Bottled water was at one time considered to be a better, safer choice than water straight out of the tap because of contaminants in our water supply. According to an article by the Environmental Working Group on Sept. 22, 2013 the International Bottled Water Association says people are drinking ever more bottled water. The amount increased from 9.1 billion gallons in 2011 to 9.67 billion gallons in 2012.
But recent reports have revealed that bottled water is not necessarily cleaner. Added to this disillusioning fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the enormous number of empty water bottles are posing a health hazard of epic proportions.
EWG said that only about 29 percent of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and jars were put into recycling bins in 2011. The other 71 percent went into landfills. And Oceana, an international ocean conservation group, said that 1.6 billion pounds of plastic pollute the seas each year.
EWG encourages everyone to stop buying bottled water. Use some of the money you'll save to use a good water filter and buy a reusable water bottle.
On March 4, 2013, research analyst Paul Pestano reported on the Environmental Working Group website that of 201 water utilities, all were providing water containing chemicals known as trihalomethanes.
Trihalomethanes have been linked with many serious health issues including bladder cancer. Chloroform, considered likely to be a human carcinogen, is one of these chemicals.
Chlorine is added to water to kill bacteria. Unfortunately it also creates trihalomethanes when combined with rotting organic matter. Farm runoff, dead leaves, bugs and sewage are some types of this organic matter.
EWG maintains that while the EPA has regulations for trihalomethanes, there should be more restrictions.
Your water contaminants may not be the same as someone else's. You can learn what many of the contaminants in your water are by checking your water utility's annual water quality report. It might be called a Consumer Confidence Report, a Drinking Water Quality Report, or a Water Quality Report.