As more impurities are discovered in public water supplies across the country, some people are seeking alternatives to using their taps to quench thirst, cook, brush teeth and more. When bottled water is the choice, purified products are often considered the best.
Why Tap Water Is Suspect
A recent Associated Press investigation has brought to light some very major concerns about the safety of public drinking water. The investigation revealed that pharmaceuticals have been discovered within the drinking water supplies in cities all across America. Some 41 million Americas are believed to be impacted by medication tainted water.
Although it was reported that the concentrations of medications, including antibiotics, anticonvulsants and more, are below medical dosing and public utilities try to assure that their water is safe, scientists are unclear about the potential long-term effects of exposure, the AP reported. The investigation involved a five-month study that turned up contamination in 24 metro areas across the country. Areas impacted included Detroit, Louisville, Northern New Jersey and Southern California.
The pharmaceutical contaminants themselves are believed to leach into the public water system via the normal human elimination process. When toilet water is flushed, it goes into a sewer system and eventually to a wastewater treatment plant. While this treatment process is extensive, impurities remain. This water is, in turn, released back into natural bodies of water for further filtration. It eventually ends up back in the rivers, lakes, reservoirs and aquifers from which drinking water is obtained.
To understand the impact pharmaceuticals are having on the drinking water supply, it helps to look at a few figures released as a result of the AP study. Highlights of the report include:
More than 56 different medications and/or byproducts were found in Philadelphia’s treated drinking water. A total of 63 different pharmaceuticals were discovered in the city’s various watersheds.
The U.S. Geological Survey tested the Passaic Valley Water Commission’s drinking water plant in Northern New Jersey. Two medications were found in the supply.
A number of different governmental agencies chose not to test their drinking water supply despite discovery of contaminants in the watersheds. Fairfax, Va., New York City, Santa Clara, Calif., and Omaha, Neb., were among those that chose not to test.
Beyond the startling AP report, other contaminants are often found in tap water. They range from e. coli and Coliform to heavy metals. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Commission does require testing for more than 90 different contaminants, they do sometimes slip through into the public supply. Plus most municipal water suppliers try to kill bacteria by adding excessive amounts of chlorine.
Why Bottled Water Is A Smart Choice
The International Bottled Water Association points out several facts about bottled water that makes this choice stand out heads and shoulders above tap in the eyes of many. While many say bottled water is tap water that has been put straight into new packaging, this is not the case.
A closer look at the facts surrounding bottled water make it very clear that this is a superior choice. According to Dr. Stephen Edberg of the Yale University School of Medicine, bottled water should inspire confidence in consumers. Speaking following the AP’s report, Edberg said, “The technical and safety measures used to produce and process bottled water are extremely effective in protecting the product from these and other substances that were reported in the article, should they be present in source water to begin with. This report raises no concern for the safety of bottled water.”
Facts about bottled water that make it a winner over tap include:
Federal regulation – Despite popular belief to the contrary, bottled water is regulated as a food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is subject to the FDA’s safety, inspection, labeling and quality requirements.
Bottled water undergoes further treatment – Yes, it’s true that bottled water often does come from public drinking supplies. This water, however, undergoes further treatments, such as distillation, reverse osmosis, filtration and more.
Labeling requirements – The FDA demands that companies that choose not to further treat tap water clearly state this fact on their bottled water labels.
Reasons To Select Purified Water
There are a number of methods that bottled water companies employ to further treat water that they receive, bottle and sell. The distillation process involved in creating distilled oxygenated water is considered a superior choice for a number of reasons. This process is different than other common treatments like reverse osmosis. While steam distillation is considered more cost-effective, it is also more effective overall in removing unwanted impurities from drinking water.
In the steam distilling process for oxygenated water, impurities are removed from the water. The process is effective in removing major contaminants and also pharmaceuticals. Once water is distilled for purification, oxygen molecules are infused into the end product to create water that is pure, safe and highly clean tasting.
As the safety of the public drinking water supply remains in question, many people are seeking alternatives. Purified, bottled water is the top choice for purity, taste and the assurances of regulation.