Nov 232011

Bottled water is purer and so healthier

In fact drinking bottled water in a western country is bad for your wealth, and bad for the planet. Nor is it good for your health as often claimed. By all means carry a bottle of water around with you, but fill it up every day from your kitchen tap. And when you are in a restaurant ask for a jug of water. Don’t be fooled into buying water, because this might simply come in a bottle that has been refilled from a tap.

Bottled water is bad for the environment because it wastes a lot of energy spent collecting, bottling, and transporting it, often from sources that are ridiculously far from where it is sold, such as from melting glaciers or remote islands in the Pacific. Some bottled water is transported more than ten thousand miles before it is drunk.

You need only drink bottled water when you suspect that the only water available has not been through the kind of treatment that we take for granted. The most important part of water treatment, after filtration, is to make sure it is free of pathogens such as the water-borne diseases cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and meningitis. These are all killed when the water is treated with sodium hypochlorite solution, often incorrectly called ‘chlorine bleach’ by those who are opposed to it.

Even when you find the water has enough residual hypochlorite to be detectable, this simply means that the water company has tested the water for microbes, found the levels are higher than normal, and so has had to use more hypochlorite to ensure it is safe for you to drink.

Rather than spend money on bottled water, why not spend it on fresh fruit instead. Now that really would be a healthier thing to do.