We live in a thirsty world. We’re constantly reminded of the importance water plays in our everyday lives, from helping us do chores to repairing and detoxing our organs. But the question is, what kind of water should we be relying on to replenish our bodies? Bottled or filtered water? So far, bottled water is the favorite, as the Food and Drug Administration reports that we spend approximately $4 billion on bottled water each year. That number has steadily increased for the past couple of decades. Although bottled is preferred, we beg to differ. Let us show you how bottled water works and why you should go filtered.
There’s no denying it; Americans love their bottled water. In fact, it’s the second most-consumed beverage behind soda. Here, the definition of bottled water isn’t just limited to the single clear, blue-tinged, or rectangular bottles. It also includes water cases that hang out in our fridges and the plastic jugs that fitness gurus encourage us to finish before the end of the day. The water’s origin classifies each kind of bottled water. These are the four most common classifications:
Artesian well water: Harvested from a well that taps into an aquifer. The layers of rock, sand, and earth that supply the water are pressurized by surrounding rock and clay. The artesian pressure causes the water to bubble to the surface or rises to a level where it can be collected.
Mineral water: Comes from an underground source. The minerals and trace elements found in the water have to come from the underground water source and can’t be added later.
Springwater: From an underground formation where water flows naturally to the surface. It can only be collected at the source or through a hole that taps into the subsurface formation that feeds the spring.
Well water: It’s collected from a bored or drilled hole in the ground that taps into an aquifer.
Despite the many different bottled water categories, the most common is tap water collected from a municipal water supply with other minerals and elements added to it (think alkaline water). A report by Food and Water Watch revealed that 47.8 percent (almost half) of all bottled water comes from tap water.
Pros and Cons of Bottled Water
For many, the main reason why bottled water is their water source of choice is because of its convenience and portability. You can take a bottle of water anywhere, and according to the Food and Drug of Administration (FDA), bottled water has an unlimited shelf life. That is if it’s properly produced and remains unopened until it’s bought. Another benefit includes no filter changes. With a filtration system, households have to change a filter monthly or annually to keep the water clean and safe. Bottled water removes the hassle, making it more convenient than its rival.
But what bottled water drinkers gain in convenience, they lose in cost. Buying bottled water is more expensive than drinking tap water, and when broken down yearly, it costs more than the money you would save installing a filtration system in your home.
Like most things in our lives, bottled water can cause illness if the water source has been contaminated. Several recorded incidents of contaminated water supplies have lead to small outbreaks of cholera and in an extreme case, death. However, this isn’t the norm. Most scientists and health officials give bottled water the green light, reporting that it’s no safer than tap water, despite going through less testing than tap water.
The biggest con to bottled water is perhaps its impact on the environment. According to ABC News, transporting a one-liter bottle of French water to Chicago uses about 57 grams of oil. One bottle of water may not look like much, but when you factor in that the U.S. drinks 14.4 billion gallons of bottled water a year, the numbers start to add up. Of course, the most well-known reason people try to break away from bottled water is that approximately 80 percent of single-use water bottles still find their way into landfills despite being recycled. It also takes 1,000 years to bio-degrade water bottles and produce toxic fumes if incinerated.
We’re familiar with water filters. In the early 2000s, the world flew into a frenzy, suddenly concerned with what contaminants might be lurking in their water. This signaled a boost in popularity for Brita filter pitchers, reusable bottles, and faucet-mount filters. Filtration systems themselves have been around since 500 B.C. and typically involved methods like boiling water in the sun, filtering it through sand, and coarse gravel to remove harmful toxins, but keep the good. Today, filtration systems are more chemical-based, featuring items like activated carbon. Here are a few of today’s most common methods:
Distillation: The water gets vaporized. Since minerals do not evaporate, what remains reforms into water.
Reverse osmosis: Water gets filtered through a semi-permeable mesh that allows clean water to flow through but keeps contaminants and some minerals out.
UV filters: Your water gets pumped through a chamber that houses an ultraviolet bulb. The rays produced are set to a frequency that attacks microbes. Their cell walls are pierced, stopping them from replicating and contaminating the water.
The filtration method hailed as being the most efficient is reverse osmosis, as it tends to remove the most contaminants from water.
Why Filtered is Better
There are several benefits to skipping the bottle and installing and using a water filter. The number one reason is that the units are low maintenance. Most installers have a technician or an easy guide to help you change out your filters — no more purchasing case after case or jug after jug of water. You can enjoy it as often as you need it. Despite sometimes having a pricy installation, filtered water can save you hundreds of dollars a year to go toward other needs outside of stocking up on water bottles.
Unlike bottled water, filtration systems have a low impact on the environment. Water filters don’t contribute as much to the 300 million tons of plastic waste produced by the U.S. each year. Less plastic ends up in landfills and fewer fossil fuels are used to create and distribute water bottles. Plus, if you have a refillable water bottle, you can take your filtered water anywhere. Lastly, another environmental benefit is it fights the world’s water crisis and brings safe water to those in water-scarce areas.
But perhaps our favorite benefit of filtered water is that it provides quality water for various needs. When you install a whole house water filtration system like the ones by Puronics, it’s not just your drinking water that gets elevated; every appliance and chore in your home does, too. It allows you to have clean and safe water to help your appliances run efficiently, your laundry and dishes to feel cleaner and benefits other things like food, plants, and aquariums.
When it comes to cons, there aren’t many listed for water filtration systems. Many believe that while filtration systems remove many harmful contaminants, they also remove minerals that our bodies need. However, scientists point out that despite lacking minerals in our water, we’re still able to consume what we need through the foods we eat.
Is filtered water better than bottled water? The answer boils down to what issues are most important to you, such as eco-friendliness, portability, and water quality. Of course, we’re a little biased on which one we recommend.
Science of Water
Finding the best water options for your household is crucial. After all, water is necessary for our overall health, lubricating our joints, helping our organs detoxify, and increasing our metabolism. Our team at the Science of Water is dedicated to helping those in the Gainesville and Jacksonville areas get clean, safe, and great tasting water in their homes. It all starts with a free water test.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Puronics systems we install or our other services, contact us at (352) 745-7070 or (904) 580-0000 today!