Friday, March 20, 2009

Stop Buying Expensive Bottled Water

When I heard that prominent environmental activist David Suzuki had come out against bottled water, I had to stop and do a little happy dance.  I was always bothered by the fact that some bottled water companies try and market themselves as "green".

Suzuki makes the following very good arguements
  • the plastic bottles are wasteful, contribute to pollution and are potentially dangerous to human health
  • the fossil fuels used to ship bottled water from overseas are environmentally destructive
Amen to that.  Plus it's expensive, and the stuff flows out of my taps practically free, straight from the water purifying plant.

I've been battling with my husband over this one for years.  Frankly, it pisses me off when he goes out and spends our hard-earned cash on little stupid bottles of designer water.  He says it tastes better than the stuff you get out of the taps.  Maybe I should do a little blind taste test and see if he can really tell.

Anyways,  here are a couple of things to do to make sure the water that comes out of your taps is safe to drink, if you're really worried.

Worried about parasites? Boil It.

If you're worried about parasites in your treated tapwater, first of probably don't need to be.  There have been a couple of highly publicized cases of tapwater making people sick but it hardly ever happens.  It's kind of like shark attacks and plane crashes...newsworthy but much less of a threat than slipping in the bathtub.

But if you persist in being nervous, here are some helpful instructions according to a post I found on Yahoo Answers

The main parasites which need to be eradicated are the cysts which cause Giardia and amoebic dysentery. Small amounts will not affect the body, but in large numbers these pathogens can take effect. They can survive in cold, even freezing water for several months because of their hard protective shells. Chemicals are generally needed to break through these shells, however boiling the water will automatically kill them...

The general advice is to boil all water for 5-10 minutes plus 1 minute for every 300m above sea level, up to around 5500m where boiling becomes ineffective
Sorry if I just fed your paranoia by talking about the hard, protective shells on creepy crawly cysts living in your drinking water :)

Hate the Taste of Chlorine in Your Water?

Anyone who struggles to keep their swimming pool from turning green all summer knows that chlorine evaporates pretty quickly.  Want to get rid of the taste of chlorine in your tap water?  Here's a quick and easy way to do it for free.  Let it sit out in a jug for a few hours.

I keep two glass jugs of water on hand at home; one on the counter, one in the fridge.  

What about those water filters? 

I bought one of those once.  Well, the first question you have lead pipes?  A water filter..whether mounted on the tap, or in a jug, is primarily useful for filtering out heavy metals, according to an article on

The benefit of a water filter lays in its ability to filter out heavy metals and other impurities, such as lead, which are most likely not in your tap, but may be due to poor plumbing.

The article then goes on to warn that poorly maintained filters can actually be dangerous.

Water filters trap, but does not kill bacteria. Because the filter cannot kill bacteria, it actually becomes a breeding ground for the microorganisms if not changed regularly. An old, unchanged filter can be dangerous because its use may add bacteria, which had been killed in the tap by chlorine, back into water.

Want to Join the Fight to Protect Our Access to Safe, Clean Water?

A good cause fit for a tightwad like me.


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