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6 REASONS TO STOP BUYING BOTTLED WATER

Stop-Buying-Bottled-Water

Bottled water has become a regular part of everyday life for many Americans. We drink more bottled water than beer or milk. Entire aisles at the grocery store are full of it. But are we making a huge mistake?

Many of us have heard some of the logic behind why using bottled water is a bad idea. Yet we continue to purchase it anyway. Sometimes seeing the big picture laid out in front of your eyes can make things more clear.

Here are six reasons you should stop buying bottled water.

1. You’re Wasting Your Money

Bottled water is a huge global industry. That’s why there’s a trade association called the International Bottled Water Association, which works to improve the industry’s image and lobbies world governments on bottled water’s behalf.

Experts now say bottled water is poised to pass up carbonated soft drinks in the packaged beverage market as the number one product in the United States by the end of 2016. The soda giants like Pepsi and Coke aren’t bothered by this news because they sell their own brands of bottled water.

North America is by far the largest consumer of bottled water. Mexico uses the most per capita, but people in the United States are spending a ton of money on it, topping $15 billion in 2015 according to research by Mintel. Other estimates say Americans spend around $100 per person on bottled water each year.

Numbers comparing how much more expensive bottled water can be cover a wide range. Depending on what you purchase, drinking bottled water could be anywhere from 300x to 2,000x more expensive than getting it from your home faucet.

Watch a Video on Why Bottled Water is Expensive

2. Many Brand Are Selling You Tap Water

The quality of the bottled water you buy is going to vary quite a bit. Much of it is nothing more than municipal water that goes through some filtration at the bottling plant. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates around 25% comes straight from the tap, and some of it isn’t even further treated. Manufacturers of bottled water are good at marketing. They use the right words to make you think their product is the purest, most refreshing water imaginable.

Remember, water filtration is something you can do in your own home if you choose.

Do you ever drink Aquafina bottled water? PepsiCo recently admitted that its brand of bottled water is nothing more than filtered tap water, and the company was forced to change the labeling on Aquafina. Consumer groups are now targeting Coca-Cola’s Dasani brand of bottled water too.

Check the labeling on your favorite bottled water. If it says “Public Water Source,” you are drinking packaged tap water.

3. Bottled Water Can be Contaminated

We’re not trying to scare you. Most bottled water is likely safe. However, the bottled water industry does not have a perfect track record.

An article from CBS.com states there have been more than 100 recalls of bottled water. The article lists common water contaminants like algae, types of bacteria, and chlorine. But it also mentions things like glass particles, mold, and even crickets were found in Texas bottled water back in 1994. More recently, a North Carolina woman claimed she found larvae in her Dasani bottled water. Coca-Cola disputed the claim.

Keep in mind, while the FDA does have some standard for water bottlers, it cannot regulate water that’s bottled and sold within the same state. You have to look carefully to find the truth. In many ways, regular city water is more regulated than bottled water.

4. Buying Bottled Water Hurts the Environment

Drinking bottled water creates unnecessary waste. You might think that shouldn’t be a problem because water bottles can be recycled. Unfortunately, that’s not what is happening. The majority of those bottles end up in a landfill.

In 2015, The Association of Plastic Recyclers reported that the recycling rate for plastic bottles reached 31.8% – a 1% increase year over year. However, that still means more than two-thirds of plastic bottles do not get recycled. Two-thirds of 50 billion bottles a year is a lot! Americans are using 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, and bottled water makes up a sizable chunk.

The waste created by plastic bottles isn’t even the worst of the environmental impact. It’s the production and transportation that is truly hurting the planet.

Peter Gleick is an environmentalist who authored the book Bottled and Sold, which criticizes the bottled water industry. He conducted a study estimating bottled water requires 2,000 times as much energy cost as tap water.

Gleick’s report, which was published in 2008 concludes:

“Given an annual consumption of 33 billion liters of bottled water in the US, we estimate that the annual consumption of bottled water in the US in 2007 required an energy input equivalent to between 32 and 54 million barrels of oil or a third of a percent of total US primary energy consumption. We estimate that roughly three times this amount was required to satisfy global bottled water demand.”

5. Plastic Bottles Could be Harmful to Your Health

A big reason for the rise in bottled water is that many people are trying to be healthier. That’s great! Water is essential to a healthy body and mind, but plastic bottles could be an issue.

The biggest problem is BPA or bisphenol-A. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website:

“Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”

You’ll find a few bottled waters being marketed as BPA-free. However, some researchers are calling foul. They say the chemicals used to replace BPA may be just as dangerous. Read more about that in an article on The Huffington Post.

The recyclable PET plastic bottles may come with their own health risks. Chemicals known as phthalates have the potential to leach from the plastic into the water. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, which means they have the potential to mess up your hormones.

This is more likely if you let your water sit in a plastic bottle for a long time and allow it to be exposed to heat or sunlight. This increases the risk of plastic breaking down and getting into the water.

The NRDC tested more than 1,000 bottles of water and concluded, “There is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap.”

Even the government has publicly stated that in-home water filtration is a better idea than bottled water if you want to be healthier. An annual report from the President’s Cancer Panel states:

“Filtering home tap or well water can decrease exposure to numerous known or suspected carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Unless the home water source is known to be contaminated, it is preferable to use filtered tap water instead of commercially bottled water.”

6. Bottled Water May Not Even Taste Better

With all the money we spend on bottled water, you would think there is some sort of benefit. Even if it’s not healthier for you, it has to taste better, right? If it does, it’s probably the placebo effect.

Time after time, blind taste tests show most people can’t really tell the difference between bottled water and tap water, much less specific brands of water.

One of the most interesting taste tests involved Fiji bottled water. It launched a marketing campaign that made fun of Cleveland’s water. The campaign stated, “The label says Fiji because it’s not bottled in Cleveland.”

Cleveland took offense to that and had Fiji water tested. Turned out, it contained 6.31 micrograms of arsenic. Then Cleveland held a taste test pitting Fiji’s water against the city’s. We bet you can guess who won.

There’s a Smarter Way to Get Better Drinking Water

Household water can be quite different in terms of quality and taste depending on where you live, the plumbing in your home, and your personal preference. It’s certainly possible that your tap water isn’t the best to be drinking.

The 2015 Water Quality Association report on consumer opinions found 77% of survey respondents use bottled water. At 41%, the top reason cited in the survey for choosing bottled water was their tap water didn’t taste good. Another 37% said they had concerns about contaminants in the water.

Bottled water is certainly not the only solution!

If you’ve read all these points and feel a little bit duped by bottled water marketing, it’s not too late to make a change to your water drinking habits.

In-home filtration can transform your tap water, making it safe and enjoyable to drink. Products like reverse osmosis systems provide you with the purest, most-refreshing water right at your tap.

If you’re interested in learning more, we suggest you contact the Water-Right dealer for more information. We have trained water-treatment experts all over the country.

 

Article Originally Written and Published March 24th by WaterCare

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REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER – DOES IT MAKE BETTER-TASTING COFFEE?

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Coffee lovers come in all shapes and sizes – from the barista who only uses locally-roasted beans to your grandmother and her Folgers crystals.

When you’re making coffee at home, the water you use to brew your morning joe is easily one of the most important parts. After all, a cup of coffee consists of 97% to 99% water.

So it makes sense that if there are other things in your water, like minerals, bacteria, chlorine, or any sort of contaminant, it’s going to affect the flavor. Getting a consistent answer from all the coffee-making advice out there isn’t easy, but it stands to reason that the purer your water is, the more of the coffee you’ll be tasting.

The Benefits of Using Reverse Osmosis Water for Coffee

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Reverse Osmosis Cartridges

A reverse osmosis (R.O.) system is an ideal solution for drinking water in your home. They’re designed to transform tap water, providing your family with water that’s pristine, fresh, and healthy.

An R.O. system dramatically reduces mineral content, which is what makes water hard. Plus, Atlantic Blue’s reverse osmosis offerings are certified to reduce a host of other things including lead, fluoride, nitrates, and nitrites.

If you have city water, you’re probably dealing with a certain amount of chlorine, which gets added during the municipality’s water treatment process. Chlorine in your water is one of the most common ways to ruin a cup of coffee. An R.O. system from Atlantic Blue sends your drinking water through two carbon filters (pre-filtration and final polishing), which reduces chlorine particles.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has established some standards for what it says is ideal water for coffee making (see chart below). According to the SCAA, you want your water to be completely odor free with a clear appearance, no chlorine at all, and it should have a neutral pH level of as close to 7 as possible.

Coffee-water-SCAA

Reverse osmosis is perfect for getting clear, odor free water, although it does tend to have a lower pH level. Many people use additional filtration to increase the alkalinity of their R.O. water so that it is less acidic and closer to neutral pH.

A lot of coffee enthusiasts agree that reverse osmosis water is ideal. One reader of the website MakeGoodCoffee.com wrote coffee expert Marc Wortman to ask how her new reverse osmosis system might impact her coffee.

“The short answer to your question is that not only will it not affect the flavor of your coffee adversely, but it will likely make it taste even better.”

Coffee manufacturers from The Roasterie in Kansas City, makers of high-quality, air-roasted coffee, agree that reverse osmosis water is a wise choice. They sang its praises in their article 5 Tips for Brewing the Best Cup of Coffee.

“We recommend using filtered water because tap water will often include chlorine and other elements that will affect your coffee’s flavor. However, reverse-osmosis water is the best choice.”

There is somewhat of a debate around using reverse osmosis water for coffee. You may come across people who say it is not the best choice. They claim that removing minerals from drinking water takes away its flavor and produces coffee that tastes “flat.”

One thing all coffee experts confirm is water that’s too hard will make a terrible cup of coffee.

The Science of Water Hardness and Coffee

Hardness of the water is defined in terms of Total Dissolved Solids or TDS. The SCAA says the ideal TDS for making coffee should be 150 mg/L. However, the science of coffee and water goes beyond that. The type of minerals making your water hard is truly what alters the taste.

2014 study on coffee and water, first published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, found that cations (positively-charged molecules) in water may help draw out some of the aromatic flavor compounds in coffee.

For instance, magnesium in water may actually enhance the taste, giving it a “woodsier” flavor, and calcium bicarbonate seems to increase the bitterness of coffee. While the study did not say that sodium content in softened water would negatively affect coffee, the researchers found that soft water did little to impact the flavor.

Water Technology magazine used the 2014 study to take a look at the pros and cons of using different types of treated water for brewing coffee. They suggest blending reverse osmosis water along with tap water, which would contain some mineral content to potentially help extract more flavor.

The Bottom Line

Not only is the science behind making coffee surprisingly complicated, it’s also very subjective. Coffee is one of those things that everyone has their own opinion about. Each one of us enjoys it a different way.

There are so many factors involved with brewing the kind of coffee you like best – the freshness of the beans, the coarseness of the grounds, the method you use to make it, and of course … the quality of your water.

Great-tasting coffee is far from the only reason to install a reverse osmosis system in your home. If you’re concerned about what’s in your water and how it might affect the health of your family, an R.O. system is an ideal way to put those concerns to rest. Plus, many homeowners find they love it so much they end up drinking more water and fewer sugary sodas, juices, and sports drinks. Not to mention, you’ll be able to stop buying bottled water.

Want to learn more about what reverse osmosis systems can do? Atlantic Blue offers a variety of models to fit your needs.  Look for our brands below distributed in your area.

 

Article Originally Written and Published March 24th by WaterCare

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HARD WATER VS. SOFT WATER – THE EFFECTS ON YOUR SKIN

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How does your skin feel when you step out of the shower? Would you call it silky smooth or squeaky clean?

Do you feel dry and itchy after bathing? Do you have to lotion up every day to avoid itchiness and skin irritation?

The water in your home can have significant effects on the condition of your skin, and it may all come down to whether you have hard water or soft water.

What Hard Water Can Do to Your Skin

Hard water contains dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. Those minerals make it harder for water to form a solution with soap, and it leaves behind a scummy residue.

If you have hard water in your home, you’ll notice that white soap scum all over your bathroom fixtures. Hard water can also clog up your plumbing and your shower head, reducing pressure.

But what you may not realize is that same soap scum builds up on your skin. Instead of getting a nice lather, you’re leaving behind a residue that clogs your pores the same way it clogs your pipes. Clogged pores can lead to breakouts and worsen skin conditions like acne or eczema.

The natural oils your body produces are distributed through the pores of your skin. When those pores are clogged, the oil gets trapped and blemishes like pimples and zits form.

Not only can soap scum from hard water clog your pores, many people find it also causes them to feel dry, itchy, and irritated. The minerals in hard water can actually strip moisture from your skin while preventing the natural oils your body produces from doing their job, which is to lubricate your skin and hold in moisture.

Hard water may also be making your skin age faster. That means it could cause you to look older than you really are!

Dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross, told YouBeauty.com that many of the impurities in hard water, like iron and magnesium, can form free radicals that damage healthy skin cells. That can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Free radical damage can even cause a breakdown of collagen, which is a structural protein that helps your skin look and feel firm and healthy.

If you are experiencing the negative effects of hard water; don’t worry – there’s a solution.

Why Soft Water is Better for Maintaining Healthy-looking Skin

One of the biggest advantages to having a water softener installed in our home is the fact that soft water is better for cleaning. That goes for your clothes and dishes as well as your skin.

Soft water makes it easier to form a sudsy lather, and it makes it easier to rinse the soap away. That means your soap works more efficiently and you aren’t left with that pore-clogging soap scum residue all over your body.

Because of the fact you don’t get a good lather with hard water, you’ll find yourself using more soap to get clean, which only exacerbates the problem more. But with soft water, you will be able to use less soap product to get clean. In fact, after installing a water softener, you may not need to purchase the expensive body wash and lotion you thought you needed.

It’s really quite simple to understand…

Hard water is hard on your skin. Soft water is gentler on your skin. Hard water makes it difficult to get completely clean. Soft water is better for getting your body completely clean.

Squeaky Clean vs. Your Natural Sheen

Some people get used to the feeling of washing their bodies in hard water. They incorrectly assume that the “squeaky clean feeling” we get after showering means the soap did its job.

However, what you’re really experiencing is the sticky soap scum all over you – not to mention dead skin and dirt that didn’t get washed away.

On the other hand, when some people first have a water softener installed in their home, they notice a slick or slippery feeling to their skin. It’s easy to assume you are not getting completely clean and blame it on the soft water, but that’s not the case.

The slippery feeling is how your clean skin is actually supposed to feel. Since the natural oils from your own body haven’t been stripped from your skin, it feels different. Don’t forget, those natural oils serve an important purpose.

The truth is, the idea of “squeaky clean skin” is more of a marketing tactic than anything else. That squeak comes from mineral deposits and soap scum.

Water Quality and Skin Conditions

Softening your water is not a cure for any sort of skin disease or chronic condition. However, it can be a helpful step towards avoiding irritation and improving certain health problems.

There has been a significant amount of research examining how hard water may impact the common skin condition, eczema. This is something that experts say affects 20% of kids 11 and under, as well as 8% of teenagers and adults.

One study that took place in the U.K. found schoolchildren who lived in areas with hard water were 50% more likely to suffer from eczema. Other agencies have identified hard water as an environmental trigger for eczema.

Hard water may not be the cause of skin conditions, but there is a lot of evidence indicating it can aggravate things further. With soft water, you’ll be less likely to clog your pores and dry out your skin, you won’t be as itchy and irritated, and you’ll be more likely to have the beautiful, clear skin you want.

So Should You Get a Water Softener?

Skin issues may not be the only problem hard water is causing you and your family. Check out our article on 8 Major Hard Water Problems for even more signs.

If you’re sick and tired of dealing with hard water in your home, a water softener is the most effective and most permanent solution to hard water challenges. Atlantic Blue has the most innovative residential water treatment products on the market.

 

Article Originally Written and Published Feb 19th by WaterCare

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