As consumers, learning about our drinking water can be overwhelming. The business of water has perplexed many consumers who are wanting only what is best for themselves and their families. Most of us don’t have any idea of how water makes its way to our faucet and to bottles.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an underground network of pipes delivers water served by a water system that are either from the ground or surfaces (rivers or lakes) Drinking water meets very stringent health standards. Water suppliers use a variety of treatment processes to remove contaminants which include coagulation (removing dirt and other particles), filtration (removing all particles) and disinfection (killing dangerous microbial contaminants). The Safe Drinking Water Act protects the water by regulating the public supply and sources of drinking water.
Bottled Water is regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The FDA relies on each state to approve bottled water sources. Bottled water sources include spring water, artesian water and well water. Treatment options included distilled water, de-mineralized (de-ionized) water and reverse osmosis water.
Distilled water is a purification process that uses heat to vaporize water and separate it from its contaminants. De-mineralized (de-ionized), water has had its minerals ions removed. By filtering out the mineral salts (which are the impurities) from water it produces a high purity water similar to distilled. Reverse Osmosis removes
particulates, some organics, most microorganisms and 90% of dissolved solids from water. It is the reverse of the normal osmosis in that it uses a semipermeable membrane to allow the passage of water but not salt molecules. The salty water is put on one side of the membrane and pressure is applied to stop,
and then reversed.
The bottled water industry is not without controversy. According to the National Resource Defense Council, “no one should assume that just because he or she purchases water in a bottle that it is necessarily any better regulated, purer, or safer than most tap water.” Their web site states many exemptions, limitations and exclusions in the enforcement of the above standards by the FDA. In addition, BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical in some plastics that has been linked to cancer, autoimmune disorders,
hyperactivity which can leach into the water content.
There are many companies that are going above and beyond requirements to ensure that their water meets the highest standards for consumption. One local company,
Fuller Life, uses a technically advanced process which using unique distillation method to produce water which is virtually 100% reliable against bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, organic and inorganic chemicals and radioactive materials. Whether buying local or drinking water from the tap, it is important to be an educated consumer.
In Michigan, The Department of Environmental Quality Water Programs establishes water quality standards, assesses water quality and provides regulatory oversight for all public water supplies.
For more information:
Environmental Protection Agency
Natural Resources Defense Council
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