Most of us know that a lot of the bottled water we buy is really tap water. Pepsi admitted last year that Aquafina is really tap water and Aquafina’s bottles either say ” Bottled at the source P.W.S.” or a longer version where instead of “PWS”, they mention it as “public water sources”. In other words, tap water. Coke’s Dasani is PWS too, according to news reports.
I am sure there still are brands that source from springs or alpine mountain lakes or ice melt from glaciers. But since I am not likely to read the fine print in each bottle, I generally assume that a lot of them are some kind of purified tap water.
“Purified” is the key word here. Even if it was tap water, I told myself, it must be a slightly purified version. After all, there must be some logic to why people continue to buy bottled water, and pay those outrageous prices for purified tap water, right? Especially in the US, where drinking water fountains are everywhere, in every public space, in every rest area on the highway and even in unexpected remote corners of national parks.
Sure enough, Aquafina’s bottle, for one, talks about a “rigorous, seven-step purification process called HyDRO-7 ” .
Now, a seven step purification process sounds very impressive. Three steps would be too little – what, you’d think, did they just remove the chlorine then? Twelve steps would sound like overkill – why was the water so dirty in the first place, you’d wonder. What exactly was that public water source? A seven step process sounds just the right thing to do.
But all good things ultimately disappoint. So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised to hear from researchers that bottled water is not all that pure, and “leading brands” whoever they are, contain the same contaminants that are found in tap water.
The study’s lab tests on 10 brands of bottled water detected 38 chemicals including bacteria, caffeine, the pain reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer, solvents, plastic-making chemicals and the radioactive element strontium. Though some probably came from tap water that some companies use for their bottled water, other contaminants probably leached from, the researchers said.
“In some cases, it appears bottled water is no less polluted than tap water and, at 1,900 times the cost, consumers should expect better,” said Jane Houlihan, an environmental engineer who co-authored the study.
I wonder who those leading brands are and whether they all had seven step processes.
But think about it. How fantastic is it to get free acetaminophen (aka paracetamol) with your bottled water! All you need to do if you feel feverish is to drink water. You also get free caffeine with your water! What joy. And free bacteria to boost your immune system.. what more can one ask for?
No, no, you shouldn’t think about it as paying a premium to drink fertilizer. Don’t you realize how great fertilizer is for health? Just look how well it makes plants grow.
You say you are getting it for free in tap water anyway?
You know, you may have a point there. If I am going to get my daily dose of acetaminophen and fertilizer anyway, I might as well trust myself to water purifiers and BPA free bottles.
At least the landfills will thank me for it. I might not get good water, but maybe at least some good karma?