Aug 25 2019

Let’s get to the bottom of bottled water

Published by at 12:26 pm under Drinking Water,General

Let’s get to the bottom of bottled water.
Bottled water is a way of life…see which ones ranked highest in a comparison test and know the environmental impact the plastic is having on our world. (1,2)*

During our last couple of blogs, we have explored the importance of clean and healthy water, whether we are drinking it or playing in it. It hydrates all things, is life giving and  life sustaining and without it, we couldn’t survive. Because water is so essential to our daily lives and well being, it is essential we get plenty of it and we protect this valuable resource for the future. It is easy to take for granted this readily available resource, but without it, life as we know it would cease to exist. 1*

Purity of water has gone to the next level with the bottled water industry. There is value in this and there is a problem with this as well. Bottled water is bringing clean water to people in regions around the world where water is undrinkable, and therefore saving lives. But the downside is that plastic water bottles are being consumed at alarming rates… 1 million plastic bottles being purchased every minute—or about 20,000 per second—around the globe. According to market research company Euromonitor International, The Guardian. Less than half get recycled, leaving them to pollute our water ways.  But we have come to depend on them and it is a hard habit to break. (1,2)*

Bottled water varies in terms of its health value. So which ones are worth the money and which ones are not? It’s in the eye of the beholder. There was a study done that looked at a variety of bottled waters on the market and evaluated which ones are better than others. 1*

The primary reasons people turn to bottled water are convenience and taste. Regular tap water can have a bad taste and odor because it has to travel a long way through multiple plumbing systems before it gets to us, and so can be inconsistent in taste. Chlorination is an inexpensive and effective way to treat water, but the taste can be off-putting.  Bottled water manufacturers go the distance to make sure the taste is good by using extra filtration and adding a blend of minerals and salts. 1*

A company called Test Assured decided to put bottled waters to the test. They looked at the different types of water on the market, and broke them down into four categories: 1*

Spring Water/Artisan Water

These are the most common of the bottled waters found in grocery stores and retail outlets. While most of these come from underground aquifers, Artisan water is tapped from a well, while spring water is sourced on its way to the surface.  Spring water can also be collected through a borehole.  Some brands undergo filtering or treatment, but not all. 1*

Sparkling Water

Two varieties of sparkling bottled water were tested and both brands, Mountain Valley and San Pellegrino, have carbonation added after they are sourced. But they differ in that Mountain Valley is spring water and San Pellegrino is a mineral water.   Mineral waters must meet certain specifications in order to be classified as such, must be naturally sourced and contain 250 or more PPM of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). 1*

Reverse Osmosis

Purified water can come from any number of sources, but most often, it is specially filtered or treated municipal water. One common filtration method is reverse osmosis, which purifies water by pushing it through a semi-permeable membrane using pressure.  The membrane, acting as a filter, traps unwanted particulate.  The result is demineralized and deionized water. 1*

Vapor Distillation

Some of the electrolyte waters tested were purified by vapor distillation.  Industrial distillers use large-scale boiling chambers connected by tubes to turn the water into steam. A compressor than condenses the steam back to water and releases it into storage chambers.  Contaminants and minerals are not affected by the temperature, so they remain and when processing is finished, the result is purified water. 1*

Infused Water

A popular trend right now is infused water. Water is infused with hydrogen, electrolytes and ozone and the manufacturers of these waters claim that added salts improve athletic performance, while hydrogen boosts energy and endurance and reduce fatigue. Adding ozone makes water the “cleanest and safest water.”  I have tried hydrogen water and it did give me more energy and endurance for the day. But, I’d need to try it several times to become a true believer. 1*

The tests performed on over 20 brands of water, included one for contaminants which included copper, chlorine, nitrites, and nitrates. While chlorine is safe to add to water as a disinfectant, levels higher than 4ppm come with a risk of increased risk of cancer, asthma and heart problems. Copper, which can leach into water supplies through rocks, soil, and copper piping, should be at levels below 1,300 parts per billion. Too high of levels of copper can lead to gastrointestinal issues and research has linked it to liver damage and kidney disease. Nitrates and nitrites which are found in soil fertilizers sometimes contaminate drinking supplies  “…The EPA recommends nitrate levels under 10 parts per million and nitrite levels under 1 part per million for safe drinking water.  Higher levels can result in developmental issues, blood disorders, and possibly cancer…”1*

Bottled water companies take extra measures to provide the public with water that doesn’t contain most of these impurities so in the test, they scored well. Tap water can often have high levels of chlorine and nitrates. 1*

The company also tested for alkalinity levels, which is the water’s ability to neutralize acid. If water is too high in alkaline it can disrupt the body’s pH and cause gastrointestinal issues. Studies show that drinking slightly alkaline water can minimize symptoms caused by acid reflux and other studies have claimed it can slow bone loss. 1*

Hard water is usually high in calcium and magnesium which result in an unpleasant taste.  The upside is hard water’s mineral content can help you meet your dietary needs for calcium and magnesium. 1*

Iron is also naturally found in the soil where it is absorbed by rainwater and aquifers and if water has too much iron it can cause an unpleasant taste and cause the growth of harmful bacteria in the water.1*  See how the different bottled waters tested stacked up against each other for these different levels. 1*  

There are water test kits you can buy to test your own tap and filtered water at home. You can also test for total dissolved solids, using a TDS meter.  “…The amount of total dissolved solids is a measurement of the weight of all solids that are dissolved in the water.  These solids can include minerals, salts, metals, cations, or anions…”  While a high TDS reading doesn’t always indicate poor water quality, it also reflects levels of minerals and salts in the water.  These occur naturally in some waters and manufacturers sometimes add them to purified water to improve taste.1*

So why do you drink bottled water? Convenience? Taste? Health? Before you purchase these products, think about the environmental impact plastic water bottles are having on our environment. According to Ecowatch.com, about “…480 billion plastic bottles were purchased globally in 2016 but less than half gets recycled, meaning most of this waste ends up in our oceans and landfills. Even worse, the report notes that the world’s increasing thirst for bottled beverages, especially in economically growing Asian countries, will bump these figures up another 20 percent, or 583.3 billion bottles, by 2021—fueling a crisis that experts believe will be as serious as climate change…”2*

According to researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology, in “…Lake Michigan alone, an equivalent of 100 Olympic-sized pools full of plastic bottles get dumped into the lake every year. Like in the oceans, the plastic trash in the Great Lakes breaks down into microplastics, which are consumed by fish and other aquatic life and moves up the food chain…”2*

You can still get clean water through home filtration systems and using reusable bottles that you simply wash after use and use the again. Recycle all plastic when able. Many airports are installing water filling stations where you can refill your own bottle. When you are done with your Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™, please recycle our bottles too! *

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://watertestingkits.com/ultimate-bottled-water-test/
  2. https://www.ecowatch.com/plastic-bottle-crisis-2450299465.html

 

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