Check out this article posted on the front page of today's Toronto Star
Here is my recap on the article.
- Wednesday October 2nd: Ontario's Health Minister sends out warning not to drink bottled water from Blue Grass Water Company
- Water is heavily contaminated with bacteria and could cause illness.
- Company is linked to a man who has already had legal troubles in Ontario for unfit business deals.
- The log cabin in which the water is bottled lacks sufficient equipment, such as lack of stainless steel walls and no toilet in the building.
Essentially the article illustrates how little infrastructure there is to deal with bottled water companies, and how the public for the most part is better protected by drinking tap water than bottled water.
Living in Canada we are lucky enough to have access to some of the world’s best drinking water. Despite this millions of Canadians decide to purchase bottled water instead of drinking water from the tap. Why is this? Perhaps it’s because there can be many trace chemicals, heavy metals and pharmaceuticals contaminating your water.
Here is a top 5 list of why many Canadians turn to bottled water instead of drinking tap.
1: Pharmaceuticals: According to the World Health Organization “Pharmaceuticals are synthetic or natural chemicals that can be found in prescription medicines, over-the-counter therapeutic drugs and veterinary drugs”. Typical Wastewater treatment facilities have anywhere from a 20-90% capacity to remove pharmaceuticals from our water. With a higher population of people taking more and more prescription drugs we should be worried about trace pharmaceuticals in our drinking water.
For a comprehensive report on pharmaceuticals check out this report from the WHO
2: Pesticides: Of course pesticides can leech into our water reserves. Many Canadians invest in eating organic fruits and vegetables to stay away from pesticides. It’s a big contradiction when traces of pesticides are then found in our water. Smaller communities are most at risk for pesticides in their water as for the most part there are inadequate water treatment facilities in these communities. Take for example British Columbia where there are over 4,000 different water suppliers many with inadequate treatment.
3: Copper/Lead: This will depend on the types of pipes delivering the water into your home. With older areas usually comes copper or lead plumbing. Who wants to be drinking trace amounts of copper or lead when having a glass of water?
4: Chlorine: Certainly it kills pathogens and microbial pollutants in the water but at a cost. Chlorine itself is not so harmful but it is the byproducts (BDPs) which could have a harmful reaction inside our bodies. Dangerous DBPs created from the chlorination of water include (THMs) and (VOCs).These byproducts can form free radicals inside of our bodies.
5: The Taste: Let’s be honest who really likes the taste of tap water. You can smell the chlorine and you could certainly taste it. In my opinion this is one of the main reasons millions of Canadians have turned to bottled water as their water alternative.
BOTTLED WATER: According to Agtriculture Canada in 2009 we produced 2.29 billion litres of bottled water. Don’t be fooled by the bottled water industries extensive marketing campaigns and go out and purchase bottled water which is often times more expensive than the price of gasoline. Instead opt for a water filter and help save the environment.
WATER FILTERS: There are so many different types available on the market today. My recommendation is to invest in one that has some sort of carbon filtration for (copper & lead) and nano filtratio (UF filtration or Reverse Osmosis 99% and up removal rate of Pharmaceuticals) according to the World Health Organization.
Whatever your needs; investing in a water filter is a smart eco-friendly alternative to drinking bottled water.