Remember the days when water flowed freely, and you never had to pay for this natural resource? Probably not. Bottled water has become as much of a business as anything else, ranging anywhere from $4-$6 at airports and special events. I once spent $6 on a tiny bottle of water and became so irate, I almost threw it in the seller's face. "This is extortion," I exclaimed. The seller just shrugged. "But it's water," I sputtered. "Water."
Sadly, I have become quite the water snob. I was blessed with an astute palate, one that lets me know immediately if the bottled water I am drinking is probably tap. Yes, tap water. In bottles. That's usually what you are buying. You can't always believe the pleasant pictures and promises of purity on the labels. Most companies lie.
According to Cary McNeal, author of 1001 Facts That Will Scare the S#*t Out of You, he reports that "bottled water is rarely tested for purity. An Environmental Working Group study found that 10 popular brands were riddled with chemical pollutants and bacteria, some as high as tap water. While the results of tap water contamination tests are made public, manufacturers of bottled water do not divulge their test results."
While some water does come from good sources, more than 25% comes from a municipal supply. It is sold to us at a thousand percent increase in price. Basically, we are paying to drink glorified tap water - a fact that simply exists since bottlers don't have to put their water sources on the label. Also, the plastic the water comes in can contain DEHP, a type of chemical with estrogenic properties that can produce carcinogens during the production process. In addition, plastic is simply rough on the environment. Today, the most "popular" bottled waters are owned by companies like Pepsi and Coke, which should make you realize that health is not always their number one priority. While many people will disagree, facts are facts, and while the water listed below is some of the most popular, these brands have had many faults found with them.
Top 5 Worst Bottled Water
1. Aquafina (Pepsi admits Aquafina comes from tap water)
2. Nestle Pure Life (this company tries hard to promote its water, but there are still issues)
3. Dasani (bottled tap water by Coca Cola)
4. SmartWater (one of the most expensive brands, it uses 48% more plastic than its competitors)
5. Vitamin Water (slightly better than soda)
Your options range when it comes to having purifying water at home: from the newest faucet attachments to old standbys like Brita or reverse osmosis systems. Here's a link to several filtration systems, from the simplest option to those die-hard water consumers: water filters
1. Look for reverse osmosis or oxygenated water in grocery stores like Whole Foods. Try and fill your water up in glass containers.
2. Carry your water with you in a glass container to cut down on plastic. Many stores (or online stores) carry these as well.
3. Do your research on what systems are best. While at-home filters are better than tap, many systems don't filter out all the bad contaminants.
4. Educate yourself about bottled water. Are you comfortable not really knowing where your water comes from?