Tap into Tap Water

Julie Slavet
Mar 22, 2010

Here at TTF we do talk a lot about how dirty our local waterways are due to pollution from stormwater runoff, illegal dumping, and litter to name a few things. We discuss these issues in order to demonstrate how our day to day activities as residents of this city affect our water resource and also to discover and promote new ways that all of us can help to keep pollutants out of our water.

Many people quote these same problems as contributing factors in why they decide to purchase and consume bottled water…

I am here to say STOP!  Drinking bottled water is not healthy for you or your environment.

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) does a fantastic job of cleaning the water from our rivers, the Delaware and Schuylkill to make it safe for us to drink. Not only are they already doing a fantastic job of keeping our drinking water clean, at each of the three water treatment plants they have test projects to find newer ways to make our water even cleaner. Knowing that, why would you want to pay for something you can get for free out of the tap.

Even more importantly though, bottled water is harmful to your body and our planet. Not only is the water that you buy in a bottle not regulated as strictly as the water that comes out of your tap, your water is absorbing toxic chemicals just by sitting in a plastic bottle.

Here is how the Philadelphia Water Department monitors water quality:

Throughout the water treatment process, our plant technicians analyze the water, monitoring its quality. Supported by the very latest in advanced chemical analysis equipment, our environmental laboratories examine over 12,000 samples of water each year collected from our reservoirs at more than 65 locations across the City. Each sample undergoes an average of five (5) tests to ensure that our customers enjoy safe water, free from contamination.

And here is how the FDA regulates water quality:

FDA monitors and inspects bottled water products and processing plants as part of its general food safety program.  Because FDA’s experience over the years has shown that bottled water has a good safety record, bottled water plants generally are assigned a relatively low priority for inspection…  FDA’s field offices follow up on consumer and trade complaints and other leads, as appropriate, on potentially violative bottled water products… As with other types of food, FDA periodically collects and analyzes samples of bottled water.  Samples come from several different sources.  Some samples are collected during inspections if the inspector’s observations warrant collection to test for contaminants or if the bottled water facility has a previous history of contamination.  Other samples are collected in response to trade or consumer complaints.

Now I ask you, which water do you want to drink?

For more information about why you should TAP INTO TAP WATER watch “Tapped,” a fantastic documentary outlining the real and sometimes scary facts about bottled water.

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