Drinking Water

Pure water is a hot topic these days. Whether your drinking water comes from a bottle, municipality or a private well, make sure that it’s safe for you and your family. Here’s a checklist to insure that your family has the very best water on the blue planet!

• Test your tap water – Harmful bacteria, Microsporidium, Giardia, lead and toxic chemicals dissolved in solution are a few of the health risks that could be lurking in your tap water. Whether you have city water or private well water, it’s a good idea to know what you’re drinking. Purchase a test kit from a food co-op or a certified laboratory (contact your state’s Health Department for more information) and test your water on a periodic basis.

• Buy spring water or a good quality bottled water – According to the Environmental Protection Agency, laws protecting public tap water are more stringent than the FDA’s laws protecting bottled water. However most major brands carefully filter and test their water. And typically, bottled water is treated before it’s bottled. Spring water purchased at a food co-op or a service that delivers is another good option. Before you buy ask for their latest water test results.

• Use a home water filter -- There are many home water filtration systems available. Reverse Osmosis is the best technology available to date. There are also counter top charcoal systems available for around $100. Ask for a “solid carbon block”. Make sure that any filtration system you purchase is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). NSF is a nonprofit certification agent and they have an international standard for water filters.

• Think before you put it down your drain -- If it goes down your drain, it will eventually end up in someone’s drinking water. Pesticides, cleaning solvents, oil, oil-based paints should go to a hazardous waste drop off site rather than down the drain or in the ground. But lesser known is the fact that left over drugs must not be flushed down the toilet including narcotics, antibiotics, hormones, or any other pharmaceuticals.

Additional Resources

www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/chap3.asp - National Resources Defense Council conducted a survey of 103 bottle water brands

www.lindenhills.coop - 612-279-2479 - Minneapolis based Linden Hills Co-op and Natural Home Store provided the bottled water and water filtration systems for this segment.

www.chem.duke.edu - Search for “bottled water” for the article on “Tap vs Bottled Water”, Jim Chapman of Duke University