Bottled Water: A Growing Problem

As expert Markham plumbers, we like to think we know a thing or two about water and one of the things we know is that there is a lot of misinformation being passed along to consumers by the marketing departments of bottled water manufacturers.

The above link leads to a great infographic which is aimed specifically at the bottled water consumption of our southern neighbors in the United States, but also contains many facts that are universal and can be applied to our use here in Canada. Let’s look at some of the myths that have been passed as fact and the truth behind them.

Bottled water is safer/healthier than tap water

False. For the most part, bottled water is actually drawn from a municipal water source (in other words tap water) within a factory and simple placed in bottles to be sold. However, in rare cases it can actually be worse for you as bottled water is not required to meet the same strict testing standards that the government requires for tap water distribution.

Bottled water comes from a spring in the beautiful snow covered mountains shown on the bottle.

Once again, false. As we said before, the vast majority of bottled water is pulled directly from the water systems of major cities.

Bottled water is cheap.

This one always gives us the biggest laugh. Depending on the brand and where you live, a gallon of bottled water will sell for anywhere from 240 to 10,000 times what you would pay for an equal amount of tap water.

Bottled water tastes better/fresher than tap water.

Taste is a subjective measurement and will vary from person to person, it can also be tampered with by the use of marketing materials telling the consumer that the bottled water will taste better than tap and thereby subconsciously making them think it actually is better. However, when the marketing and branding elements are removed in an environment such as a blind taste test, bottled water repeatedly comes out equal to or worse than tap water in the final totals.

Freshness however is a definite measurement and tap water will win every time. Depending on where you live, any experienced Markham plumber will tell you that your tap water has spent no more than 3 days in the water system by the time it leaves your faucet. By comparison, bottled water spends weeks or even months in storage tanks and then in the bottles sitting in warehouses and on store shelves before you ever get around to drinking it.

Are we saying everyone should give up bottled water completely? No, that would be unreasonable and our Markham plumbers will frequently stop and pick up a bottle during a long day out on the road as it is still significantly healthier than the alternatives of soda or dehydration. All we’re suggesting is that you simply consider these facts and try your best to cut back on your consumption wherever possible as if we all just make a small change, it can add up to big changes in the long run.

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