates bottled water. Since most water does not cross state lines, in many cases it is exempt from FDA oversight, while the water in your local municipal water system is regulated by the EPA. Municipal water systems are regularly tested bacteria and toxic chemicals.
- Resource Intensive – In the US, it takes the equivalent of more than 18 million barrels of oil to manufacture the bottles needed for the US bottled water industry. The energy and fuel costs needed to ship the the bottled water is also extremely expensive for a product that is readily available from your own tap.
- Purchase Price – The purchase price for bottled water can range as high as the equivalent of $10 gallon when purchased from retail and vending machines. Compare this to gasoline that is less than $4 per gallon.
- Clean up Costs – It is estimated that is costs more than $80 million to clean up the more than 4 billion bottles that pass through the US wast stream.
- Waste - in the United States, less than 20% of PET bottles are recycled, resulting in over 1.2 million tons of plastic waste in US landfills.