Free Water, What a Novel Idea!

You can still get free water?!

You’ve probably already heard last week’s story about PepsiCo, Inc. admitting that Aquafina is nothing more than tap water in a bottle and shiny packaging. They will now be including the words “Public Water Source” on all of their labels (seems like their marketing department could come up with a phrase a little less “sewer-like”). Keep in mind, however, they aren’t just dipping the bottles in the nearest toilet until they’re full. Though the water comes from public reservoirs, it does go through quality control and filtration systems.

Now, I never thought that bottled water was gathered up by some magical fairy and was untouched by human hands and/or nature’s elements — although brands like Danone’s Evian or Nestle’s Poland Spring claim their so-called “spring waters” are shipped from specific locations they say have notably cleaner water. So, I wasn’t very surprised and didn’t feel duped by the fact that bottled water isn’t going to give me superpowers.

But, the whole story, along with bottled water’s fierce critics — yes, there are actually people devoting their entire lives to bringing down the evil bottled water industry, such as the “Think Outside the Bottle” campaign — got me thinking about my own water-drinking habits.

I drink ten 16-ounce bottles of Deer Park water everyday. Not almost everyday, not sometimes 9 and sometimes 11. Like a human robot, I set aside 10 bottles every morning and make sure they are all empty by the time my head hits the pillow that night.

So, out of curiosity, I did a quick calculation of how much money I spend per month on water. Shockingly, I discovered I’m flushing (quite literally) over $60 per month down the toilet. Now, that certainly isn’t going to break anyone’s bank, but just the principle of paying an amount like that for the planet’s most available resource got me thinking of some alternatives.

After some research on the best filter brand, I bought a Pur 2 Stage Water Dispenser and will be testing it out this month. I’m on the go a lot, so I still want the convenience of a bottle, but I will be refilling my bottles every morning using the filtered water from the Pur Dispenser. According to my calculations, even with the amount of water I drink, I will only need to replace the filter once per month (most people would probably only need to change it every two). Each filter costs less than $10, effectively saving me over $50 a month, not to mention not having to lug 5 cases of water to the car every time I hit the grocery store.

I will be getting the same clean, filtered water through my faucet at home that Aquafina — and probably several other brands — is selling their customers. If filtered tap water is good enough for a giant conglomerate like Pepsi, it’s good enough for me!

Do you drink bottled water? If so, what brand?

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  • Desert life is all about bottled water! I never knew one day in my life I’d spend money on water. Ain’t it supposed to be free?? In rural Japan, water from our tap is potable as well as delicious. Yeah I’m weird but I swear it’s very different from any other water I’ve tasted and it’s all natural.

    So, my answers is yes I do consume bottled water and the most popular brand here is Aquafina!

  • You get a bit of a pass Grace. In the desert, I’m sure it seems that any water is good water!

    If you’ve ever seen “Bear” Grylls TV show, he once had to drink water that was squeezed out of a pile of elephant dung to survive. I think even Aquafina beats that!

  • Although I have a water filter at home, I do drink bottled water when I’m on the go, and yes, I still drink Aquafina- it’s definitely not just tap water, and like you said, tastes a lot cleaner than the stuff that comes out of my tap.

  • Hey Jenna, I like to have the bottles for on the go also, so what I’ve been doing this week is refilling them each morning from my new filter.

    I’m really pleased with the whole process so far, and I can’t tell a difference at all between my “self-filtered” water and normal bottled water. But, I can tell a big difference between the “self-filtered” and the water directly out of the faucet, so at least I know the filter is working.

  • I just refill my bottles after usage because by this you can safe your environment, for more information please visit the following site….
    Bottled Water

  • Reusing your water bottles and filling them up from your own tap is a great way to save money. We should all be responsible and reduce, reuse and recycle…this goes for more than just bottled water.

    But sometimes life gets too busy for me and I forget to take my own bottle with me, or I finish it while I am running errands and need more water. In those instances I’ll buy bottled water– and usually Aquafina. The 7-step filtration process that includes reverse osmosis lets me know it’s clean. I just try to be a smart consumer and read the labels when I buy things like that.

  • Great point Jane. I think most people’s first reaction to the Aquafina tap water story is that all they are doing is filling up their bottles right out of the faucet.

    But like I said, and you elaborated on, the water still goes through an intense filtering and purifying process before it ever reaches your lips.

    I’m still loving my own home filter so far though, which will be saving me over $50 per month, including the monthly filter replacement.

  • I just recently started thinking about this whole bottled water thing and decided to purchase a nalgene bottle to fill up at home (we have an in-fridge water system with a filter). No need to pay for water and plastic and then throw the plastic away!

    Check out teh refill not landfill campaign at http://www.refillnotlandfill.org or here’s my blog post about it:
    http://austinandmissy.blogspot.com/2007/08/water-anyone.html

    -Missy

  • Great article Missy, and I have an in-fridge filter also, but to replace the filter cartridge on my specific model costs $30! Not sure why it’s so expensive, but with my current method, a replacement filter costs less than $10 and lasts just as long.

    Hopefully your fridge filter isn’t quite as expensive.

  • I changed from buying bottled water and soft drink to drinking tap water and it is saving me quite a bit of money. I fill up my water bottles at home in the morning and then at work before I leave for the drive home. I also take a bottle of water to the movies instead of buying drinks. it is a simple money saver.

  • Great tip on taking bottled water to the movies. I’ve been taking bottled water to the movies and restaurants for years, just because I’m a bit skeptical about where some of the places get their “water” from when it has a distinguishable taste and color 🙁

  • The only concern I have is if refilled bottles are not cleaned between uses, one can get bacterial/algal growth. I think I’d rather go with a bottle that is designed to go thru the dishwasher between uses. I like the stainless steel ones myself. I have one at my desk and one at home (and swap them out every day or so – that way they both have a chance to get clean). I have a home distiller with filter.

    That being said, I will grab plastic disposables if I’m traveling or get caught out running errands and I run out. It’s better than soda!

  • Great point Karla. One thing that I think helps cut down on germs and bacteria is the fact that I use the plastic sports bottles, so I squeeze the water into my mouth without ever actually touching the tip. Plus, I keep the cap on while not in use, but the washable stainless steel is a great idea too.

  • Goodness, what weaklings! You can’t do the grocery shopping or be ‘on the go’ without waiting a little while for a drink? Human bodies/kidneys developed to regulate the amount of liquid taken and balance it with the amount of liquid required. If the human body was required to drink continuously it would not have developed kidneys that concentrated urine!

    If you think the water from your faucet is undrinkable approach the water authority that pipes it to your home. Ask for an analysis, tell them your problems with the taste. Maybe you will find out exactly what you are drinking and whether it meets the standards of your area for drinking water – if not, protest!

    There is so much bunkum on the ‘net about water drinking. There is water in all drinks, most foods and, while I would never suggest it is healthy to be dehydrated, the magic results claimed for copious water drinking are illogical and scientifically unproven.

    Regards

    Jo

  • You sound a little grumpy Jo, I think you need to drink some more water 😉

  • I use the fridge filtered water and refill my plastic bottles, at least until they look a little grungy.