We all need water to survive, but is the water you are drinking safe? When it comes to stocking and storing water, many of us grab a few cases of it every time we go to the store, but it may not be the best water to get. Here’s everything you need to know about bottled water!
What is Bottled Water?
Bottled drinking water is also known as table water. It can originate from a variety of different places, including groundwater, surface water, and municipal supply.
Bottled drinking water is treated and disinfected for taste. Chlorination and reverse osmosis are used as a common practice to purify the water. Additionally, electrolytes and minerals may be added to your bottled drinking water.
Different Types of Bottled Water
You may think the water you grab at the store is all the same, just bottled by a different company. However, all bottled water is different. In fact, each bottle of water has its own distinctive taste and unique set of properties and mineral composition which is derived from the geological conditions that are present in the area the water comes from. Most water is referred to as “spring water,’ but this is not accurate.
There are several different kinds of bottled water that are classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which include:
If you couldn’t guess, mineral water has natural minerals in it. In fact, to qualify it doesn’t contain less than 250 parts per million in total dissolved minerals. These minerals are derived from rock formations that water travels through on its way to the spring source.
Purified water is a type of water that has been treated with processes such as distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis. What this means is that the bacteria and dissolved minerals have been removed from the water.
When buying bottled water, most people will buy spring water. It is defined as bottled water derived from an underground formation. Water flows naturally to the surface of the Earth called a spring. In order for it to be classified as spring water, it can only be collected at the spring. These waters are some of the purest waters and are free of any chemicals or contaminants.
Sparkling water is a type of water that has had CO2 added to it. The CO2 gives it the fizz that you would get with pop.
Bottled Artesian water comes from a well that taps the water from a layer of rock or sand when the water is above the top of the aquifer. This water comes out of the ground under pressure. Water that is above 12 inches of the aquifer is called a geyser.
Is Bottled Water Safe to Drink?
One of the biggest questions that we should ask ourselves is what kind of water is best, bottled or tap? More than 100 billion dollars are spent each year just on bottled water around the world. So, it is pretty clear that there is a demand for bottled water. Bottled water manufacturers would like you to believe that it is safer than the water that comes from the tap because it goes through a filtration process that filters out specific contaminants. However, keep in mind that bottled drinking water does not have to be 100% contaminant-free.
According to Katherine Zeratsky, a licensed dietician with the Mayo Clinic, tap water and bottled water are pretty comparable in terms of safety. In Addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) use similar standards for ensuring the safety of both bottled water and tap water.
So, what is up with people thinking it isn’t safe to drink?
Well, the real issue with it isn’t the water…It’s the plastic bottle it comes in!
Plastic Bottles and Your Water
Plastic bottles can actually leach chemicals into the water they contain. And, the longer the water sits inside the bottle, the higher the concentration of chemicals, like antimony, will be in your water.
What is Antimony?
Antimony is a metallic element that causes dizziness, nausea, and even depression. It is used in the production of PET (polymerized ethylene terephthalate) as well as glass. It is used as a catalyst to bind the polymer at very low levels.
Over time with extended exposure to hot environments, antimony can transfer into water or hot beverages that are bottled in PET.
Think about how much antimony could be transferred into your water bottles if the water is traveling from long distances. Who knows how long the water has been exposed to hot environments before it reaches your local grocery store.
Bottled Drinking Water Isn’t Much Different Than Tap
Additionally, bottled drinking water manufacturers like to capitalize on the fact that they are providing better, cleaner water. BUT 25% of bottled water is actually tap water that the company has filtered and packaged in a plastic bottle.
Bottom line is, the biggest difference between the tap water and your bottled water is the antimony you get from the plastic bottle.
How to Store Water Long-Term
With that being said, even if you choose to stock up your water supply with tap water in a plastic bottle, you are still getting antimony in your water! So, what can you do to make sure your water is safe for the long-term?
The best way to store your water is to store it in a food-grade water storage container that does NOT transfer toxic substances into the water it is holding. You can find food-grade storage containers at surplus or camping supply stores.
Make sure the containers are BPA free. Many of you know about this chemical BPA. BPA stands for bisphenol A. It is an industrial chemical that is used in making certain plastics, such as water bottles.
Here are a few safe options you can find on Amazon:
- Water Storage Cube
- 55 Gallon Water Storage Barrel
- WaterBob Bathtub Water Storage
- Collapsible Water Container
Do Not use containers that have been used to hold liquid or solid toxic chemicals such as bleach or pesticides!
Other Water Resources
Water is essential to our survival, and we should have at least 4 gallons of water per day per person stored. In addition to storing your water safely, check out some of my other posts on water issues:
- Some of the Best Ways to Purify Water
- How to Store Water Pros and Cons
- Water: Do You Have Enough Stored?
- How to Store Water for Drinking and Cooking
- How to Store Water in an Apartment for Survival
When it comes to storing water, it is important to store it any way you can. At the end of the day, whether it has chemicals or not, you just cannot live without it.
I have a reverse osmosis system on my tap water, and I store my own water in safe large containers. Not only is it economical, but it is better for the environment and free of antimony. How do you store your water? May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Bottles of Water Deposit photos_12066692_s-2019