The Real Truth About Bottled Water, Purified Water and Tap Water

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There has been substantial information and misinformation about bottled water and its value and beneficial effects. Many people and organizations have joined the argument and the pros and cons have been widely discussed. As a result there has been a significant amount of disinformation distributed and discussed.

In any event, bottled water is a multi billion dollar business and is hugely popular. And, the demand for bottled alternatives keeps increasing as the population at large adopts a healthier life style

It is best to begin with a technical definition of “Purity”. Purity is often represented numerically by “Total Dissolved Solids”, or “TDS”, which measures the concentration of soluble impurities . TDS is measured in terms of parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/l). The EPA stipulates that tap water should have no more than 500 ppm of impurities (of all kinds) . Why is this level not 0 ppm?

Types of Water

There are two types consumed in the United States today: Municipal (also know as tap water) and bottled (including spring , filtered and purified water. The conclusion of this article is this: ALL TAP AND MOST BOTTLED WATER IS UNHEALTHY. Purified water is the only one that is truly safe to drink.

Here is the proof:

Tap Water – Tap is water provided by municipalities to a large portion of the population and most people are familiar with those types.

In the Northern Virginia – Washington Region, almost all tap water comes from surface sources like the Potomac and the Occoquan Reservoir, which is fed by the Occoquan River, both of which are polluted. The source supply is processed using basic filtration techniques like sand filtration (filters out large chucks of waste and other organic materials ), flocculation (chemicals added to get smaller particles to coagulate and float so they can be removed) and finally, chlorine is added to kill bacteria and micro-organisms.

In most cases, tap is considered potable (drinkable) according to EPA standards. The use of chlorine is widespread and most people object to the smell and taste of the water when chlorine is present.

Just Exactly What Are EPA Standards?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the regulatory body responsible for setting standards of quality of tap water. The EPA does not ensure purity , only that the water meets standards (meaning pollutants and harmful substances are allowed). Most municipalities issue yearly glowing reports about meeting EPA Standards but these standards are arbitrary, not supported by scientific testing and actually are an easy way for municipalities to produce unhealthy drinking water.

An example of the fallacy of EPA Standards is reflected in recent legislation proposed by Senator Hillary Clinton (D. NY) and others that would force the EPA to revise standards to protect New Yorkers against TCE, a carcinogenic chemical blamed for pollution of Long Island water. Senator Clinton concluded that regarding the EPA: “It is unacceptable that the EPA has failed to protect the public from TCE in the face of stronger scientific evidence that it causes cancer, and growing exposure problems in New York and across the country…As a result of EPA delays, communities across New York continue to be exposed to potentially toxic levels of TCE.” The conclusion that one can draw from this legislation is that EPA protection of our drinking water is doubtful at best.

Standards allow certain “minimums” of harmful chemicals and contaminants in tap water. What is the difference between a little poison absorbed in your body continuously or a lot of poison absorbed in a short time? It can be argued that both are detrimental to your health.

Many other questions arise about tap as well. How much poison can the human body take and how did the EPA determine how much contamination is allowable and safe? What test protocols did the EPA use and how was testing conducted? What about people with challenged immune systems?


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