How often do you reach for a bottle of cold water in a store, eager to quench your thirst? You’ll probably feel pretty good about yourself, it’s healthy to drink water and you’ve avoided the temptation offered by all those soft drinks.
But, is that bottle of water as pure as you think it is?
The Short Answer
No! Despite water having an image of being pure and healthy, bottled water is not necessarily pure. Let’s take a look at some of the terms you’re likely to see on your water bottle.
Spring or Well Water
This is simply water that has come out of the ground, collected and bottled. There is no indication that it has been treated and no guarantee that it is pure. After all, your tap water comes through the ground and into a reservoir, where it is treated before being piped to your house.
If you take some water and boil it you can catch the steam and allow it to cool back into water. This process removes minerals from the water and eliminates microbes. It does make it pure although it will also give it a flat taste.
This is potentially the best one of them all, it’s just tap water. The water bottles are filed at the production plant from the tap and then sold on. It’s no worse and no better than standard tap water.
That’s the real issue with bottled water, you don’t know what you are getting and it has the potential to be less pure than tap water.
Tap water comes from a reservoir, it’s not allowed to leave the treatment plant until it has been treated with chlorine to remove bacteria, filtered to remove debris, and it reaches government-approved standards. It should be tested daily.
In contrast, bottled water is tested occasionally, it can contain animal waste, the same chemicals as tap water, or could even contain harmful minerals and heavy metals.
If you’re planning on using bottled water you need to read the label carefully first. This will ensure you know what you’re actually drinking
Personal Filtration Systems
A safer and more practical approach is to use tap water. However, tap water has traveled through miles of pipes where it can pick up contaminants and debris. To ensure it is as pure as it should be you should invest in a reverse osmosis filtration system.
This will remove the contaminants and eliminate the chlorine and fluoride that were added at the treatment plant.
There’s a good reason to remove these minerals, they have both been linked with an increased likelihood of cancer. The gaseous form of chlorine is a key ingredient in nerve gas, explaining why it can be irritating to your throat and eyes.
Don’t forget, if you’re planning on taking filtered tap water out with you it’s important to purchase a dedicated reusable bottle. This will prevent any concerns regarding plastic leaching into your water or damage to the environment. It’s also the cheapest option.