Millions of Americans have been duped into believing widespread myths about bottled water. Its popularity has sky-rocketed over the last ten years. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that consumption of bottled water has more than doubled from 13.4 gallons per person in 1997 to 29.3 gallons per person in 2007. The never-ending marketing hype depicting bottled water as pure, convenient and affordable has enticed us to spend our hard-earned money on bottled water that is far less than superior.
Myth #1: It's Cleaner
Unlike tap water, the bottled water industry is not required to disclose the results of any contaminant testing that it conducts. Instead, they claim that bottled water is held to the same safety standards as tap water.
EWG conducted tests at one of the country’s leading water quality laboratories and found that 10 popular brands of bottled water contained 38 chemical pollutants altogether, with an average of 8 contaminants in each brand. More than one-third of the chemicals found are not regulated in bottled water. The NRDC also found that samples of two brands were contaminated with phthalates.
There is also concern with how the water is stored when you carry it with you. Most people leave their bottle sitting in a hot car, which may allow chemicals like antimony to leach from the plastic into the water.
Myth#2: It's More Affordable
Did you know that bottled water is 240 to 10,000 times more expensive than tap water? Here we are paying a premium price for bottled water and in most instances, we're getting plain tap – or worse!
According to the Times, if you drink only bottled water you'll spend about $1,400 versus 49 cents for a year's supply of tap water. Throw in a $300 water filtering system and a $20 reusable stainless steel bottle and you're still saving $1080 – and you're drinking healthier water too!
Myth #3: It's More Convenient
There is more to the short-term convenience provided by bottled water, because it causes long-term problems. Diane of Big Green Purse explains that bottled water takes its toll on the environment, “At least 3/4 of the millions of plastic water bottles produced each year are thrown away rather than recycled. Plus, producing bottled water actually uses more water and is far more energy intensive than providing the same amount of water to the public via the tap.”
Opting for a reusable water bottle and maintaining a home water filtering system isn't as time consuming as you might think. Many of the stainless steel bottles available today have wide mouth openings making them very easy to clean and can be tossed in the dishwasher too, eliminating the need for time spent washing by hand.