Most people by now have seen the Brita commercials — the ones where they show miles upon miles of empty water bottles encircling the planet.
It provides a great visual.
Statistics show that Americans buy an estimated 29.8 billion plastic water bottles every year.
Nearly 8 out of every 10 of those bottles end up in a landfill.
While some people do attempt to be conscientious by reusing their water bottles, most plastic water bottles were never intended to be reused, and the washing process can actually present safety issues.
Some plastic bottles and other containers leak Bisphenol A (BPA) which has been shown to have negative health effects. These effects are still undergoing study, but the picture is a bit scary.
So why buy bottled water?
It is a common belief in the U.S. that bottled water is superior in quality to local tap water, that bottled water is created solely from mountain springs and other remote, pure and untouched water sources.
But the facts do not agree.
FranklyGreen.com states that:
“roughly 40 percent of bottled water begins as tap water; often the only difference is added minerals that have no marked health benefit.”
The two top-selling bottled waters in the U.S., Aquafina (Pepsi) and Dasani (Coca-Cola), fall into the category of purified tap water.
While city water is generally required to be tested free of common E. coli (fecal) bacteria, bottled water is permitted to have a certain amount of it. Bottled water companies may test their water prior to bottling, but are not required to release the results; municipal water providers are.
Municipal water sources do add chlorine to the water to kill bacteria, which depending on the levels, can add a distinct taste and feel to the water.
Whole-house filters are a great way to remove harmful levels of chlorine and other minerals from all water used in the house. But even whole-house filters, such as the rock salt filter carried by Culligan Water Conditioning in West Columbia SC, can leave an aftertaste.
A point of use filter can be easily installed right on a faucet — usually in the kitchen — to remove this aftertaste and create fresh, pure water for drinking and cooking.
Brita makes several different varieties, from the pitcher-style to the faucet style. These point of use devices are obtainable from a number of different sources, including Walgreens, WalMart, and Target stores. An NSA filter is another good option for point-of-use water filtration.
So if you are looking for the best bottled water in Columbia, look no further than your own kitchen faucet.
Install a point-of-use filter. Purchase reusable bottles, like the sporty aluminum water bottles by Gaiam from Target or stainless steel and BPA-free bottles from Aladdin and bottle your own water.
And reuse the bottles again … and again … and again.
For additional information about the bottled water industry, read this article presented by the Organic Consumers Association.
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