Water Bottle Safety…Fact or Fiction?

In this day and age of increased water awareness, more people are drinking bottled water. In 2008, Americans drank 9 billion gallons of bottled water, which comes out to be approximately 30 gallons per person that year. Bottled water is convenient and seems innocent enough, but is bottled water safer than tap water? Not necessarily.

Tap water is tested multiple times a day to ensure that the water is safe to drink. In Athens, the water that reaches your tap is tested every hour of every day! Bottled water however, isn’t tested as often. A study conducted by the Natural Resource Defense Council tested over 1,000 bottles of water. “About 22 percent of the brands we tested contained, in at least one sample, chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits.” They also found that some of the bottled water was just tap water, 25% or more in fact. The tap water in some cases was treated further, other cases it wasn’t.

If you haven’t noticed, bottled water is expensive! Why buy bottled water when there is water coming from your tap? Bottled water can cost anywhere between$1 and $5. Let’s say you buy a $2.00 20 ounce bottle of water, did you know that would equal $12.80 for a gallon of water! That’s more than three times the price of a gallon of gas! Now look at the table below and see how much a gallon of water costs in Athens-Clarke County.

Tier 1: Winter Average (WA)

0.00342 cents/gallon

Tier 2: 10% over WA

0.00428 cents/gallon

Tier 3: 10-25% over WA

0.00513 cents/gallon

Tier 4: >25% over WA

0.00855 cents/gallon

So would you rather pay 0.00855-0.00342 cents a gallon for water or $12.80?

Now to tackle the bottle itself. It actually takes at least twice as much water to make the bottle than to actually fill it. It takes 3 liters of water to make 1 liter of bottled water. A lot of water can be saved by simply using a reusable water bottle. Also, plastic bottles are one of the main pollution sources and often end up in our oceans.

Not enough bottles are being recycled; one statistics says 75% of bottles are thrown away. And in a time of oil dependency, there are 17 million barrels of oil that are used to produce water bottles every year.

So bottled water is pricey, not necessarily safer than tap, and the bottle can be a harmful pollutant to our environment. This is a huge industry that isn’t going to change overnight but here are a few things you can do!

  • Buy a reusable water bottle. They hold large amounts of water and are easy to just grab and go.

  • If you must buy a bottle of water, some places don’t allow reusable water bottles, recycle the bottle. That will be one-less bottle that could end up in the ocean.

  • Tell your friends! You are the change, consumers control demand.
  • Go to www.tappedthemovie.com/for more even information! I just watched this for the first time and it really got me inspired.

Next time you see a bottle of water at a store, take a step back and reconsider buying it. It could just be tap water or even worse, it could have harmful chemicals in it. Drink smarter!


WCO intern

Originally posted on waterconservationstation.blogspot.com, 4/23/13


One thought on “Water Bottle Safety…Fact or Fiction?

  1. Pingback: Govt. to sell bottled water! : AGONY in INDIA : Your country may be next! | Propel Steps

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