I did a little research today and what I found was astounding. I took the actual numbers from my water bill and determined I pay a penny a gallon (which includes sewage charges). I then shopped online several places and determined the lowest price I could find for bottled water. This turned out to be $1.99 per gallon for a family size case of a generic brand. So there you have it. Some fools are paying (if not more) a markup of 19,900%. That's 200x's more !
Some will argue what I'm drinking it may not be clean as bottled water. Hold on there hoss. I use a osmosis device for all my drinking water. I guarantee you the water quality is better then what's in these bottles. Bottlers only use charcoal filters. The device I have uses a sediment filter, two charcoal canisters before it's further filtered through a membrane into a holding tank. When water is drawn from the tank it goes through yet another charcoal filter.
I could go into a long diatribe of the differences. Instead I'll break this down simple as possible. According to 'Bottled Water Web' 'Nestle's Pure Life' water bottles contain between 66-92 PPM dissolved solids overall. The meter I have indicates my osmosis water contains around 28 PPM.
There a couple of advantages to having less solids then the normal 250 PPM that usually comes out of the tap (sometimes even more from wells). Ccoffee and mixed juices taste far better. The water itself has no chlorine taste or some of those funky flavors that come out of well water (even treated water at times). Due to having 1/10th of the solids I haven't had scale build up inside my coffee maker for over three years now. Using tap water I went through almost a coffee maker a year--despite using vinegar or other chemicals to try and flush it out.
OK What's The Downside?
Well it cost me about $70 a year for filters and another $55 every three years for the membrane. That's works out to about $88 a year. About the same as only 14 cases (42 gallons) of the cheapest bottled water I could find. Each year we use what would be equivalent to 140 cases of bottled water. Which would cost us about $838+ a year.
The osmosis process comes at a price. For each gallon produced about 3-4 gallons are wasted. In other words about a 25% efficiency is a worst case scenario. Factoring the $88 a year maintenance costs plus the penny a gallon I pay for 1,260 gallons of city water ($12.60) said to be wasted this still leaves me over well over $700 ahead. HOWEVER we don't flush the waste water down the drain. Instead into a bucket which we then use for plant watering.
* Better Water
* Too many bottles end up on the side of the road and in oceans
If there's upside to using bottled water for normal everyday use I'm not seeing it. This doesn't make sense cost wise or for our environment. Save for a bunch of folks getting rich off of it I can find no other reason.
Here's a great alternative to bottles.
It keeps water cold.. something plastic bottles can't do
All too often we complain about feeling helpless against a government that won't do enough against pollution. Yet so many refuse to make even a simple change in their own lives which could make a tremendous difference to our environment. Why is that?
Then again I also should tell myself to stop "telling myself" because even I don't listen to what I'm saying obviously.
Oh well... maybe next time?