Ditch the plastic, tap into tap
September 22, 2007
Although it’s common knowledge that industry, factory farms, government agencies (especially the military), and municipalities are polluting our drinking water supply, this awareness has led to a widespread phobia of tap water that is ironically exacerbating the water pollution problem. It takes five times as much water to make the plastic bottle than the amount of water the bottle actually holds. Last year, Americans consumed 1.5 million barrels of oil to make disposable water bottles. That’s enough to take 100,000 cars off the road and 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The average American adult spends nearly $200 each year on bottled water. And of course recent scientific studies indicate that hormone disrupting chemicals are steadily leaching out of those billions of non-recycled plastic water bottles that Coke and Pepsi are selling us, slowly and poisoning us. But how do you know if the water coming out of your home or workplace’s faucet is actually okay to drink in the first place? Obviously, in some cases it’s not, but here are some links to help you find out if your fear of your tap water is really justified:
OCA REVIEW OF TOP TAP WATER SAFETY TESTING OPTIONS
1) Water suppliers are required to supply their customers with an annual consumer confidence report (drinking water quality report). The report you tells where your water comes from and what’s in it. To get your local municipality’s report, check here: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo/
Advantages: The report is free and relatively thorough.
Disadvantages: Water suppliers aren’t required by law to test for all types of contaminants.
2) The Watersafe Test Kit is an affordable tool that identifies harmful levels of eight different common contaminants in water: bacteria, lead, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, pH, hardness and two common pesticides.
Advantages: It’s only $20, and it’s a home kit that you can use anytime and anywhere you like.
Disadvantages: Although the kit tests for the 8 most ubiquitous types of contaminants, there are other less common pollutants it does not assess. http://www.nextag.com/watersafe-test-kits/
3) NTlabs provides consumers with the most thorough laboratory analysis of drinking water we can find at such an affordable rate.
Advantages: The Watercheck includes a 75 item check for: bacteria, heavy metals, inorganic chemicals, trihalomethanes, 44 volatile organic chemicals, and 20 pesticides, herbicides and PCB’s.
Disadvantage: The cost is $159, but you may actually save money if you find out you don’t need to be investing in bottled water and filters http://www.ntllabs.com
-Organic Consumers Association