The Truth About Bottled Water

Few questions confound health-conscious conservationists more than the first one a waiter might ask at a nice restaurant: bottled or tap?


Kirstin Mckee/Stocksy

We know which is better for the environment. That’s easy. Not only are millions of tons of plastic bottles clogging our landfills, but it takes 1.63 liters of water to make every liter of Dasani—and the company is doing it in drought-plagued California.

But despite those harsh realities, public concerns about tap-water quality (and, let’s face it, slick marketing) have caused bottled water sales to soar over the past couple of decades. Ads and labels drive home the perception of purity, with images of pristine glaciers and crystal-clear mountain springs. We now have “luxury” water bars and “premium” bottled water. Some people are spending 10,000 times more per gallon for bottled water than they typically are for tap. Is it worth the cost—to you and the environment?

How is water regulated?

It’s regulated by different agencies, with different missions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the quality of water that comes out of your tap, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for ensuring the safety and truthful labeling of bottled water sold nationally. States are responsible for regulating water that is both packaged and sold within its borders (which is most of the bottled-water market), but one in five states doesn’t even bother.

It’s important to note that the federal government does not require bottled water to be safer than tap. In fact, just the opposite is true in many cases. Tap water in most big cities must be disinfected, filtered to remove pathogens, and tested for cryptosporidium and giardia viruses. Bottled water does not have to be.

Both kinds of water are tested regularly for bacteria and most synthetic organic chemicals, but city tap is typically assessed much more frequently. For example, bottled-water plants must test for coliform bacteria just once a week; city tap needs to be tested 100 or more times a month.

Limits on chemical pollution for both categories are almost identical. The one place where bottled water might have the edge is in the case of lead; because many older homes have lead pipes, the EPA standard for tap water is less strict—one-third of the FDA’s standard for lead in bottled water.

OK—but which type of water is actually safer?

In 1999, after a four-year review of the bottled-water industry and its safety standards, NRDC concluded that there is no assurance that bottled water is cleaner or safer than tap. In fact, an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle—sometimes further treated, sometimes not.

Of the 1,000 bottles tested, the majority proved to be relatively clean and pure. About 22 percent of the brands tested contained chemicals at levels above state health limits in at least one sample. If consumed over a long period of time, some of those contaminants could cause cancer or other health problems for people with weakened immune systems.

Though it’s mostly safe, tap might at times also present issues—especially if you live in a rural community with a higher likelihood of pesticide runoff contamination, or if you get your water from a private (unregulated) well or live in an older home.

Under “right-to-know” provisions in the drinking water law, all tap suppliers must provide annual quality reports to their customers. You also can test your water yourself. Standard consumer test packages are available through large commercial labs at a relatively reasonable price. Call your state drinking-water program or the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) for a list of contacts.

Your water report will point out possible risks to health; fortunately, a home filter designed explicitly to strip contaminants will resolve most cases. If you want to take extra precautions, you should purchase filters certified by NSF International. These models are designed to filter out specific contaminants, so you can select one based on your needs.

If I still want (or need) to buy bottled water, how do I know what I’m buying?

Even though both the federal government and most states have bottled-water safety programs, regulations don’t adequately assure consumers of either purity or safety. A few state bottled-water programs (for example, those in Massachusetts and New York) maintain lists of the sources, but not all do.

Carefully check the label and even the cap; if it says “from a municipal source” or “from a community water system,” this means it’s derived from tap. If you don’t find any information on the bottle, you can call the bottler or the bottled-water program in your state or the state where it was packaged and ask about the source.

Could the actual bottle pose a health risk?

Recent research suggests there might be cause for concern. Chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. One study found that water that had been stored for 10 weeks in plastic and in glass bottles containing phthalates, suggesting that the chemicals could be coming from the plastic cap or liner. Although there are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap, there are no legal limits in bottled water; the bottled-water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.

Obviously, the best way to ensure you and your family are safe is to talk to http://www.filtercon.com about whole house filtrations systems. Because as you read, if you do not have Filtercon, YOU may be the filter.

What is actually in YOUR tap water!

We drink, bathe, cook, and clean with it. But how much do we really know about the water that flows out of our faucets? Some regions fare better than others when it comes to contaminants, but lead, bacteria, and nitrates can still make their way into water supplies . And recent debates on the potential negative impact of hydraulic fracturing (one way of mining oil and gas trapped deep underground) have brought even more attention to what’s reaching our water supply. So before drinking up, let’s take a closer look at what’s on tap.

Troubled Waters? — The Need-to-Know

Illustrations by Shannon Orcutt

Tap water comes from one of two sources: surface water (including reservoirs, rivers, and lakes) or groundwater (from artesian and deep wells). But before it hits our thirsty lips, most H2O undergoes an important disinfection process, destroying most harmful organisms like bacteria and parasites .

But chlorination won’t kill off every bad guy, and some disease-carrying germs can still pollute surface water — and ultimately tap water — through the stool of infected animals or people (ick, we know). Lead and copper can also crash the party via corroded pipes, mostly in homes built before 1970, when copper pipes and lead joints were deemed acceptable. Other less-than-ideal findings: nitrates and other chemicals from fertilizer and pesticide runoff, arsenic (via erosion, orchard runoff, and industrial waste) and evenrocket fuel . And then there’s the alphabet soup of chlorination byproducts — some of the most controversial and potentially harmful contaminants of them all . And while the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) on drinking water has certainly stirred up debate, we need to stay vigilent!

Still sounds scarier than a Freddie Krueger flick? Luckily, the EPA has established Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for public water sources, making the chances of catching a water-related illness relatively slim . And with 91 contaminants regulated by theSafe Drinking Water Act, unwanted intruders are capped at concentrations generally safe enough for the average healthy individual.

Tips for Tap — Your Action Plan

While the quality of H2O will vary between homes, there are a few ways to start sipping more soundly. First, contact the local Public Water Supply for a Consumer Confidence Report, and ask about further testing options if data is limited. And in the meantime, consider trying these simple tips to reduce lead (one of the most dangerous but preventable toxins) in drinking water:

  • Run It. When a particular faucet hasn’t been used for six hours or more, “flush” the cold water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get.
  • Drink Cold. For drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula, always reach for the cold water tap. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead.
  • Re-Strain. Routinely clean and replace faucet strainers, which can accumulate debris, metals, and other sediment.
  • Take a Sniff. Smell rotten eggs, chemicals, or an earthy or metallic-type odor? Consult this troubleshooting resource — or contact the local public water department if the problem isn’t described there.

THE BEST OPTION?

  • Go Filtered. Pregnant women, children under the age of 6, and those with weak immune systems should opt for filtered water to keep harmful contaminants away. This includes getting a whole house filtration system. Even an under the sink option is better than nothing because we need to keep our families safe!
  • REMEMBER, IF YOU DONT HAVE FILTERCON, YOU…MAY BE THE FILTER.

 

Water Quality, Plain and Simple.

Water Quality: What Contaminants Are in Water?

Water can be contaminated in several ways. It can contain microorganisms like bacteria and parasites that get in the water from human or animal fecal matter. It can contain chemicals from industrial waste or from spraying crops. Nitrates used in fertilizers can enter the water with runoff from the land. Various minerals such as lead or mercury can enter the water supply, sometimes from natural deposits underground, or more often from improper disposal.

The EPA has set minimum testing schedules for specific pollutants to make sure that levels remain safe. Still, some people may be more vulnerable than others to potential harm caused by water contaminants, including:

  • People undergoing chemotherapy
  • People with HIV/AIDS
  • Transplant patients
  • Children and infants
  • Pregnant women and their fetuses

By July 1 of each year, public water suppliers are required to mail their customers a drinking water quality report, sometimes called a consumer confidence report or CCR. The report tells where your water comes from and what’s in it. If you don’t get one, or have misplaced it, you can ask for a copy from your local water supplier. Many reports can be found online. If you have any questions after reading your report, you can call your water supplier to get more information.

You can also call the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 to get information and ask questions about the quality and safety of drinking water.

THE BEST WAY TO ENSURE YOUR HEALTH? Look into a whole house water filtrations system. Even if you don’t buy ours, you need to invest in your health. Because, if you dont have Filtercon, YOU might be the filter.

12 Benefits of drinking hot, filtered water

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I think that most of us know by now that water is essential to our survival. We’ve probably also all heard doctors say that drinking roughly eight glasses a day is ideal. However, what most people don’t know is that warm water and hot water have some exclusive benefits of their own that you just can’t get when you drink water cold. Here are 12 benefits of drinking hot water:

1. Weight Loss

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Hot water is great for maintaining a healthy metabolism, which is what you want if you’re trying to shed a few kilos. The best way to do this is to kick start your metabolism early in the morning with a glass of hot water and lemon. As an added bonus, hot water will help to break down the adipose tissue (aka body fat) in your body.

 

2. Assists with Nasal and Throat Congestion

Drinking hot water is an excellent natural remedy for colds, coughs and a sore throat. It dissolves phlegm and also helps to remove it from your respiratory tract. As such, it can provide relief from a sore throat. It also helps in clearing nasal congestion.

3. Menstrual Cramps

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Hot water can also aid in diminishing menstrual cramps. The heat of the water has a calming and soothing effect on the abdominal muscles, which eventually can help to cure cramps and spasms.

4. Body Detoxification

Hot water is fantastic for helping your body to detox. When you drink hot water, your body temperature begins to rise, which results in sweat. You want this to happen because it helps to release toxins from your body and cleanse it properly. For optimal results, add a squeeze of lemon before drinking.

5. Prevents Premature Aging

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There’s a reason you should want to clear your body of toxins: they make you age faster. Also, drinking hot water helps to repair the skin cells that increase the elasticity of your skin and are affected by harmful free radicals. Subsequently, your damaged skin becomes smoother.

6. Prevents Acne and Pimples

The benefits for your skin just keep on coming. Hot water deep cleanses your body and eliminates the root causes of acne-related infections.

7. Hair Health and Vitality

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Drinking hot water is also good for obtaining soft, shiny hair. It energizes the nerve endings in your hair roots and makes them active. This is beneficial for getting back the natural vitality of your hair and keeping it healthy.

8. Promotes Hair Growth

Activating the roots of your hair has another added benefit—growth! The hot water promotes the regular activity of the roots and subsequently accelerates the growth of your hair.

9. Prevents Dandruff

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Hot water keeps your scalp hydrated and helps fight against dry scalp or dandruff.

10. Enhances Blood Circulation and Promotes A Healthy Nervous System

Another important benefit of drinking hot water is that it enhances your blood circulation, which is important for proper muscle and nerve activity. In addition, it keeps your nervous system healthy by breaking down the fat deposits around it.

11. Digestion

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Hot water is particularly beneficial for digestion. Studies have shown that drinking cold water during or after a meal can harden the oil present in the consumed foods. This can create a fat deposit on the inner wall of your intestine, which can eventually result in intestinal cancer. However, if you replace the glass of cold water with hot, you can avoid this problem. In addition, hot water is beneficial to digestion, which is what you want after a meal.

12. Bowel Movements

Speaking of digestion, hot water can help to keep you regular, as well as make your bowel movements healthy and pain free. Dehydration can result in chronic problems with constipation. As the stool gets accumulated inside your intestine, the movement of the bowel becomes slower. It is always recommended that you consume a glassful of hot or warm water every morning when your stomach is empty. It decomposes any remnant foodstuffs and makes the movement of the particles smooth and less painful through the intestine.

Why should we stay hydrated? Why with Filtered Water?

Why is it so important to stay hydrated?

Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints. Water is needed for good health.

How does my body lose water?

Water makes up more than half of your body weight. You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you are physically active, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid water loss. If you don’t replace the water you lose, you can become dehydrated.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated?

Symptoms of dehydration include the following:

  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
  • No tears when crying

Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to take action. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.

Who is at higher risk of dehydration?

People are at higher risk of dehydration if they exercise at a high intensity, have certain medical conditions, are sick, or are not able to get enough fluids during the day. Older adults are also at higher risk. As you get older, your brain may not be able to sense dehydration and send the signals for thirst.

You may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking if you:

How much water should I drink each day?

You may have heard different recommendations for daily water intake. Most people have been told they should drink 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses of water each day, which is a reasonable goal. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than 8 glasses may be enough. Other people may need more than 8 glasses each day.

If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a sign of dehydration.

Besides water, what else can I consume to stay hydrated?

Water is the best option for staying hydrated. Other drinks and foods can help you stay hydrated, but some may add extra calories from sugar to your diet.

Drinks like fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas can contribute to the amount of water you get each day. Even caffeinated drinks (for example, coffee, tea, and soda) can contribute to your daily water intake. A moderate amount of caffeine (200 to 300 milligrams) is not harmful for most people. This is about the amount in 2 to 4 8-ounce cups of coffee. However, it’s best to limit caffeinated drinks because caffeine may cause some people to urinate more frequently, or feel anxious or jittery.

Water can also be found in fruits and vegetables (for example, watermelon, tomatoes, and lettuce) and in soup broths.

What about sports drinks and energy drinks?

For most people, water is all that is needed to maintain good hydration. However, if you are planning on exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink may be helpful. It contains carbohydrates and electrolytes that can increase your energy and help your body absorb water.

Choose a sports drink wisely. They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. Also, check the serving size. One bottle may contain several servings. If you drink the entire bottle, you may need to double or triple the amounts given on the Nutrition Facts Label. Some sports drinks contain caffeine. If you use a sports drink that contains caffeine, be careful not to get too much caffeine in your diet.

Sports drinks are not the same as energy drinks. Energy drinks usually contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants (for example, guarana, ginseng, or taurine) that your body doesn’t need. Most of these drinks are also high in added sugar. Many experts recommend that children and teens should not have energy drinks.

Tips for staying hydrated

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Purchasing bottled water is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste. Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it from the tap instead.
  • If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • Be sure to drink water before, during, and after a workout.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan. Some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel full.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. It will keep you hydrated, and it’s free!

Great video about the differences of Reverse Osmosis, Tap and Distilled water.

10 Benefits of using Filtercon Fresh Filtered Water

10 Benefits of Using a Water Filter
Water filters provide better tasting and better smelling drinking water by removing chlorine and bacterial contaminants.
  1. Point-of-use water filters remove lead from drinking water immediately prior to consumption, thus preventing this harmful substance from entering the body.
  2. The purchase of a countertop filter results in a source of clean, healthy water that costs much less than bottled water.
  3. Water filters greatly reduce the risk of rectal cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer by removing chlorine and chlorine byproducts from drinking water.
  4. A solid block carbon water filter can selectively remove dangerous contaminants from drinking water while retaining healthy mineral deposits that balance the pH of drinking water.
  5. Drinking clean, filtered water protects the body from disease and leads to overall greater health.
  6. A water filter provides clean, healthy water for cooking, as well as drinking, at the convenience of tap water.
  7. Water filters reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disease by more than 33 percent by removing cryptosporidium and giardia from drinking water.
  8. Drinking pure water is especially important for children. Water filters provide the healthiest water for children’s developing immune systems.
  9. Water filters offer the last line of defense between the body and the over 2100 known toxins that may be present in drinking water.