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Bottled Water. Yay/Nay ?

emglow101 Jun 24, 2013 09:25 PM

It is definetly a nay for me. Maybe in parts of the world it is needed. I just see it as a gimmick.Get a good water filter. What are the advantages or disadvantages of bottled water other than saving it for a disaster?

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  1. h
    hilltowner RE: emglow101 Jun 24, 2013 09:46 PM

    No advantages, at least in North America. Bottled water is a total sham; most of it comes from the same place people get their tap water. The industry has somehow convinced Americans that they need it and their tap water is somehow unsafe. What a waste of money and plastic. Some local tap waters may taste funny - get a filter for those. Otherwise straight out of the tap please.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hilltowner
      sandylc RE: hilltowner Jul 3, 2013 08:50 PM

      Our city water is disgusting. It smells bad. It makes our hair feel gummy. We have a water softener, an RO filter for drinking water, and a filter in our shower that is supposed to work for six months that is full of crap in 30 days or less.

      1. re: sandylc
        John E. RE: sandylc Jul 9, 2013 09:04 AM

        I'm not asking for an address, Sandy, but what municipality is your water from? I'm in Shoreview and our water is fine. I grew up in a rural Minnesota town with shallow wells that were groundwater only, meaning there was no aquifer. The water was terrible, but as a kid I did not know it. When we visited my grandmother and cousins in Columbia Heights, I thought their water tasted funny. It turns out I just did not know what good water tasted like.

        My brother on the other hand, has a well in out-state Minnesota and while the water is safe, it smells bad. I don't even want to rinse my toothbrush with that water.

        1. re: John E.
          sandylc RE: John E. Jul 9, 2013 09:27 AM

          I am in Burnsville. Almost four years ago they switched their water source from aquifer to surface sludge. No one is happy with it and the city is in denial.

      2. re: hilltowner
        sandylc RE: hilltowner Jul 3, 2013 08:58 PM

        You are wrong.

        1. re: sandylc
          coll RE: sandylc Jul 4, 2013 02:49 AM

          It is easy to tell if bottled water comes from a municipal water supply. When it is spring water, they have to put the source on the label. Only the cheaper ones do not come from a spring. If you know who is bottling it, like Pepsi (Aquafina) or Coca Cola (Dasani), then you can pretty much guess it's city water.

          Distilled is another choice out there. But I like to mix and match spring waters. My Mom has a spring right near her house and that's all she drinks. She swears it keeps her young, like a fountain of youth!

        2. re: hilltowner
          Gastronomos RE: hilltowner Jul 4, 2013 04:52 AM


        3. t
          treb RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 03:22 AM

          Nay, unless I'm in a 3rd world country. Haven't died from tap water in the US yet!

          8 Replies
          1. re: treb
            c oliver RE: treb Jun 25, 2013 04:26 AM

            The only places I opted for bottled water was in Peru when there was actually particulate floating in it And Kenya/Tanzania because the guides were so adamant about it and we actually did have low grade diarrhea the whole time we were there which is unheard of for us.

            Besides it being unnecessary, the plastic is a terrible polluter.

            1. re: c oliver
              John E. RE: c oliver Jul 9, 2013 09:09 AM

              When I went to eastern Europe a few years ago I was told to NOT drink the tap water. We drank mineral water only. I don't recall seeing plain bottled water. In some of the bottled mineral water, the only mineral I could detect was salt.

              1. re: John E.
                c oliver RE: John E. Jul 9, 2013 09:53 AM

                We spend time in Rio and the "middle class" and up wouldn't DREAM of drinking tap water. But the "normal" people that we hang out with do so we do.

                1. re: c oliver
                  John E. RE: c oliver Jul 9, 2013 09:59 AM

                  We were not there long enough to get acclimated to the tap water. We also did not wish to take the risk of the screamin' meemees in the short time we were there. I mostly drank beer and wine anyway.

              2. re: c oliver
                Delucacheesemonger RE: c oliver Jul 28, 2013 07:15 AM

                Just in hotel in Kusadasi, Turkey and had a sign in the lobby that the water was not potable, but to get bottled water one had to pay for it, at breakfast, and at meals. First time ever for me. Hope you went to Pamukkale.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                  Veggo RE: Delucacheesemonger Jul 28, 2013 07:18 AM

                  You are better off for having read the sign.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                    c oliver RE: Delucacheesemonger Jul 28, 2013 07:44 AM

                    IIRC, we didn't spend a night in Kusadasi but definitely visited Pamukkale. Incredible, wasn't it? And considering what the water looked like there, I can see that the surrounding area's water might not be real tasty :)

                    1. re: c oliver
                      Delucacheesemonger RE: c oliver Jul 28, 2013 09:44 AM

                      And we flew, no overnight bus from Cappadocia, So much better.

              3. PotatoHouse RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 03:24 AM

                Nay, but we live in the country and have one of the best tasting wells in the world.

                1. pinehurst RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 04:21 AM

                  Total big fat hairy Nay. Tap's fine for me.

                  A coworker's husband was coping with a super weak immune system about a decade ago. Folks in the hospital admonished her to *not* give him bottled spring water when he got home, because of the risk of impurities...only bottled filtered water if he demanded bottled water (which he didn't; tap was fine, and was filtered municipal water just like Aquafina, Dasani, etc).

                  That said, I do love bottled sparkling water (like Pellegrino) when I'm trying to kick my Diet Coke habit, like, you know, now.

                  1. m
                    mwhitmore RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 04:54 AM

                    Depends what the local water tastes like. On my first visit to LA, I discovered why So Cal is the bottled water capital.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mwhitmore
                      cresyd RE: mwhitmore Jun 25, 2013 05:06 AM

                      Excluding areas where the water poses health risks - taste is the reason for me. I remember going to camp in northern Minnesota as a kid, and the smell of sulfur from the water was really strong. Had I had the opportunity for bottled water - I definitely would have appreciated that.

                      Similarly in Tel Aviv - where the water is technically safe to drink - particularly places with older pipes there is just a taste/smell that comes with the water that is off putting.

                      1. re: mwhitmore
                        mucho gordo RE: mwhitmore Jun 25, 2013 01:46 PM

                        Exactly. In addition to how bad it is ordinarily, after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, everyone was warned not to drink tap water unless boiled first with a bit of chlorine bleach added. Bought bottled spring water from that time on.

                      2. Chemicalkinetics RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 05:08 AM

                        Almost always a Nay, except for some unusual situation

                        1. k
                          kseiverd RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 05:30 AM

                          Not a bottled water fan... has no "taste"... kinda flat IMO?? My tap water tastes fine... sister's well water in WV mountains not only tastes great but is icy cold immediately.

                          1. h
                            Hobbert RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 05:34 AM

                            Nope. We just use a water filter at home and metal water bottles. Like others, the only exception is countries where the water may be unsafe- so far, Thailand and Mexico. It might be overly cautious but I don't want to ruin my trip by getting ill.

                            1. c
                              Cathy RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 05:55 AM

                              I live in an Earthquake and fire prone area and am always prepared. We know there won't be help for a minimum of three days and that it will be more like seven days if a quake is centered nearby. Having a supply of bottled water outside the house(inside sealed tubs, along with canned goods, sleeping bags, toilet paper and other essentials) as well as inside each vehicle is part of preparedness.

                              Because of heat concerns breaking down the plastic, I change out the items every month or so and consume the 'old' water. By the time that is used up, it's time to change out and replenish the earthquake kits.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Cathy
                                c oliver RE: Cathy Jun 25, 2013 06:13 AM

                                Here's the CDC guidelines for bottled water. You're good to go for at least six months.


                              2. r
                                Reston RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 05:58 AM

                                At home we use a water filter which is connected to the refrigerator water dispenser. But, I do like to keep a couple of bottles of water in the car to sip on when stuck in traffic. I buy bottled water for that purpose. I don't think it tastes any better/worse. I should get in the habit of re-using a bottle and washing/refilling it. Maybe that will be a summer resolution.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Reston
                                  c oliver RE: Reston Jun 25, 2013 06:10 AM

                                  An excellent resolution! Our real outdoorsy daughter taught us a nice trick. Fill your bottle half full and put in the freezer overnight. Next morning fill it the rest of the way up. You'll have nice cold water for quite a while. Our bank gave us a metal bottle and Bob does that for his golfing forays. REALLY cold.

                                2. c
                                  Clams047 RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 06:10 AM

                                  Never drink it at home, but always carry several bottles in the car - at about 25 cents / bottle, it's a cheap, convenient way to always have such when traveling.

                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: Clams047
                                    c oliver RE: Clams047 Jun 25, 2013 06:30 AM

                                    It's the environmental impact rather than the cost that's the deal breaker for me.

                                    1. re: c oliver
                                      Veggo RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2013 06:56 AM

                                      HDPE beverage bottles are recyclable, but only about 30% are recycled.

                                      1. re: Veggo
                                        c oliver RE: Veggo Jun 25, 2013 06:59 AM

                                        Exactly. Plus recycle isn't nearly as good as never HAVING to recycle.

                                        1. re: c oliver
                                          mpjmph RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2013 10:07 AM

                                          Yep. Reduce first, then reuse, and recycle only when you have to.

                                          1. re: mpjmph
                                            c oliver RE: mpjmph Jun 25, 2013 10:10 AM

                                            Thanks. I couldn't remember the phrase.

                                          2. re: c oliver
                                            Clams047 RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2013 01:38 PM

                                            I'd guessing recycled plastic is a lot more environmentally friendly than the eventual disposal (as well as in the manufacture) of that glass-lined metal thermos.

                                            Reminds me of the paper vs plastic bag argument. City dwellers like their pollution out of (their) sight - downstream from where the paper is made vs. their local dump. Those living downstream from the paper mills much prefer the exported pollution of burying plastic bags (when not recycled).

                                            Then there's the bacteria infested cloth bags used over and over for groceries (especially when used to hold meat products) vs. washing them with disposed detergents polluting the water table, nevermind the indirect pollution of creating energy for heating the hot water for washing & drying the cloth bags.

                                            Bottom line - There is no clear answer except for those who choose to ignore the real cost of each approach.

                                            1. re: Clams047
                                              Chemicalkinetics RE: Clams047 Jun 27, 2013 11:12 PM

                                              All interesting points. A popular debate is the environmental impact of using paper towel vs cloth towel.

                                              1. re: Clams047
                                                c oliver RE: Clams047 Jun 28, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                Unfortunately, as mentioned here, of the things that ARE recyclable, only about 30% of them ARE recycled.. That metal water bottle isn't lined with glass and should last forever.

                                                EVen in the cities and states that now charge for paper bags they still have the ones in the meat and produce departments.

                                                There are certainly answers. It's about choices.

                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                  Clams047 RE: c oliver Jun 29, 2013 09:29 AM

                                                  "That metal water bottle isn't lined with glass and should last forever."

                                                  Isn't that the point? The few dozen plastic bottles I use each year are recycled. If one doesn't get recycled, it'll eventually break down.

                                                  Didn't realize metal drink containers are not lined. How does it keep the liquids hot / cold and the container from sweating / transferring the heat / cold?

                                                  1. re: Clams047
                                                    Cathy RE: Clams047 Jun 29, 2013 11:24 AM

                                                    It's a double wall vacuum insulation of stainless steel. That's why no condensation forms.

                                                    1. re: Clams047
                                                      c oliver RE: Clams047 Jun 29, 2013 12:14 PM

                                                      Yep. In about 450 years. Metal actually biodegrades faster.


                                                    2. re: c oliver
                                                      paulj RE: c oliver Jul 9, 2013 01:49 PM

                                                      Several years ago, when BPA in the popular Nalgene bottles became news, there was a surge in popularity of the Sigg aluminum water bottles. Before that Sigg bottles were most popular among backpackers for storing fuel. Then a few years later news came out that the Sigg bottles were lined with some sort of plastic. They made some sort of change in the liner formulation, and offered a replacement on existing bottles.

                                                      is news release about a more recent liner change.

                                          3. eLizard RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 06:12 AM

                                            nay. and in boston i don't even think i need a good water filter. i'm reminded of chris rock's bit..... you only use tap water for your a$$.

                                            talk about a first world problem.

                                            1. m
                                              mwhitmore RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 06:52 AM

                                              Another potential reason: consistency. It is possible to get indigestion switching from one good tap water to a different good tap water. But Evian is the same everywhere. The Queen carries Malvern water when she travels for this reason.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: mwhitmore
                                                c oliver RE: mwhitmore Jun 25, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                The queen doesn't carry anything except a hankerchief IIRC :) My totally uninformed guess is that some people have overly sensitized their gut to the point that any little change matters.

                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                  Veggo RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2013 07:07 AM

                                                  Queen to Philip: "Care to borrow my handkerchief? It's only slightly used. "

                                                2. re: mwhitmore
                                                  Ariadanz RE: mwhitmore Jul 5, 2013 02:52 AM

                                                  I had that problem in college. I grew up on well water and local spring water, went up to college and within days I had a near-constant flu-like thing going on. I eventually went to the student health clinic to get some anti-nausea meds and free Imodium etc and the head nurse there took one look at me and my list of symptoms and told me she could cure me without the meds. All she asked was if I grew up on well water, I said yes. And she proceeded to tell me not to drink any water on campus that wasn't filtered through a soda fountain, coffee machine, or in some fashion filtered or cooked. Told me to go buy a couple gallons of water for my room, make sure I didn't drink any water when I brushed my teeth or showered and promised I'd be fine inside of a couple of days. She was right. It turns out she got probably 20 or 30 cases every single semester from new students. The water on campus was perfectly fine, but it was not OUR water. To this day I can drink the tap water where I grew up in PA and DE, and a handful of other places (Maine, Poconos and the Highlands of Scotland come to mind) without issue. Everywhere else I just drink bottled water because I will get, what most tourists don't get unless they go somewhere third world - but I will get it at my Mother in Law's house. Even she stocks bottled for me. I of course recycle all bottles if at all possible, even if it means schleping them back home the 5-7 hour car ride from the inlaws.

                                                  1. re: Ariadanz
                                                    c oliver RE: Ariadanz Jul 5, 2013 07:07 AM

                                                    And I believe that YOU are the perfect example of who should drink bottled water.

                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                      sandylc RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 09:07 AM

                                                      I agree. But a little voice inside me is also using the phrase, "canary in a coal mine".

                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                        c oliver RE: sandylc Jul 5, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                        I don't understand the context of that, sandy.

                                                3. j
                                                  jujuthomas RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                  not at home, but our tap water in the office is not very good - they supply bottled water for now. Not sure what I'll do when they discontinue that in a month or so.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: jujuthomas
                                                    c oliver RE: jujuthomas Jun 25, 2013 07:41 AM

                                                    I have less problem with those big, water cooler sized bottles. They get refilled.

                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                      jujuthomas RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                      I would LOVE those, we've had them several places I worked.

                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                        sandylc RE: c oliver Jul 3, 2013 09:03 PM

                                                        Things grow in the bottles and especially in the spigots of those things.

                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                          c oliver RE: sandylc Jul 3, 2013 09:07 PM

                                                          "Things" MAY grow. I reuse a plastic bottle over and over and over again. I seldom remember to wash it. No problem. YMMV. For sure.

                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                            sandylc RE: c oliver Jul 3, 2013 09:33 PM

                                                            They will grow.

                                                    2. r
                                                      rasputina RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                      We have a Berkey water filter for at home and I carry a Klean Kanteen with water from it when I'm out. I only buy bottled water if I'm out and run out of water. The tap water here tastes horrible.

                                                      1. m
                                                        mike0989 RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 08:24 AM

                                                        I like to have bottles available for guests to have by their bedside. It is also convenient for car trips. Otherwise, I use filtered (RO) weater. Which is the same thing.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: mike0989
                                                          c oliver RE: mike0989 Jun 25, 2013 09:57 AM

                                                          Easy to have permanent, refillable bottles for the car. I have carafes where the top is the glass for the guest room.

                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                            mike0989 RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                            Yes, fairly easy. But, there is a convenience factor I'm unwilling to overlook. It's not that I'm buying a lot of bottled water either. Maybe 1-2 cases a year.

                                                        2. m
                                                          mpjmph RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                          Rarely. I will buy bottles when traveling overseas if the water isn't safe or palatable. I'll also buy it when it's "the norm," like in Portugal this spring. It just wasn't worth the hassle, and restaurants never charged for than a euro for a bottle.

                                                          I drink from the tap at home, and have a reusable bottle at work filled from the water fountain. The bottle goes home on the weekend to be washed. Occasionally I'll forget to bring my bottle back in on Monday, and end up buying a 1L bottle from the cafeteria, which I refill a couple of times during the day, then recycle the bottle.

                                                          12 Replies
                                                          1. re: mpjmph
                                                            c oliver RE: mpjmph Jun 25, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                            Rather than recycle that occasional bottle, why not reuse? I have a really dry mouth and every once in a while, I'll leave home without my water bottle. I'll buy one but then keep it. The one I'm using now is probably three months old.

                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                              mpjmph RE: c oliver Jun 25, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                              There is some evidence that the plastics used for disposable bottles are more likely to degrade over time than bottles designed for reuse. Disposable bottles are also harder to clean and more likely to harbor bacteria (I can run my reusable bottle through the dishwasher). I find myself buying a disposable bottle at work maybe twice a year. Since I already own the reusable bottle, I don't gain anything from reusing the disposable, just delaying the inevitable.

                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                sandylc RE: c oliver Jul 3, 2013 09:05 PM

                                                                You have two choices:

                                                                One, wash it and degrade the plastic with the soap, thus ingesting the plastic.

                                                                Two, don't wash it and ingest the mildew that grows on it.

                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                  John E. RE: c oliver Jul 9, 2013 09:19 AM

                                                                  A few years ago a local TV station did a story on reusing plastic water bottles. It turned out that something approaching 80% of water bottles refilled more than three times had bacteria in them and on the rim/cap. I don't know much about the breakdown of the plastic.

                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                    paulj RE: John E. Jul 9, 2013 10:01 AM

                                                                    I don't see why a bottle would breakdown any faster with a refill than with the initial filling.

                                                                    Accumulated bacteria could be an issue with any bottle that is reused, whether it be a lighter weight 'disposable' or a expensive Camelbak bag with hose. In fact Camelbak sells an assortment of cleaning products


                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                      sandylc RE: paulj Jul 9, 2013 10:18 AM

                                                                      We have great glass bottles with tight rubber covers. Love them.

                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                        mpjmph RE: paulj Jul 9, 2013 11:14 AM

                                                                        I have two Camelbak bottles, one with a bite valve mouth piece and one without. Both go in the dishwasher once a week. For, that's the big difference between a bottle designed for reuse and one that is not.

                                                                        1. re: mpjmph
                                                                          c oliver RE: mpjmph Jul 9, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                          Not being argumentative but not sure I get the difference. I reuse single use bottles for ages. Basically til I lose one. The current one I bought in the Munich airport after I forgot to empty mine before security. That was June 27. Hopefully it will last a couple more months. At least.

                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                            John E. RE: c oliver Jul 9, 2013 12:08 PM

                                                                            I have one particular water bottle that I have kept and used intermittently for almost two years. The water bottle is shaped like a plastic pint of liquor. It fits into the back pocket (as long as you're not sitting). I keep it around just to get reactions from people.


                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                              mpjmph RE: c oliver Jul 9, 2013 01:15 PM

                                                                              As has been stated on this thread multiple times, bottles that weren't designed to be reused are more likely to harbor bacteria than those intended for reuse. If that doesn't bother you, fine, but it does bother me. I'm not a germaphobe by any measure, but I like being able to run the bottles through the dishwasher at least once a week. I already have two reusable bottles, and have had the same two bottles for years (and expect to keep them for many more). I end up buying a disposable bottle a few times a year when I forget the reusable. As long as I remember my Camelbak the next day, there's no need to reuse a disposable bottle. For me, reusing it just delays the inevitable (bottle in recycling).

                                                                              1. re: mpjmph
                                                                                greygarious RE: mpjmph Jul 28, 2013 09:49 AM

                                                                                ANY bottle will grow bacteria and/or mildew if you drink from it directly or touch the rim to other vessels. I carried the same water bottle on my mail route for nearly ten years, and never had to wash it. I filled it from the water cooler in the office, and filled a cup from it to drink. Never touched the rim.

                                                                        2. re: John E.
                                                                          paulj RE: John E. Jul 9, 2013 02:10 PM

                                                                          I've found some of those TV station reports, but I can't find much in the way of formal studies. The best I can find is one done in Calgary schools around 2003


                                                                          They found high levels of bacterial (including fecal) on/in 'personal water bottles'. They did not distinguish between recycled disposables and reusable ones. "This study cannot identify the origin of contamination, however the most likely source of enteric bacteria found in the students’ water bottles is the hands of the students themselves."

                                                                          " Drinking directly from the water fountains may be a safer alternative to water bottles."

                                                                    2. raytamsgv RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                                      If you plan to store water for emergencies, here are some pointers:


                                                                      1. l
                                                                        Ladycale RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                        Another vote for no/not usually. Tap water in America is perfectly safe and fine for people to drink. I have a reusable Camelbak bottle for drinking on the go. Given the questions people have on plastic leaching into the water, I feel safer as well.

                                                                        The only time I drink is if I'm past the checkpoint of an airport, or I run out of water and I'm not near a non-bathroom faucet.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Ladycale
                                                                          viperlush RE: Ladycale Jun 25, 2013 01:16 PM

                                                                          We keep a couple of those roll up Vapur bottles with our luggage for when we fly. That way we can fill up pass security and not have to waste space with a normal water bottle.

                                                                        2. dave_c RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                          Yes, about 80% of our daily drinking water is from bottled.

                                                                          Filters work okay, but there is some residual off flavors. In fact, we were teased by a friend for buying bottled water instead of using a filter, until he tried bottled water. Now he's a convert. He agreed that the filters still left some off flavors.

                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                          1. re: dave_c
                                                                            coll RE: dave_c Jun 27, 2013 02:57 AM

                                                                            I know filters remove bad flavors and some impurities, but where I live I have a feeling there are chemicals that are bonded into the water and not so easy to get out, with just a filter. I could be wrong of course, but what I hear, from informed parties, makes me very wary. I live in an area where DDT was used heavily, plus there are many Superfund Hazardous Sites nearby too, with almost unfixable problems. I just can't believe that a Brita can take care of what mega millions of dollars can't.

                                                                            1. re: coll
                                                                              c oliver RE: coll Jun 28, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                                              I would think that data is available but you can have your water tested.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                coll RE: c oliver Jun 28, 2013 07:08 AM

                                                                                The town tests the water and issues a report annually. Lots of percentages, with no explanation of what they mean, and if I did know I am sure government standards are somewhat lenient. But they do take care of that as required by law. I really don't have the money to have it tested privately right now.

                                                                                The annual report also has no mention of why the water has turned a rusty color over the last year or so. It's throughout the area, and not due to iron. According to them, we are fine! I do use tap water for boiling and cleaning, but drinking it on a regular basis scares me a bit. Glad to have an option!

                                                                                1. re: coll
                                                                                  c oliver RE: coll Jun 28, 2013 07:12 AM

                                                                                  Even small munipalities generally have water testing labs. Most places require certain minimal water testing when selling a house.

                                                                                  I find generally that the government is overly cautious about food so why not water? If I followed their recs, I'd be overcooked a lot of meats.

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                    coll RE: c oliver Jun 28, 2013 08:43 AM

                                                                                    Seems the opposite around here. If they didn't let us drink bad tap water, I guess we'd all die of thirst!

                                                                                    I'm really not an alarmist, I was warned by someone I trust implicitly, who was investigating this for the state back in the 1980s. And those were basically his words to me, his daughter. He also said, start drinking bottled water!

                                                                                    I actually posted here to see if I'm the only one who feels this way about tap water? Could be. Like I said, I don't avoid it totally and I'm not dead yet!

                                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                                      c oliver RE: coll Jun 28, 2013 09:27 AM

                                                                                      The Clean Water ACt was further enhanced in 1987. It's continually being worked on.

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                                                        coll RE: c oliver Jun 28, 2013 10:30 AM

                                                                                        But the Clean Water Act is more about estuary pollution, rather than industrial, if I recall? Industrial is what Superfund is all about as far as I know.

                                                                                        My Dad worked on a NY State task force that started with Love Canal, then moved on to the Grumman factories on Long Island. NJ joined in after that but it all was dropped soon after. This was in the late 70s/early 80s, so maybe some overlap with the change in the act. Plus it was mostly a political maneuver I bet, maybe an election year? I'm actually very curious to hear more about the history of water protection, since Dad is long gone and I can't ask him myself anymore. But he left me with a deep distrust of public water.

                                                                                        1. re: coll
                                                                                          c oliver RE: coll Jun 28, 2013 10:40 AM


                                                                                          You may also want to peruse some of the archives of the American Water Works Association. An old friend of mine was their president some years ago and believed that most of our water is completely safe. But, again, you can have your water tested and, if I were you, I would.

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                            coll RE: c oliver Jun 28, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                                            yeah, we always have to be different around here ;-)

                                                                                            And our estuaries (of which we have many) have not benefitted from this act apparently; every day there is a new story about algae bloom or whatnot, resulting from fertilizer runoff or cesspools. Very discouraging.

                                                                                  2. re: coll
                                                                                    dave_c RE: coll Jun 28, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                    rusty water... Reminds of a news story when I lived in Louisiana, the workers in a small municipality accidentally connected a sewage line into the main water line. From what I remember, it took a month before people realized what was happening.

                                                                                    1. re: dave_c
                                                                                      INDIANRIVERFL RE: dave_c Jun 29, 2013 06:39 AM

                                                                                      Having lived in Louisiana, I am almost inclined to believe this.

                                                                            2. girloftheworld RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                              we have bottles that we fill from the tap..(no reason to fill up the land with a bunch of plastic bottles) to take in the car and around with us... we do,however, put glass bottles in the guest room. I do like bottled sparkling waters.

                                                                              1. h
                                                                                Harters RE: emglow101 Jun 25, 2013 03:11 PM

                                                                                I drink bottled sparkling water at home, or tap.

                                                                                1. t
                                                                                  tastesgoodwhatisit RE: emglow101 Jun 26, 2013 05:36 PM

                                                                                  In countries with safe water I wouldn't use bottled water, unless I'm caught out somewhere and am really thirsty (I'm not quite willing to fill up my bottle with tap water from a public washroom).

                                                                                  Where I live, though, the tap water is borderline (Taiwan). I'll use tap water for cooking and brushing my teeth, but for drinking I boil for safety and run through a brita for taste (and then chill and carbonate for fun). At work we have water filters which dispense hot and cold water. So I only need to get bottled water when I'm out somewhere and am thirsty.

                                                                                  1. al b. darned RE: emglow101 Jun 27, 2013 12:10 AM

                                                                                    When traveling I will reach for a cold bottled water at the mini mart rather than a soda. I am under no illusion that it anything but filtered city water (unless it's Poland Spring) and I recycle the empties (unless I get it from a state that requires a deposit, then I turn it in). And I make no apologies.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                      c oliver RE: al b. darned Jun 28, 2013 07:03 AM

                                                                                      And I think that's senstible approach. My issue is seeing people walk out of Costco or TJs with huge cases of water.

                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                      MagicMarkR RE: emglow101 Jun 28, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                                                      Related question: Suppose a community fluoridates its tap water. Would bottled water from that source contain the fluoride, or is it filtered out somehow? Does anyone here know?

                                                                                      Recently went to the dentist, who praised the health of my teeth ("wonderful"), which he attributed largely to fluoridated water I drank growing up (among other things).

                                                                                      So, that might affect your choice of tap versus bottled.
                                                                                      [Just a suggestion: I claim no expertise on the matter.]

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: MagicMarkR
                                                                                        coll RE: MagicMarkR Jun 28, 2013 10:18 AM

                                                                                        Ha and my grandmother was horrified that the town her grandchildren grew up in was one of the first to add fluoride, she called it "rat poison". Not sure where that came from, but she was an Adele Davis freak. I'm starting to feel like a tap water freak myself, at least I'm now guessing it's genetic.

                                                                                        1. re: MagicMarkR
                                                                                          Hobbert RE: MagicMarkR Jun 29, 2013 06:19 AM

                                                                                          My husband has a water filter that removes the fluoride from water. Kinda weird but it makes him happy.

                                                                                        2. fldhkybnva RE: emglow101 Jun 28, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                                                          I drink a ton of water but rarely bottled.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                            greygarious RE: fldhkybnva Jul 28, 2013 10:01 AM

                                                                                            I was born a few years after WWII ended. If you had told me when I was growing up, or even when I was in college, that not too many years hence, people all over America would buy their drinking water at the supermarket, I'd have laughed you out of the room. I still feel that way. I'd follow the "don't drink the water" advice if traveling in a third world country but other than that, tap water all the time. For all I know, the occasional bout of the runs has been caused by water, but our immune systems benefit from the challenge. There are entirely too many people who think their lives will be endangered by anything but "Sierra Springs" (Mr. Monk).

                                                                                            1. re: greygarious
                                                                                              John E. RE: greygarious Jul 29, 2013 10:28 AM

                                                                                              My now 81 year old father used to say, "I'd have to be farting dust before I would pay a dollar for a bottle of water."

                                                                                          2. Tripeler RE: emglow101 Jun 28, 2013 08:02 PM

                                                                                            Generally nay on bottled water since the tap water in Tokyo is quite tolerable, but just short of delicious. However, for bottled water like Pellegrino with a distinctly delicious flavor, I will buy and drink it only because I consider it a beverage rather than just water.

                                                                                            1. l
                                                                                              latindancer RE: emglow101 Jun 28, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                                                              If I lived in Colorado I'd never drink bottled water ever again...the water tastes wonderful... fresh clean and delicious.

                                                                                              LA's water however, where I live, makes me gag. It's hard and disgusting tasting.
                                                                                              I will not drink it out of the tap and I have it delivered every 2 weeks.
                                                                                              I also drink Pellegrino by the case.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: latindancer
                                                                                                c oliver RE: latindancer Jun 28, 2013 08:37 PM

                                                                                                I want to assume that you have it delivered in a large bottle that you then fill small bottles?

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                  latindancer RE: c oliver Jun 29, 2013 06:51 AM

                                                                                                  I have my own personal bottle I drink from and fill it from what is being delivered. I drink alot of water and we go through many large bottles a week.

                                                                                              2. d
                                                                                                deputygeorgie RE: emglow101 Jun 28, 2013 10:34 PM

                                                                                                We drunk it. E. coli in our water. We bought a filter to try to cut down on the amount of recycling that happens here. Our faucet will not allow for it.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: deputygeorgie
                                                                                                  c oliver RE: deputygeorgie Jun 29, 2013 06:07 AM

                                                                                                  Your public water has e. coli in it????? Isn't a municapality required to do something about that? Or are you on a well?

                                                                                                2. ipsedixit RE: emglow101 Jun 28, 2013 11:14 PM


                                                                                                  But only for bathing.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                    al b. darned RE: ipsedixit Jul 2, 2013 11:10 PM

                                                                                                    Caller: "Hello, dairy? I'd like to order some milk for a milk bath."

                                                                                                    Dairy: "Would you like it pasteurized?"

                                                                                                    Caller: "No, past my knees will be fine."

                                                                                                    1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                      ipsedixit RE: al b. darned Jul 3, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                                                                      That's because I don't have goggles for bathing.

                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                        Veggo RE: ipsedixit Jul 3, 2013 07:54 AM

                                                                                                        You could lay under a cow in your Speedo and tug on the udders.
                                                                                                        Just an idea.

                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                          ipsedixit RE: Veggo Jul 3, 2013 03:13 PM

                                                                                                          But that would require a cow in my bathtub.

                                                                                                          My rubber ducky would take issue, me thinks.

                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                            sandylc RE: ipsedixit Jul 3, 2013 09:28 PM

                                                                                                            Our tap water makes our hair feel gummy.

                                                                                                  2. w
                                                                                                    wyogal RE: emglow101 Jun 29, 2013 05:10 AM

                                                                                                    We use it for traveling, and to make coffee in the hotel.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: wyogal
                                                                                                      Hobbert RE: wyogal Jun 29, 2013 06:20 AM

                                                                                                      Oh yes! I never use tap water to make tea in a hotel room. Don't know what the water tastes like...or how clean the tap is.

                                                                                                    2. Gastronomos RE: emglow101 Jul 3, 2013 09:31 AM

                                                                                                      for information purposes only:


                                                                                                      1. p
                                                                                                        pedalfaster RE: emglow101 Jul 3, 2013 03:18 PM

                                                                                                        None for us thank you.
                                                                                                        Two cyclists with filtered water out of the fridge at home and many many (bicycle) water bottles.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: pedalfaster
                                                                                                          paulj RE: pedalfaster Jul 4, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                                                                          I used to use bicycle water bottles, but now I (re)use similar size throw-away bottles. Maybe the current bicycle bottles are better, but the ones I had were too stiff, and got smelly. .$30 bottles are more flexible, easier to drink from, and can be easily recycled when they get too old. They also fit cup holders in the car.

                                                                                                          When car camping I take some 50oz bottles as backup, and use 1/2 gallon juice bottles for cooler ice and primary supply.

                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                          sandylc RE: emglow101 Jul 3, 2013 08:57 PM

                                                                                                          In the expensive senior home where my mother lives, a glass of tap water has half of inch of white fuzzy stuff in the bottom. The women in the building all have problems with UTIs. A few months after we put my mother on an Aquafina-only regimen, she stopped having UTIs. The city has tested the tap water and is fine with it.

                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                            c oliver RE: sandylc Jul 3, 2013 09:01 PM

                                                                                                            Where do you live????? Have you had your water tested yourselves?

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                              sandylc RE: c oliver Jul 3, 2013 09:35 PM

                                                                                                              No, you are right, we need to do that. We have other challenges/expense in our lives right now.

                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                c oliver RE: sandylc Jul 3, 2013 09:38 PM

                                                                                                                So, where do you live? In many/most municipalities, testing water is free or extremely cheap.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                  coll RE: c oliver Jul 4, 2013 02:56 AM

                                                                                                                  Well I live on Long Island and it is $200+ in our area. Not that I've ever had a well while living here! They are few and far between.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                    sandylc RE: c oliver Jul 4, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                    Our water has been tested many times by the city. But they're the ones sending this water through my pipes in the first place. They will only state that it falls within legal guidelines. In the name of CYA, they might be not exactly truthful there.

                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                      coll RE: sandylc Jul 4, 2013 10:23 AM

                                                                                                                      That's sort of how I feel too, with my water company.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                        c oliver RE: sandylc Jul 4, 2013 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                        Where I've lived, it's private labs that do the testing. Sounds like your area has some problems.

                                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                        sandylc RE: c oliver Jul 4, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                        Oh, sorry....a suburb of Minneapolis.

                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                          INDIANRIVERFL RE: sandylc Jul 9, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                          Find out which of the universities in your area has a chemistry major. Call the department head and ask if you could submit your water for evaluation on the gas chromatograph. Follow their directions for taking and storing the sample.

                                                                                                                          A truly devious professor or even worse, grad student instructor, will use it as a blind for identification of component parts.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                            John E. RE: sandylc Jul 9, 2013 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                            Sandy, the fella from Florida is correct. The U's Extention Services does water testing. I think it's free or at most $15. I did a quick search, could not find specifics, so I called on the phone. They gave me a number but I'm not posting it here. Here is a link to the main Extension office. Just tell them you want your water tested and they'll give you the phone number.


                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                              sandylc RE: John E. Jul 9, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                              Wow, thanks John E. I have emailed them.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                John E. RE: sandylc Jul 9, 2013 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                                Duhhh...! I couldn't find the exact webpage, so I reverted to 19th century technology...,

                                                                                                                  2. EWSflash RE: emglow101 Jul 3, 2013 09:24 PM

                                                                                                                    My probem is with all the goddamn bottles. i' m horrified by thenumber of peop[le who don't take the trouble to put them in a recycle bin. If I drink a bottle of water I'll use that bottle for a long time, for many reasons, and then I'll recycle it. Or use it for some repurpose, and then recycle it. I freaking hate the bottles. We get our bottled water from a locally owned bottled water business where we take our 5-gal bottles and fill them up. I wouldn't even do that if our water wasn't so minerally. At work we have well water- it's very good, so I bring home gallon bottles of it to top off my aquarium and the occasional jug of iced tea when we run out of the bottled. I'd hate our tap water more, but our first change from groundwater to CAP (central arizona project) water was just horrible- the fumes from the hot water burned your eyes it was so concentrated and full of chloramines, and rotted out pipes. So I try not to complain about our tap water, but i'll drink it over the stupid little bottles of water.
                                                                                                                    Sorry about the rant, those damn bottles aren't recycled often enough and it makes me mad.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                                      c oliver RE: EWSflash Jul 3, 2013 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                      I can not agree with you more! As has been said here, only 30% of what CAN be recycled IS recycled. I'm looking at the bottle I'm drinking from tonight. I got it in Istanbul sometime the middle of June and, unless I lose it, it will be used for a long, long time. The reason I have it is because I forgot to empty a bottle before going through airport security.

                                                                                                                    2. n
                                                                                                                      Nanzi RE: emglow101 Jul 4, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                      Only when we are on vacation in a certain city, as their water tastes much too chlorinated for us. At home we drink the water run thru the filter in the refrigerator, as it is well water with a metalic taste.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: Nanzi
                                                                                                                        c oliver RE: Nanzi Jul 4, 2013 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                        When we're in Rio, I drink bottled water during the night when I wake up thirsty. Their water is totally safe to drink and HIGHLY chlorinated. When it's cold or in a drink, it's fine. At room temp no. But to partially absolve myself, I do buy LARGE bottles and then fill the small one.

                                                                                                                      2. a
                                                                                                                        annomy RE: emglow101 Jul 4, 2013 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                        I'm a huge advocate of drinking tap for environmental reasons (got me into the fracking fight here in NY; to protect our water supply). I'm also a huge fan of seltzer, though not so much with flavors. So I was thrilled to discover Soda Stream years ago. Now I can make my own and not have to mess with all those plastic bottles. Both the waste and the carrying them was killing me! Not to mention the cost...
                                                                                                                        But also, years ago I traveled around the world for a year and drank tap water everywhere and stayed healthy doing so. One trick to help me acclimate was that whenever I went to a new place, I brought a liter or so of water with, and drank it intermittently with water from the new place to help my gut get adjusted a little more slowly. I don't know if this would really make a difference, but it seemed to work at the time!

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: annomy
                                                                                                                          Veggo RE: annomy Jul 4, 2013 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                          No fracking in New York state.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: Veggo Jul 4, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                            I think that's annomy's point.

                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                              Veggo RE: c oliver Jul 4, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                              Annomy was too modest to say they are winning the fight, so I did.

                                                                                                                        2. KaimukiMan RE: emglow101 Jul 5, 2013 02:35 AM

                                                                                                                          It depends. A couple of years ago I had a party/bbq. I had one cooler of beer, one cooler of soda and juice, and one cooler of bottled water. We were not someplace where 'fresh' water would have been available, although Honolulu has some of the softest purest tap water anywhere on earth.

                                                                                                                          Since a bunch of these people were old college friends and I had preconceptions from those party hardy days, I expected to run out of beer about 3/4 of the way through the party, giving people a chance to sober up. Instead we ran out of water 3/4 of the way thru, drank a bunch of the juice (passion orange, guava nectar, pineapple orange, fruit punch - all of which have a ton of sugar) some of the soda. The beer was almost untouched. Guess we are getting older.

                                                                                                                          Next to the coolers i had a tub for empty cans and bottles, the trash bag was elsewhere. I was very nicely surprised that almost all the cans and bottles turned up in the recycling tub. A few were taken away when people were left, some of the cans became ashtrays, but almost none went into the trash. Give people a chance they will recycle.

                                                                                                                          There are times that bottled water is a reasonable alternative, and there are ways to be sure it isn't an environmental embarrassment.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                            c oliver RE: KaimukiMan Jul 5, 2013 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                            I think you could have that published in your local paper, KM. Perfectly expressed.

                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                                              KaimukiMan RE: c oliver Jul 5, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                              mercy bow cups

                                                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                c oliver RE: KaimukiMan Jul 5, 2013 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                Is that the same as mercy buckets? Really well done.

                                                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                                                            aynrandgirl RE: emglow101 Jul 5, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                            Home filters seem to be minimally effective at removing flourine and chlorine, that's why I drink spring water. It hasn't undergone the industrial processing that adds those contaminants to city tap water.

                                                                                                                            1. a
                                                                                                                              autumm RE: emglow101 Jul 8, 2013 09:58 PM

                                                                                                                              I keep a super sale cheepo case or 2 in the basement in case of disaster/not good times. I want to have 3 days worth of fluids for my family cause I don't count on other agencies saving me. Also handy for large gatherings so everyone can have their own bottle.

                                                                                                                              I also keep a bunch frozen in the deep freeze as insurance fot keep things cold if we loose power.

                                                                                                                              1. John E. RE: emglow101 Jul 9, 2013 09:34 AM

                                                                                                                                We always have a couple of cases of the 1/2 liter water bottles on hand. I have one next to the bed that I refill a few times before cracking open a new one.

                                                                                                                                We have recreational land with a cabin. We have no electricity nor do we have running water. (We dropped a sandpoint once, but my brother and his buddy decided the pipe was sticking up too far. Instead of cutting the pipe, they pounded it down a foot farther and out of the water. They couldn't pull the pipe up because it is really stuck in rock. We have a water pump at our kitchen sink, but it's just for decoration.) Anyway, we use 7 gallon plastic water jugs for cooking but we use bottled water for drinking. The water in the blue jugs was great as it came out of our neighbor's well, but I don't trust the blue jugs.

                                                                                                                                I know that 100% of the water bottles that I use, at the cabin and at home, are recycled. I guess about 80% of the water bottles that others use are recycled.

                                                                                                                                1. Delucacheesemonger RE: emglow101 Jul 28, 2013 07:11 AM


                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                                                                    c oliver RE: Delucacheesemonger Jul 28, 2013 07:45 AM

                                                                                                                                    I'm still using the bottle I had to buy in the Munich airport on 6/27! Pretty sure I've washed it at least once :)

                                                                                                                                  2. Meowzerz RE: emglow101 Jul 28, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                    Big old NAY from me. The tap water where I live is fine, and when I need water on-the-go, I have a large reusable water bottle that holds 24 ounces. I drink at least the entire 24 ounce everyday at work, sometimes more. It's a great way to get your recommended amount of water in! I personally could not bring myself to buy regular bottled water (poland spring, dasani, etc.), unless it was an emergency.

                                                                                                                                    However, I really should have a stockpile handy for natural disasters. I suck at preparing for stuff like that haha.

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