4 September 2014
We all know that we should drink plenty of water. The aim is to drink two litres a day to keep hydrated and healthy. This isn’t always easy, especially when many people don’t like the taste of tap water or the idea of drinking the contaminants it contains.
Nowadays we are increasingly concerned about the quality of our tap water and are understandably looking to alternatives. So what are the viable alternatives to tap water? Should you buy bottled water? Use a water filter? Or even a water softening device? What then about washing and showering? Do you opt for a water purifier? Are water purifiers worth it? We examine your options and the pros and cons.
There are several issues with using bottled water:
The environmental issues associated with water bottles from their production to transportation through to their disposal are numerous and have a hugely detrimental impact on the planet. There are the carbon emissions associated with the manufacture and transportation of water bottles to content with and then the fact that billions of bottles are thrown away each year that do not biodegrade and end up in landfill. In some instances when the water has been sourced from other countries you have further issues with greenhouse-gas emissions.
Many bottled water companies claim to source that their water is purer than pure and from a pure source but this is not often the case – sometimes it can just be treated tap water. The bottled water industry is not as closely monitored as your mains water supply either and this means your bottled water may contain untested harmful chemicals. Often bottled water can still contain contaminants as well as high concentrations of minerals that you may want to consider if they are beneficial to your health.
The plastic that water bottles are made from is polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – PET has the potential to be harmful to your health. A study revealed that “some as-yet unidentified chemicals in these plastics have the potential to interfere with estrogen and other reproductive hormones…If you drink water from plastic bottles, you have a high probability of drinking estrogenic compounds.” Read more on the study here.
Although not individually expensive, the cost of buying water bottles can add up to a significant amount over time. If, as a family, you drink two bottles each a day, every day then the costs can soon mount.
Water softeners may reduce the problems associated with hard water by removing calcium and magnesium from your water supply but they are not designed to remove some of the other chemicals and contaminants that are found in tap water.
Water softeners use sodium to remove the calcium and magnesium ions from your water supply, but this then increases the amount of sodium in the water that you consume. This can leave the water tasting salty but also poses a health risk, especially to those people suffering with hypertension and high blood pressure.
Softened water encourages the leaching of heavy metals like lead and copper from your plumbing, increasing the amount of heavy metals in your water supply. A water softener is not designed to remove these heavy metals from your water which means you could still be consuming these dangerous contaminants. Softened water can also result in increased leaching of metals from kitchen appliances such as saucepans and kettles.
Water softeners vary in price but can be expensive. There are running costs associated with water softeners too to budget for.
The main issue with water filter jugs is that they are prone to bacteria growth. By removing chlorine from tap water, you are more likely to find algae and bacteria growing in the filters. According to a DEFRA report “Growth of bacteria in the filter cartridge could lead to elevated levels of Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) bacteria in the filtrate.” The report goes on to state that those filters that use silver to control the growth of bacteria can then result in the leaching of “excessive concentrations (of silver) into the filtered water.” You therefore need to change filters regularly to ensure the bacteria build-up is kept to a minimum. Also, these water filters have a limited capacity and will eventually release the absorbed contaminants back into the water at higher concentrations. Some water filter jugs produce potassium that can be an area of genuine concern for people with kidney disease.
Whole house water purification systems filter your drinking water to 98-99% purity leaving you with incredible tasting and contaminant-free water. Unlike water softeners, your water goes through several extra stages of filtration that remove all heavy metals and other contaminants from your drinking water. There is no risk of bacteria forming in the filter as with the water jugs. Aquatec – the Pure Water People’s whole house systems also purify the water going to your bathroom including your shower and bath, removing the health risks associated with inhaling chlorine in steam whilst giving you the health benefits of washing with pure water.
There is minimal impact on the environment with our whole house water purification systems unlike plastic water bottles which are an environmental catastrophe. We are committed to the environment and take several steps to ensure that we protect our shared future on this planet. Read more on our environmental policy by following the link.
The initial cost of a whole house filtration system is soon offset as you start to reap the financial rewards along with the health benefits. Heating bills decrease without limescale clogging your pipes and boiler, you find that your appliances including dishwashers, washing machines and kettles don’t break down so there’s no need to replace them. You also save money on cleaning products, hair and beauty products and you no longer have to buy bottled water.
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